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Exercise: Executive Summary/Abstract Analysis

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assignment-icons-content.png EXERCISE

Executive summaries and abstracts do more than simply summarize the main points of your report. As the first section of the report that your readers will see, they play an important role in the achievement of your report’s purpose. The executive summary/abstract should communicate the information and/or research that is most likely to convince your audience that they should read your report, so the information you include in this opening section should be very thoughtfully chosen.

To help you write an effective executive summary or abstract, read the following articles, then find an executive summary or abstract to analyze based on what you’ve learned.


The Activity

Using Google, find two reports that include an executive summaries/abstracts. Reading only the executive summaries/abstracts, answer the following questions:

  1. Can you identify the report’s purpose or goal?
  2. Do you get a sense of audience? Who is this report for?
  3. What report content/sections are included in the abstract? Do you get the sense that this information is important?
  4. What research is included in the report? Does the research included give you the sense that the report is well-researched, credible and/or thorough?
  5. Does the executive summary/abstract convince you that reading the report would be worth your time? Why? Why not?

Finally, compare the two summaries you analyzed. What are the similarities and differences? What does each do well? What could be improved?

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