Someone rightly said that “an executive summary is like a synopsis of any book, where with just a small reading a buyer decides that the book is worth their time to read the whole thing”.
What is an Executive Summary?
An executive summary is a short document or an abbreviated version of any official business-related document. The main purpose of this document is to summarise a long document, report, group of reports or an article or any proposal in such a manner that the reader comes across what is the purpose of the larger document or material by just a small reading of the executive summary.
It is undoubtedly easy to read a document that contains details of the proposal along with which it includes the background information, problems, solutions, steps to be taken, analysis and also a conclusion. It has been described to be an important document through which any manager takes up important decisions for a business plan.
What is The Structure of An Executive Summary?
How to write an executive summary?
There is a particular kind of structure followed for the executive summary which is as follows:
- The main report or the proposal should be reduced to 5%-10 % of its total length.
- Always the executive summary should start with a brief summary of the report.
- It should be written in a target-audience language.
- A particular order should be maintained while writing the executive summary as in the report.
- It should not include extra information or material other than from the report or the proposal.
- It should make a recommendation and justifications.
- Use bullet points and subheadings.
Some common mistakes writers make in the executive summary writing:
- Repetition of the content should be avoided as it somewhere drags away the reader’s interest.
- Too much presentation of the background section in the summary makes the content useless and repetitive as the most important information seems to be left out and instead more attention is paid on background information which makes the summary quite boring.
- Providing too much detail in the summary destroys the very structure and the purpose of an executive summary.
- Mismatch in the content of summary to that of the report is a major mistake that writers make as extra information is strictly disallowed in the executive summary.
What are the templates in an executive summary?
Writing an executive summary to some might seem to be easy but it usually time-consuming and some time requires a long brain exercise as its undoubtedly a very laborious or a hard task where one has to present a gist of the long business proposal in a summarised form. To do justice to this really tough exercise templates were made where all you need to do is to take a print out of it and fill every column of it like any form or an application.
Therefore it is one of the greatest solutions as it’s very difficult for an employee to convey a very concise executive of a very long report. It helps the writer to organize things in a very structured manner as there are proper bullet points with headings allowing clearer and guiding the reader to the most important information about the company.
Fig: executive summary template.
Executive summary format:
- Step 1: Introduction
The first paragraph should always start with a brief introduction explaining what the company does. It should be the strongest part of the executive summary. The introductory paragraph caters the reader’s attention, therefore, it should always be written using powerful words.
- Step 2: Identify the issue
Identify and explain the different issues that shall draw attention and paint your business assignment in a positive light.
- Step 3: Identify the solution
Describe how your company can solve the problem uniquely or differently from any other company. This is where you explain why the company is different from others.
- Step4: Proof
Always back the claims regarding the company and its agendas with necessary proof i.e. with reliable evidence which includes stats and graphs to support how your company shall deal with all of these problems.
- Step 5: Ask for what you need and conclude
This should include enumerating the needs or demands of the company. For example, for any business proposal, one can include the requirement of the budget to the investors for the plan. Henceforth now you can conclude towards the end.
Example of an executive summary:
|This report was ordered to identify why the sales volume of coca cola have gone down over the two years since its peak in 1998 and to suggested ways of increasing the volume.||Reference
Statement of problem/topic
|The research draws attention towards to the fact that in 1998, the market share of Coca cola was 33%. The shares of their key competitors such as and thumps up were 22%. The size of the cola market then was $26 million. Over the next three years, although Coca cola retained its market share the volume of sales in the whole market decreased to $19 million. According to many researches which have revealed that this market depletion rate coincided with an increase in health awareness amongst consumers who regard the ingredients in cold drinks as negative; moreover, since the second half of 2008, an increasing number of rival ‘slice’ had appeared on the market. These claimed to offer the consumers a healthy alternative. These factors appear to be the major causes of the decreased sales of cold drinks.||Formal languageKey findings summarised|
|Real juice and the paper boat is the latest addition to the fruit drink market. The report calculates this range and concludes that coca cola‘s footie would be an ideal candidate to meet the challenge presented by the market and could satisfy the new consumer demand since it uses significantly real fruit juice and no artificial ingredients which includes artificial or added flavours and is endorsed by renowned health experts also.
It is recommended:
|Problem solution summarised
Therefore executive summary to some might seem to be an easy task but sometimes ideally you might have to spend an entire today thinking what all necessary points one hast to mention according to the format if one doesn’t have access to the executive summary template. Though it’s difficult to write this can be one of the best solutions to summarising any assignment.
If you are still having difficulty in writing an executive summary for your assignment, get help now.
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