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Executive Summaries Writing an executive summary dissertation writing about executive summaries and how to write them.
As its name suggests, an executive summary summarizes, or reviews the main points of, a longer document or report for a reader that does not have time to read the entire report.
An effective executive summary analyzes and summarizes the most important points in the paper or report, and will often make a recommendation based on the analysis. You may submit an executive summary as part of an assignment, and your instructor will likely read the summary and the paper or report.
For example, a ten-page paper or report would require a one-page executive summary. When preparing to write an executive summary, ask yourself the following questions: Who will read your executive summary?
Try to sum this up in two or three sentences. Most reports and papers have a reason, or a goal beyond just fulfilling an assignment. Perhaps the report supports a change of opinion, new direction, or course of action.
Try to summarize this in two or three sentences. Are there sections, or divisions, within the document? If so, which ones are the most important, or most crucial, to an understanding of the document? The kinds of documents that require executive summaries usually contain sections, or subtopics that support the main topic.
There may even be headings that indicate what the sections will discuss. Try to decide which ones are necessary to an understanding of the issue at hand, and which ones can be left out.
Does the document make a recommendation or suggest a certain course of action? Some documents argue in favor of a change, or urge the reader to follow a particular course of action. If this is the case, you can almost always find this information in the introduction or conclusion of a report, and the body of the report may discuss it in detail.
Other documents do not contain a recommendation, but simply present data or research findings. In this case, you would need to analyze the data or research and recommend an action. What are the benefits or consequences of this course of action?
Whether you comment upon the recommendation in the report or make a recommendation based on your analysis of the information in the report, be sure to include a discussion of why or why not the recommendation is a good idea.
If there are benefits, state them, since this will help to make your recommendation more persuasive. Although you will want to emphasize the positive, be sure to mention any consequences.
Resources California State University, Northridge: Executive Summary University of Wollongong: Good and Poor Examples of Executive Summaries The discount for Federal employees and their spouses and eligible dependents will be applied to out-of-state tuition and specialty graduate programs.
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This is one of a series of audio podcasts that provides advice and guidance for several of the stages of the dissertation process. This podcast covers the key items for consideration when writing an executive summary. The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities.
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