1 Minute Writing Tips: Writing an Executive Summary

What’s an Executive Summary? Think of it as a sales pitch. It’s designed to encourage the reader to turn the page and read the rest of the document. How do you do this?

What’s its purpose?

Its purpose is to:

  • Highlights the major points of the report
  • Describes any results, conclusions, or recommendations from the report.

Who reads it?

It should be written for a particular audience – one that wants to learn more about the main report.

Also, the reader should be able to acquire the information they need without having to read the whole report.

Writing an Executive Summary

  • Write it as a stand alone document.
  • One to three pages max
  • Formal tone. No jokes, puns, or clever wordplay.

7 Executive Summary Guidelines

  1. State the purpose of the report. Your reader is in a hurry. Get to the point.
  2. Structure the main points in the same order as in the report.
  3. Summarize the results, conclusions, or recommendations.
  4. Use headings as needed, but phrase them differently from those in the report.
  5. Format the summary in the same way as the report.
  6. Proofread and edit.
  7. Make it interesting.