Saturday, March 18, 2006

Summarizing Successfully, Part 3: Function and Form

The executive summary should work for your readers in both function and form.

In function it should:
  • provide a complete but brief synopsis of facts stated in the document
  • serve as the first place in the document where most readers would go
  • appear in the beginning of the document
  • work as a stand-alone document

In form it should:

  • reflect the larger document (e.g., issue, discussion, conclusions, and recommendations)
  • consume, on average, less than 10 percent of the entire document
  • use paragraphs to divide summaries of the document’s sections

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