Formal Summary and an Executive Summary

Purpose of Assignment 4

Assignment 4 will help you practice the following skills: Reading and understanding complex academic and professional texts

Summarizing material to show comprehension of primary and supporting points

Using writing as a tool for understanding complex ideasChoosing an appropriate style and tone for your intended audienceYou will write an executive summary of a report or a formal summary of an academic or non-fiction article.Your summary will be graded based on the following components:

Adherence to the generic conventions required of a summary (including style and tone)The effectiveness of your chosen method of organization

Correct use of overall grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Appropriate formatting (see below for notes on formatting your assignment)Inclusion of a reference list or works cited

What is a Formal Summary?

A formal summary of an academic article (defined as an article that appears in a peer-reviewed periodical and includes full citations) is generally 1/5th the length of the original.

A formal summary

May or may not follow the organization/ordering of the original article

Does not include commentary or evaluative remarksContains minimal to no direct quotations

Does not usually cite other documents

PAT and Formal SummariesPurpose: to condense an article using a neutral voice; summaries are generally used as reference or informative textAudience: often for personal use or in service of annotated bibliographies or other research projects

Tone: should follow the gist of the original document

For more information, refer to the module notes.

What is an Executive Summary?

An executive summary of a report is a professional document that is generally 1/10th the length of the original.PAT and Executive SummariesPurpose: to provide a condensed version of the content of a longer report AND to make a recommendation for action

Audience: executives and administrators who may not have time to read an entire report

Tone: format

lFor more information, refer to the following PDF document: Executive Summary Info Sheet.pdf

How Do I Format a Formal Summary and an Executive Summary?

Formal Summaries should be formatted according to discipline-specific style guides. For example, if you summarize a humanities article, you should refer to the MLA guidelines for submission of assignments. Your summary should follow the documentation style used in the article you are summarizing.

For more detailed instructions, see Chapter 8: Documentation Styles in Writing by Choice and the module notes. Executive Summaries often feature full-colour cover pages, illustrations, diagrams, headings, and sub-headings. While you are not expected to create a full-colour, illustrated document, you should follow the professional conventions of business reports. For more information, see the module notes.


You must use the summarized source responsibly by including citations for quoted or paraphrased material and an end reference (in a Works Cited or Reference List). Please exercise caution when paraphrasing (to avoid paraphrases that are too close to the original text).

Assignment Instructions

Draft and Submission of Summary

Write either an executive summary of a report or a formal summary of an academic or non-fiction article by selecting either the report or academic article below

Academic Article

Executive Report You must choose one of the two documents above. You are not permitted to select your own text.

2. Write your summary in 800-1000 words, and make it as strong and error-free as possible.3. Add in-text citations and a Works Cited or Reference List clearly citing your source.

executive summary
How Do I Format a Formal Summary and an Executive Summary? 2 excellent ways 2