The Executive Summary
Your report requires an Executive Summary—in the Assessment Criteria Sheet (ACS) there are three parts to this:
* Introductory sentence
* Major findings
* Major recommendations
Writing cogent Executive Summaries is a skill that not only eludes students but most people, in general. Unfortunately, whilst there are books, websites and other sources offering advice they can be contradictory with that advice.
The UB Abstracts & Executive Summaries: Handout (available from the Library and online) makes no mention of an introductory sentence—it simply states that it ‘starts with key findings of the research’ (p. 1) and ‘has a strong focus on recommendations and their justification’. In contrast, Griffiths University (Writing an Executive Summary, p. 1) includes a purpose/aim, the procedure (of data collection and analysis), findings and recommendations.
For this report I strongly suggest that you follow what the ACS requires.
The UB source states that it ‘can be quite long’ (p. 1) whilst Griffiths University states that it ‘is not normally more than one page in length’. Both of these sources suggest that it could be from 10 -15% of the total words of the full report.
For this report I suggest that the Executive Summary will be about one to one and a half pages.
Choice of words/sentences
Another contradictory piece of advice relates to the words used. UB states ‘the recommendations are sometimes word for word from the report’ (p. 1) whereas Griffiths’ advice is ‘avoid recycling sentences or paragraphs from the body of the report as this can be repetitious for the reader’ (p. 2).
For this report using the same words or sentences is acceptable.
Both agree that an Executive Summary should be able to function as a stand-alone report; hence it must accurately reflect what is in the full report. Clearly, I will not be reading it in isolation but you...