Writing for Business and Industry



Executive Summary Analysis

Sample executive summaries

Open the file ExecSum.Doc
This file contains examples of executive summaries written for a textbook report, just like your assignment.

  1. Are these examples of an effective executive summary? Why or why not?
  2. Did the authorx of the sample executive summaries write a document that properly addressed an audience of professors tasked with selecting a textbook? Why or why not?
  3. A decision maker often only reads the executive summary. Based on these executive summaries, would you feel confident making a decision? What other information do you need?
  4. Was the information laid out so it was easy for you to find:
  5. What changes would you recommend the author make?

Discussion on executive summaries

The executive summary is the only part of many documents that everyone reads. Write it as if it were a stand-alone document. The decision maker often reads this section and then decides to approve/reject the report recommendations. It must contain all the information that is needed. Put the emphasis on justifying the recommendations. The decision maker will believe you have the supporting facts.

Remember to use headings and to create a stand alone document that will answer all the decision maker's questions. Think about the problems you found in in Exective Summaries you looked at in this exercise.

Placed after the title page and before the table of contents.

An Executive Summary is a 1 page summation of the report.

Contents (probably headings) for the executive summary of the recommendation report

The executive summary, as its name implies, provides information from the body of the report—specifically, the
key facts and conclusions. To put it another way, this type of abstract summarizes the key information from every
major section in the body of the report.

It is as if someone had taken a yellow marker and highlighted all the key points in the body of the report then
vaccuumed them up into a one- or two-page document. (Of course, then some editing and rewriting would be
necessary to make the abstract readable.) Specifically, the requirements for the executive summary are as follows:


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