The inclusion of a brief summary (‘Executive Summary’) is standard reporting
practice and is meant to act as a guide to the contents of the report and to
highlight major conclusions and recommendations. The Executive Summary
derives its name from the practice of providing the executives of an
organisation, that is, those responsible for making decisions and taking
appropriate action, with a concise outline of the major points in a report to
save them time. The detail can be pursued in more depth later by a complete
reading of the report. The structure of the Executive Summary should follow
the structure of the report and include brief statements on the following:
definition of the ...view middle of the document...
The report finds the prospects of the company in its current position are not
positive. The major areas of weakness require further investigation and remedial
action by management. Recommendations include:
improving the average collection period for accounts receivable
improving/increasing inventory turnover
reducing prepayments and perhaps increasing inventory levels
The report also investigates the fact that the analysis conducted has limitations.
For example, as current information was not available, the results are based on
past performance, and forecasting figures are not provided.
Adapted from Woodward-Kron, R. 1997, Writing in Commerce: a guide to
assist Commerce students with assignment writing, (Revised edition), Centre
for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle.
An essay assignment sometimes requires a Synopsis or Abstract, in a similar
way to the use of an Executive Summary for a report (see above). An abstract
is often just a single paragraph. Your Subject Outline or other details you have
been provided about the assignment task will clarify whether you need to
Like an executive summary, a Synopsis or Abstract serves the purpose of
helping the reader to see in advance what the main points of the essay will be.
It is important to ensure the key critical perspective or point of view is included
in the Synopsis or Abstract, which typically follows a structure made up of brief
statements on each of the following:
purpose of the essay
structure of the essay
main critical perspective / point of view / thesis
The Abstracts that typically preface articles published in academic journals
usually provide a good model of the way that an Abstract should be written for
an essay. The following example is the Abstract for a published journal article
about an empirical research study with statistical findings, but its structure is
basically similar to an Abstract that would be written for an essay.
Example of an Abstract
Orientation to topic
(importance of topic)
There has been a lot of research done to better understand the effects of taxation
on cigarette consumption. Since cigarettes are addictive, it could be expected
that taxation would have little or no effect on the number of cigarette smoked
per day or the percentage of smokers within a given population. This paper aims
to investigate these effects and, more specifically, to differentiate between adult
smokers and underage smokers. It will be shown that the percentage of adult
smokers does not change with taxation whereas the percentage of underage
smokers decreases significantly when excise taxes on cigarettes increase. In
addition, it will also be shown that the average number of cigarettes smoked per
day decreases as well.
Sylvain, S. 2008, ‘The Effects of Excise Tax on Cigarette Consumption:
A Divergence in the...