How to Write an Executive Summary for a Research Paper

Published 16 October, 2023

It is necessary to file an executive summary along with the documents for business purposes.  Students need to write an executive summary (sometimes known as a management summary) of their content to give a brief description to the readers about their work.

It must cover every significant point of your research but in short. So that the audience would get an accurate idea of your work and can decide whether they should read further your larger paperwork or not. Students must not skip any key idea and essential points while giving a precise summary of their work. The executive summary doesn’t contain an introduction, conclusion, or any new idea of your research paper.

It is challenging and complicates the task for the students to cover each argument, idea and the main point of their research work within the possible minimum number of words. However, you have to do it smartly to convince the readers of the purpose of the research.

What is an executive summary?

An executive summary gives a concise view of a prodigious document. It is generally the first most or only thing which readers need to consider so it must be able to communicate every key point, Research findings, and Results of your research.

It is a brief synopsis of your research work. So to maintain its length, you can’t skip any vital point to describe in it as hardly any reader goes through the entire report. You must write a compelling executive summary to grab the attention of your readers and allure them to go into the depth of your paper.

Executive summaries Components

There are mainly four components of the executive summary, shown below:

  • Purpose: You must clearly define the very purpose you need to address and ways to analyze them.
  • Key points: Every vital aspect, along with the central idea of your research, you should describe in the exact order as the main paper.
  • Results: The outcomes yield from the research.
  • Recommendations: You should recommend your suggestions to improve the issues found while researching.

Though it is a very tough task to write a compelling executive summary, yet you can achieve your goal by giving due consideration to the above components.

Importance of executive summary

  • The executive summary is a condensed version of the main document, such as a business plan, that grabs the attention of your audience. It contains information on what needs to be done and how you will do it in order for success to come about.
  • Filing a useful executive summary with the main document is a way for the students to grab the attention of their professors and to attract them with the content so that they would agree to go through the entire research work.
  • If the college students are struggling with their low grades, then they can accelerate them by impressing their supervisors with their quality work. Students can confidently update their resume for the job with their research activity if they got kind remarks from the professors for their hard work.
  • Similarly, an excellent executive summary can entice the investors to read the entire business document and go into its dept. It helps them to make an accurate decision about whether they should invest in the proposed business plan or not.

Read Also: Defining Hypothesis in Research

How to write a fantastic Executive summary?

There are essential suggestions that can help the students to write a useful executive summary.

1. Write it up to last

When it is about to inform innovative business decisions and strategies, then students need to do valuable research.

Once the students can do educational research, then they have to start working in terms of packaging findings that can easily communicate the need and value for an altered strategy to leadership. The most significant and effective way to do this is to create an appropriate business plan, including all of the findings, research, and suggestions. This type of creative business plan requires an executive summary.

It can be the best practice to craft the executive summary of an appropriate business plan after every other part of the report.  This gives the surety to the students that they can build out a review representing the final remnants of the plan as accurately as it is possible.

2. Try to capture the reader’s attention.

There is no doubt that a well-format executive summary must be informative in nature. However, it should also capture the attention of the audience. If the audience found the content interesting, then they can decide whether they want to read the remaining document or not.

The main objective of the presentation direction should be to inspire the audience with the research findings and the structurally proposed trends. Admittedly, at the end of the practical executive summary, readers might be eager to know whether they would be an advisor, banker, investor, or executive.

The right executive summary should be thorough, but the review should not reveal everything immediately. The audience would get encouraged to read out the complete story by reading the fantastic summary of a report.

3. Make sure an executive summary can stand extraordinarily

An executive summary with a clearly defined structure can become efficient. Without involving the practical review, any of the reports can appear dull and unclaimed. If the students are not able to make the executive summary that can stand on its own, then they have to revise it again and again until they get succeeded.

A useful and informative introduction paragraph, central body part, and conclusion should allow the audience who does not know the business to read the executive summary and understand the key findings from the student’s research, and the primary elements which you have mentioned in the business plan.

4. Think of an executive summary to make a condensed business plan

Students have to create a compelling executive summary to align it with more critical business strategies and plans. While writing about the executive summary, students have to read thoroughly business plan and can take the crucial information from each critical section. All the facts, evidence, numbers, and goals mentioned in the business plan must fit in the executive summary.

5. Make and include supporting research

Make the supportive claims to the executive summary for which the students have done high research and use it to create an appropriate business plan.

6. Boil it down as much as possible

Students have to use precise words and a succinct style to make a unique executive summary. By getting all the necessary information onto one page, students can condense the executive research effectively. The more succinct research students make, the more apparent their message received to the audience plus readers will get more confidence to understand the business strategies.

7. Start impressively with a BANG

If the students include a thought-provoking quote or an inspiring paragraph at the beginning of the executive summary, then it can attract the reader’s attention and can make the readers think like the students want to.

8. Keep things innovative and decisive

Try to focus the executive summary only on the positive elements of the business plan and the research done. Students have to leave all the negative discussions, obstacles, risks, and challenges for the body section of the business plan.

Necessary five-paragraph steps for making an executive summary

Students can break down a compelling executive summary into five paragraphs.

Paragraph 1: Provide a mandatory overview of a business plan

Students can capture the attention of readers by writing attractive statistics and quotes at the beginning of the summary. The first paragraph should include relevant information about business plans and insight information about the industry.

Paragraph 2: Discuss target competition, market, and business strategy

The second paragraph should include a concise and precise definition of the target market and the point of the business plan which the students want to solve. In the next step, outline the strategies with efficiency and the essential information that the specific business possesses.

The marketing strategy should focus on the three primary ways to achieve the plan of the target market. When the students focus on three forms of the market strategy, then they can maintain precision, and make the readers interested to read about their plan.

Paragraph 3: Provide an overview of highlights

The third paragraph of the executive summary should reflect operational highlights like where the office of the company is located and how long one can work there.

Paragraph 4: Make forecasting

Here students have to create sales forecasting projections after their business plan gets implemented. Students can calculate the breakeven point, and then inform the audience how they can turn a business plan into profit.

Paragraph 5: Detail the needs of investors

If any business requires finance, then one has to understand that it is time to invest in it. Students have to clear every information and point to make the current projections.

Appropriate length of an executive summary for a research paper?

There is no rule or secret of writing an executive summary of the research paper by using the words, but if the students understand the basic guidelines, they can make it useful. However, if the students are making it huge, then there is no need to write it. The real of the executive summary is to grab the attention of the reader as well as to reduce the time of the students.

For example, if the students have written ten pages of a research paper, then the executive summary will not be much larger than one page. The length of the executive summary should be as small as is possible by mentioning all the necessary points. When the students can put all the informative data in their review by making it shorter, then it means they had made an effective paper.

Instructions for writing an executive summary

We’ve compiled a list of executive summary tips to help you get started. These include general and more specific instructions for how best to approach your document so that readers can quickly understand its purpose, content, and value proposition

General instrustions

  • Students must understand that an executive summary of any business report or research paper is a short review of the document: Short and review are two keywords here. Students should not make a comprehensive executive summary in any way. The executive summary should not be a substitute for the paperwork. You should keep the executive summary less than 10% of the original document. Students can keep it between 5% and 10%, not more than this.
  • An executive summary of a business document has adhered to specific structural and stylistic guidelines: Students should apply specific structural and stylistic guidelines while writing an executive summary for the document like;
    Paragraph of the summary should be kept short
    The executive summary should make some sense even if you do not read the paper
    You should write an executive summary in a language that is appropriate for the readers.
  • Students must define the problem: A problem should be clearly defined in an executive summary. Students should make sure that they are describing the problem clearly in simple and understandable terms because the documents and original reports are written based on Requests for proposals.
  • Students must provide a solution while writing an executive summary: A solution must be written for the stated problem. Students need to write the solution to deliver a claim statement of purpose so that the solution can effectively tackle the problem. The solution will not make any sense if you have not clearly defined the problem.
  • Graduate students must use bullet points, graphics, and headings: It is not an easy and simple task to write an executive summary. It would help if you did not write long blocks of text in the executive summary. If students enhance understanding of the fact or writing more skimmable summary then it is good to use the following;
    Graphics: The use of graphics in the executive summary illustrates the precise nature of the problem of the client, which can drive the point of the summary. Stimulating the visual sense by using graphics is very useful as the logical sense.
    Bullets: students can break down the long list of information in the desirable bullets.
    Headings: students should organize the theme of the summary in headings if necessary. It will help to orient the reader as readers always drive into the summary.
  • College students must write fresh and Jargon free content in an executive summary: Jargon is trendy in the business world. Students should avoid the words like interface, core competency, leverage, and burning platform in the executive summary.

Read Also: Problem Statement In Research

Specific instructions

  • Start with an original document: students should be familiar with the original paper to include it down to the information version. Review your document correctly whether it is a business plan, report, or manual to include the main ideas of it in an executive summary.
  • Write a brief review: define the purpose and scope of the company which sponsors the document. It is the main section of the executive summary of the paper. You have to write about the specialty of your business in two or three lines. Mention why your business deserves the scrutiny of the people who are reading the summary.
  • Define the problem: discussion about the problem is the foremost step of writing an executive summary of the paper. So, students here need to explain the issue of the topic. The problem should be defined in a clear and precise manner. The ill-defined problem will not sound convincing to the readers and will not let you describe the solution of the problem.
  • Write a unique solution: Defining the problem is a secure part of the summary. Now, in this next step, you have to convince the readers for reading your paper by providing them with a unique solution to the defined problem. It will be a great idea for your summary if you clearly define the problem as well as a solution in it.
  • Talk about the market potential: According to this tip, you have to elaborate on the stated problem by providing the stats of your business. Do not give too much extra about your business than your company has.
  • Incorporate your USP: At this point, you can elaborate on the unique selling proposition of your business.
  • If necessary, talk about your business model: Describe the business modal clearly and easily if needed. Some executive summaries do not need to define a business modal. However, if your summary needs it, then explain it clearly.
  • If necessary, discuss your management team: If there is a need, then present your management team. It can be an essential part to be written in a summary depending upon the type of your industry.
  • Provide business financial projections to support informative claims: Based on the market skills, business strategy model, and historical performance, students have to develop a bottom-up executive economic forecast. The primary purpose of the projections is to demonstrate competence as well as the ability to build financial projections based on a set of predictions or assumptions.
  • Ease in to make a request: Now the time comes to request either a loan or an investment, which mainly depends on the purpose of the executive summary. Students should restate the term that why the business company requires a value. Remind the audience about the pain and business strategies that you are going through. Finally, recognize the team about doing the job excellently. One can ask for the major plans and amount that can help make a business successful. It is not worth disclosing any of the statements, yet instead, it can be effective through face-to-face negotiation.
  • Recheck the entire summary: When one had written all the essential terms then rereading it can be useful. Carefully proofread the review by considering the audience for the presentation of the documents. Make sure that the language is concise and clear to the audience who is new to the topic.

How is an executive summary of a research paper different from the abstract?

The process of writing an executive summary of your paper is entirely different from a research paper abstract. For writing an of your paper, you cannot follow the same format of writing an abstract. An abstract and an executive summary of the research paper serve different purposes.

An abstract is a glimpse of what the students are going to do in the research paper whereas for the summary; students need to discuss everything and every part of the research paper in brief without missing any fact and crucial point.

So while writing an executive of your research paper, you have o write everything from the aim of the paper to the solutions of the problem along with the references. On the other hand, while writing an abstract of the paper, there is no need to write all these.


Now, you should have the knowledge to draft a compelling summary for your document. From the above content, you would have learned everything about writing an executive summary.

If even you lack somewhere while writing a useful summary of your paper, the helpers of can assist in writing an executive summary of the paper.

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