So What? Summary

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Usually you will write an end of study report for your research, and an executive summary. A So What? Summary would compliment these, translating the research findings into useful implications.

People want to know that rigorous research is available, but they do not necessarily want to read it all themselves. Your So What? Summary should contain enough essential information to hook people in, and clear signposting to where they can find out more. It cannot, and should not, include everything.

  • Your summary should be no more than 800 words (two sides of A4) and be possible to read in 5 minutes or less
  • Include details of your research process and findings and clearly signpost to available reports
  • Use graphics and visuals wherever possible to summarise information
  • Use bullets and white space, do not just shrink your font to squeeze more words on!
  • State key messages first that answer the question of ‘What difference does your research make?’ at a glance
  • Do not use jargon. If you use abbreviations write them in full on the first occasion
  • Identify key words that can be used to tag your summary and outputs