WRITING & How to Write an Executive Summary

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I encourage my students and the Missional Coaches I train to write “executive summaries” of books and articles they read. It is a helpful way to help other students who haven’t read the book/article.

Below are some brief bulleted points describing what constitutes an executive summary. (BTW, an executive summary of a book/article is different than an executive summary of a business plan which serves as an overview of a business proposal).

An Executive Summary is:

+ Often about 10% of the length of a short document, but not over 10 pages long, + Written to provide an “executive” with,
– An overview of the document and its main points.
– A recommendation to the executive based on the overview.

An executive summary is usually written for an executive that will not read the original document, hence accuracy and a recommendation are paramount.

I suggest that students and Missional Coaches aim for a two page overview, including recommendations.

If the writer is reading the document for their own benefit, then the recommendations would be for improving their own ministry.