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The best way to avoid a disorganized or cluttered executive summary is to write it after the study is completed. Always follow the same strategies for proofreading that you would for any research paper. Cutting and Pasting With the exception of specific recommendations made in the study, do not simply cut and paste whole sections of the original document into the executive summary.
If necessary, selectively incorporate bullet points for emphasis and brevity.
Re-read your Executive Summary After you've completed your executive summary, let it sit for a while before coming back to re-read it.
The conceptual nature of much academic writing also means that recommendations arising from the findings are distributed widely and not easily or usefully encapsulated.
Executive summaries are used mainly when a research study has been developed for an organizational partner, funding entity, or other external group that participated in the research.
An executive summary can be anywhere from 1-10 pages long depending on the length of the report, or it can be the summary of more than one document [e.g., papers submitted for a group project].
Although an executive summary is similar to an abstract in that they both summarize the contents of a research study, there are several key differences.Clarity in Writing One of the biggest mistakes you can make is related to the clarity of your executive summary. Always note that your audience [or audiences] are likely seeing your research study for the first time. Avoid taking up space with excessive subtitles and lists, unless they are absolutely necessary for the reader to have a complete understanding of the original document. Consider the Audience Although unlikely to be required by your professor, there is the possibility that more than one executive summary will have to be written for a given document [e.g., one for policy-makers, one for private industry, one for philanthropists]. University of Maryland; Todorovic, Zelimir William, Ph D. Once convinced, it is assumed that the full document will provide the details needed to implement the recommendations. California State University Northridge; Executive Summaries. Although you should resist the temptation to pad your summary with pleas or biased statements, do pay particular attention to ensuring that a sense of urgency is created in the implications, recommendations, and conclusions presented in the executive summary. This will better prepare you for how to organize and summarize the study.Remember this is not a brief abstract of 300 words or less but, essentially, a mini-paper of your paper, with a focus on recommendations.Check to make sure that the summary will make sense as a separate document from the full research study.By taking some time before re-reading it, you allow yourself to see the summary with fresh, unbiased eyes.