An executive summary is a step-by-step writing process that explains the key concepts of a specific write-up. Since producing an executive summary is not particularly simple and straightforward, do not overlook its systematic creation. This type of writing is more challenging since it involves a planned method and the writing of relevant ideas. Whether it is for a report, a proposal, or a record, a competent executive summary composition must adhere to a number of standards. Here are some guidelines and suggestions for writing
What exactly is an executive summary?
Essentially, an executive summary is a written overview of a write-up in a way that is convincing and organised. A write-up could be a book, an article, a report, a proposal, or a piece of writing. An executive summary is a concise, methodical and organised overview of a write-up written in a compelling way to serve a specific purpose. The purpose of an executive summary is to present a concise, organized, and methodical summary of a write-up in a convincing way for a specific purpose.
It consists of a collection of related and organized components. An executive summary should be impartial and objective, free from bias or undeveloped ideas, as well as personal judgement or repetition. Additionally, it also needs to conform to the message that the author wanted to get across in his writing.
An executive summary is commonly written for corporate or senior management like CEOs, heads of departments, or supervisors so that they may easily obtain critical data to make decisions about an action to take. Because there is so much material available and so many topics are covered, it is not always possible or practical to analyse it all. As a result, it is necessary to create and distribute summary notes.
“In a professional context people are often busy and don’t have time to read a full report. They read the executive summary to get a quick overview; to evaluate the quality of the report; or even to make a decision.” – University of Melbourne
An executive summary’s objective
Before you start writing and gathering information for your executive summary, it’s critical to clarify its purpose. Setting objectives helps in identifying who and what they would benefit from. As a result, how would one distinguish executive summary writing? Terminology and style are adjusted for the target audience. Thus, while writing for engineers, technical terminology is common. Similarly, when writing for accountants or attorneys, it is appropriate to employ suitable terminology that is understandable to them.
For that reason, it is helpful to know how well the reader is familiar with the subject matter of the write-up for which the executive summary is crafted.
What style should you use?
There are currently no hard and fast rules for writing an executive summary. Businesses, organisations, and practitioners may have their own set of rules. Examine any special needs highlighted in guidelines or suggestions for overall layout, length criteria, or phrase restrictions carefully. All executive summaries, however, ought to be concise and clear with a formal tone.
You should always choose phrases that clearly express your points. Remove any unnecessary phrases or redundancies, and write in simple, direct language. When writing, use the active voice and shorten long phrases. Do not begin with words like “there is” or “it is” to start a sentence. Also, avoid using filler words such as “that,” etc.
A formal writing style makes it easier to convey important information. Professionals expect to receive the information they need as soon as possible because time is money for them. They may even skim the information rather than reading it thoroughly. When giving presentations at work and communicating with colleagues in writing, professionals use this writing style.
How do you go about writing one?
Prepare by reading the entire report and identifying the purpose, key points, and major recommendations. Start by introducing the report and summarizing its main points in a brief introduction. Briefly address the main points one by one. Include a header for every main point you cover. These headers must appear in the exact order as they do in the detailed report. Write a short paragraph for each main point. Consider the benefits of recommendations when making them.
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