Guidance For Writing An Executive Summary

What is the executive summary?

The executive summary is a short recap or overview of the lengthier reports or assignments. It provides sufficient information and necessary facts about the content which reader will read in the whole report or assignment. The executive summary only includes key elements of the proposal or report without detailing the evidence and figures. It must create interest for the reader and attract them towards the detailing of the report. Amy Cooper Hakim, a psychology practitioner and workplace expert explains that executive summary is developed to highlight the major aspects of the report or documents. The reader can read the summary and find interest to take a deeper dive into the whole documents.

Executive Summary

The simple way to write an executive summary

How to write an executive summary? Is this a problem for you, then we can resolve your problem. At first, we need to understand that an executive summary summarises the whole documents but must covers all the important aspect of the document in a concise manner. It must have the spark to keep the reads hooked. The length of the executive summary should be 5-10% of the length of the whole document.

The language should be precise and appropriate for the target audience. The paragraph of the executive summary should be short and compact. Always remember one thing that readers are reading the executive summary for quick overview of the documents, so it should be interesting and informative. The opening paragraph should be appealing to grab the reader’s attention. It is a summary of the whole document so do not bring up or discuss new ideas. It can make the summary poor and confusing for the readers.

Example of executive summary

Executive summary example can vary depending on the proposal style and requirements. A good executive summary example should able to fulfil the reader’s questions in concise manner. The executive summary of a report or an article might answer the following questions in brief:

  • What is this document is all about?
  • Why the report is important?
  • What are the major findings of the reports?
  • How will these help in future?
  • What are the major considerations of the report?

How to write executive summary of report or assignment?

The 5 paragraph formula is an effective way to write an Executive summary of a report or an Executive summary of an assignment. The summary should not contain any headings. The first paragraph should briefly explain about the report or assignment and clearly explain the issues and opportunities of the document. It should include the questions of the document which are going to resolve in the whole assignment. The author must discuss about the research sources in this paragraph. The second paragraph should discuss about the analysis and key findings of the report or assignment with example.

In the next paragraph, the author should discuss about the key recommendation for resolving the issues based on analysis and finding. It is important to add conclusion to make the whole discussion precise and impactful. The fourth paragraph should explain about the implementation ideas and risk of the implementation process. The last paragraph should explain the key leaning aspect along with advantage and disadvantage of the whole findings and implementations.

Executive summary format

Appropriate executive summary format must contain following points:

  • The introduction: about the subject of the assignment or report
  • Methods and analysis: briefly discuss about the methods and analysis part
  • Findings: Discuss about the results
  • Conclusion: Discus about the solutions
  • Recommendation: Brief recommendation for the issues
  • Limitations: Discuss about any limitations of the projects if persist.

Common mistakes in executive summary

Executive summary is the overview of the whole document. Repetition of the content loses readers attention. So try to avoid the repetition and try to paraphrase the content. Do not provide too much information in the summary. It can make the summary lengthy and loses the readers attractions. The similar terms should be used in report and executive summary. For example, if the summary mentions observations then the report should include observation not findings. The writers must have clear idea which he or she needs to incorporate in executive summary before starts the writing.