Fact sheet

From Academic Kids

A fact sheet is a presentation of data on any subject in a format emphasizing brevity, key points of interest or concern, a fairly minimalist design aesthetic, and a general desire to convey the most relevant information in the least amount of space. As such, it is a medium ideally suited to the post-modern information age, when "facts" (to the extent they exist) proliferate in ever-increasing numbers while the time available to review and comprehend them diminishes. Fact sheets attempt to solve this problem by condensing information into an easy-to-read, straightforward, portable, and modular form of knowledge. They often contain lists, statistics, answers to common questions (FAQs could be considered a form of fact sheet.), and how-to, "do-it-yourself" types of advice. In some cases they may be a summary or abridgement of a longer document.

Though they originated in the offline world of print and paper, fact sheets have come into their own on the Internet, where users tend to seek information in concise formats that can be read in a few minutes or printed on a few pages.

Examples:

Many college bookstores sell condensed study guides on various subjects, single pages of often-tabular information.

NASA planetary fact sheets (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/planetfact.html)

Fact sheets about animals (http://www.kidsplanet.org/factsheets/map.html)

Fact sheets on various topics (http://www.fact-sheets.com)

The World Factbook, a CIA collection of tabular factsheets on various countries (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/)

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