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How to Cite an Executive Summary


Executive summaries are single page reports that detail a much longer document by including a brief synopsis of the subject or problem, its purpose, and the results, conclusions and recommendations. This report helps prepare business executives for meetings and briefings that would otherwise require extensive reading and analysis. As a result, these documents contain a good deal of information and can be used as a source when writing a paper. When citing information from an executive summary, treat the bibliography entry as you would treat an abstract entry, although online versions and print versions will differ.

Set up your page so that your citations are double spaced with the hanging indent option selected so that each subsequent line of an entry will be slightly more to the right than the first line.

Begin your citation with the name of the author, last name first, regardless of whether or not the summary is online or in print. If the document is in print, follow the name with the title of the document in quotations, followed by a period inside the second quotation mark. If the article is online, follow the author's name with the date of publication in parenthesis, followed by a period.

For example, to cite a paper or study by John Doe entitled Study of the Enjoyment of Mushrooms in the journal of American Eating. If the document is a print version, your citation would look like this: Doe, John. "Study of the Enjoyment of Mushrooms." If online, it would look like this: Doe, John. (2002).

Follow the document name in the print citation with the word Executive Summary in brackets, followed by the journal or series it appears in written in italics and the exact date of publication. If the document is online, follow the date with the title of the document without quotations, the words Executive Summary in brackets and the name of the journal or series in italics.

Thus, in print we would have: Doe, John. "Study of the Enjoyment of Mushrooms." [Executive Summary]. Journal of American Eating. 23 June 2002 and online we would have Doe, John. (2002). Study of the Enjoyment of Mushrooms [Executive Summary]. Journal of American Eating.

Complete both citations by adding the volume number of the journal or series in italics, followed by the edition in parenthesis in regular text and the page numbers. Use commas to separate the edition and page numbers. In print, add the word Print to the end of the citation to indicate that it was a physical document and use a colon after the date.

The finished print citation would look like this: Doe, John. "Study of the Enjoyment of Mushrooms." [Executive Summary]. Journal of American Eating. 23 June 2002: 36(2), 32. Print.

Complete the online source citation by adding a comma between the name of the journal and the volume and leaving off the word print. The finished online executive summary citation would look like this: Doe, John. (2002). Study of the Enjoyment of Mushrooms [Executive Summary]. Journal of American Eating, 36(2), 32.

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About the Author

Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.