Examples of good and poor executive summaries or abstracts
A good example of a executive summary from a design/feasibility report
| The operation
of garden taps can pose a difficulty for many tap users.
This report describes and evaluates the
range of possible design solutions the design team has generated.
A lack of commercially available
solutions to the problem was identified and three alternative solutions
were subsequently designed. Evaluation
of the alternative solutions identified a tap handle extension,
named ‘Easy Tap’, as the optimal solution to the problem. This tap
handle extension consists of a channel-type attachment, onto which
a vertical tube is joined, which in turn supports a larger handle
that is over twice the length of the existing tap handle. 'Easy
Tap' is able to slide onto the existing tap handle, its over-size
handle providing a greater torque-moment for the user that overcomes
the difficulty of operating the tap.
A commercial evaluation suggests
that ‘Easy Tap' will not only be a possible design solution to the
problem but will also be a commercially viable solution to the problem.
Purpose of report
Brief details of the approach/method
Important results and/or findings
A POOR example of a executive summary from a design/feasibility report
| When camping
in the wilderness, the night time often brings cold and wet conditions.
Necessary tasks such as
refueling the fire and answering vital ‘calls of nature’ become
daunting since they require you to get out of a warm sleeping bag.
If only there was some way of perform
these tasks while staying inside your sleeping bag: now there is!
This report considers the problem
of keeping the camper warm while allowing them to perform necessary
tasks. The problem is analysed in
depth and alternative solutions are developed. This
report proposes the optimal solution is a traditional sleeping bag
with unconventional twists such as leg sleeves, removable boots
and a fly zipper. ‘The Sleepsuit’
is something new and exciting and should provide some interesting
Sensationalist reporting: Inappropriate
for a formal report
This report should analyse and
evaluate not hard sell. Language is again inappropriate for a formal
Statement of the design problem. This uses
much more appropriate language & writing style.
Outlining what the report did BUT the executive
summary also needs to report on the findings.
The reasons supporting this proposal
should be outlined.
This a technical design report not a marketing
campaign. Let your readers especially your marker make their own
judgement about how interesting the report is to read.
A good example of a executive summary from a research/evaluation report
| A total
knee replacements is “an operation of replacing the function of
a joint with an artificial material when function is lost by trauma
or disease” (Ishikawa & Fujiki, 1996: 68). The replacement is
achieved by removing the damaged articular surfaces and replacing
them with prosthetic devices (or artificial elements) to supply
new bearing surfaces. The
object of this report is to outline in broad terms the information
and engineering considerations required for and the principles involved
in the design of prosthetic knee joints. The
report is intended to provide the executive board with background
information to assess the feasibility of a proposal they have been
asked to assess concerning the design of a prosthetic knee joint.
The knee is a synovial (freely movable)
hinge joint and is particularly vulnerable to injury because of
its exposed position and complicated structure. Maximal function
of a prosthetic knee is achieved by simulating the natural conditions
of the knee as closely as possible. Prosthetic knee designs should
be evaluated on their mechanical properties. The main factors to
be considered when evaluating the designs include accurate simulation
of the normal knee joint mechanism, maximal bone retention and stability
between prosthetic components and the bone. Although there are a
large number of prosthetic knee joints already commercially available
these tend to follow two different models: a hinge model and a sledge
model. There is no range of knee prothesis catering for the problems
caused by specific diseases of knee joints.
Purpose of report
The goal of the work reported on / the scientific or commercial
Brief details outlining the major findings
of the report:
considerations of prosthetic knee design
of the marketplace
of a commercial opportunity
Comments and questions should
be directed to Unilearning@uow.edu.au