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Individual Exercise Executive summaries and abstracts do more than simply summarize the main points of your report. As the

Individual 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.

Readings

How to Write an Executive Summary: A Quick Guide (Links to an external site.)
5 Crucial Elements of an Executive Summary (Links to an external site.)
Writing Report Abstracts (Links to an external site.)
The Activity

The following reports contain examples of executive summaries/abstracts:

Final Sand Compatibility and Opportunistic Use Program Plan (Links to an external site.)
WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin (Links to an external site.)
Read the executive summaries/abstracts. Then answer the following questions:

Can you identify the report’s purpose or goal?
Do you get a sense of audience? Who is this report for?
What report content/sections are included/summarized in the abstract? Do you get the sense that this information is important?
What research is included in the abstract? Does the abstract give you the sense that the report is well-researched, credible and/or thorough?
Does the 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?