A brief is a summary of a research report that provides an overview of a scientific investigation. We would like to emphasize that your briefs should be, first and foremost, accessible to the average reader. We also encourage you to use your executive summary, if you have completed one for your paper, as a starting point for your briefs, which should complete the following objectives:
- Provide background relating to the research –– A brief should concisely summarize background on the topic as well as previous research on the topic.
- Appropriate for target audience –– As a brief is not a technical paper, the brief should avoid the use of technical language, and instead use terms simple to understand by the everyday reader.
- Separate from the main report –– a brief should be readable separate from the main report. In effect, a brief should summarize most of the work completed in the paper itself without the reader having to refer to sections of the report. The brief should also be able to summarize the work without the reader referring to research not contained within the report.
- Coverage –– a brief should cover the important sections of the report in the order in which they were discussed (for example, briefs should include background, introduction/justification, materials & methods, conclusions in a more concise fashion than the actual report)
Diagrams –– We encourage you to include diagrams in your briefs, which will showcase your project. These diagrams may not need to be specifically targeted towards a particular section of your report (such as the materials and methods). Instead, your diagrams can be relevant to the overall project, or refer to a section of the project which is explicitly explained in the brief and can be easily understood by the reader.