BLUF (communication)

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A BLUF (bottom line up front)[1] is a paragraph where the conclusions and recommendations are placed at the beginning of the text, rather than the end, in order to facilitate rapid decision making. This differs from an older, more-traditional style in which conclusions and recommendations are included at the end, following the arguments and considerations of facts. The concept is not exclusive to writing; it can also refer to conversations and interviews.[2]

A BLUF differs from an abstract or executive summary in that it does not necessarily summarize the arguments or evidence included.

The term is common in US military writing.[3]


Use of BLUF can be routinely seen in executive summaries in reports, subject lines in e-mails, and abstracts in scholarly articles.[4] It may be applied directly to the format of a résumé to prevent it being too long or wordy.[5] In certain technical writing, BLUF may be considered desirable. It has also been advocated for scholarly articles.[6]


In conversation, the BLUF model can be used to keep conversation or answers to questions concise and focused on the immediate topic, in order to help a person talk less (such as in an interview).[2]


The BLUF model can also be used in planning and management to ensure the purpose of plans are kept in mind, decision-maker support is more readily attainable, and impact may more easily and accurately be measured.[7]

Psychological assessment[edit]

BLUF has been used in one program to help to quickly assess the most pressing problem facing a patient.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BLUF". Retrieved 17 May 2017 – via The Free Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b "Leaders Inc. Interview Preparation Guide". Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  3. ^ Army Regulation 25–50, "Preparing and Managing Correspondence," Chapter 1-IV, Effective Writing and Correspondence: The Army Writing Style, 1–36b, Standards for Army writing, page 6 (17 May 2013)
  4. ^ "eWrite Online". Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  5. ^ "GI Jobs". Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Being Direct 1: Martin Krieger's 'Bottom Line Up Front' - writingmatterssite". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Keys to Effective Health Promotion (based around a BLUF model)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-16. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  8. ^ American Psychological Association's publication Monitor on Psychology, Volume 38, No. 1 January 2007 page 42 "Supplying therapy where it’s needed most" by Christopher Munsey