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Report Writing
The structure of technical reports

Abstract or Executive Summary

The abstract or executive summary provides a summary of the reportís essential information, is usually about 100 to 200 words in length and is usually presented on a separate page. The abstract / executive summary should summarise:

the background to the problem

the purpose of the report

the goal of the work reported on / the scientific or commercial objective

brief details of the approach, procedure and/or methods

important results and/or findings



The information included in the abstract or executive summary will, however, depend largely on the information that has been included in the report: for example, if the report does not provide recommendations, no recommendations will be outlined in the abstract/ executive summary (Blake & Bly, 1993: 118). The abstract or executive summary should not just be an outline of the points to be covered in the report with no detail of the analysis that has taken place or conclusions that have been reached.

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