Research Paper Executive Summary Outlines

Good and poor examples of executive summaries

This is a GOOD example from an Accounting & Finance assignment.
Footnote

Executive Summary

This report provides an analysis and evaluation of the current and prospective profitability, liquidity and financial stability of Outdoor Equipment Ltd. Methods of analysis include trend, horizontal and vertical analyses as well as ratios such as Debt, Current and Quick ratios. Other calculations include rates of return on Shareholders Equity and Total Assets and earnings per share to name a few. All calculations can be found in the appendices. Results of data analysed show that all ratios are below industry averages. In particular, comparative performance is poor in the areas of profit margins, liquidity, credit control, and inventory management.

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 discussed 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. Some of the limitations include:
forecasting figures are not provided nature and type of company is not known nor the current economic conditions data limitations as not enough information is provided or enough detail i.e. monthly details not known results are based on past performances not present


subject matter



methods of analysis






Findings






Conclusions




Recommendations (note that conclusions and recommendations can be bulleted)




Limitations of the report.

Excerpt 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.

This is a GOOD example of an executive summary from a marketing report.

This is a POOR example of an executive summary from a marketing assignment

Executive Summary
Every time a business or consumer purchases products or services they display forms of buyer behaviour that are influenced by many factors. The following report looks at the fast food industry and will analyse four McDonalds’ key products and services.It highlights what type of consumer buying or business buying behaviours are displayed in the purchase of a product or service and explains why each behaviour may occur. This enables a conclusion to be drawn from applying theory to reality. Although a full comprehension of buying behaviour is impossible, since everyone is an individual, it is useful to reflect on common behaviours and attempt to divide behaviours in types and stages. Even McDonalds, a leader in marketing cannot always predict consumer behaviour.

Background to problem

Report’s aims
Outlines what information the report deals with but FAILS to provide a summary of the results gained, conclusions drawn and recommendations made. These are the functions of an executive summary and are absent in this example.
The information in this executive summary is vague rather than summarising what the report found.


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Executive Summary and Research Essay Outline AssignmentThis assignment has four parts. A new page must be started for each part. All parts mustbe submitted electronically as a single document.I.

Cover pageThe cover page should include the student’s name, assignment title, and coursename. An appropriate design can be added to the cover page.II.

Executive SummaryAn executive summary is an important part of the presentation of a report orproject. Compared to the actual report, the EC is analytical, examining thedecisions for developing the report. The EC should contain the followinginformation:

The definition, objective, and scope of the project

A brief summary of the project; the key points or issues (can use bullet points if appropriate)

A description of the methodology used to determine the decision, solution orrecommendation

A brief justification for the decision, solution or recommendation

The actual decision, solution or recommendation made

The executive summary should be

brief, no more than two single spaced pages

able to stand on its own (complete enough to communicate the important features of theproject by itself 

placed at the beginning of the report

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