Getty Images Whether you've put together a business plan or an investment proposal, you're going to need an executive summary to preface your report. The summary should include the major details of your report, but it's important not to bore the reader with minutiae. Save the analysis, charts, numbers, and glowing reviews for the report itself. This is the time to grab your reader's attention and let the person know what it is you do and why he or she should read the rest of your business plan or proposal.
Investigative reporting, writing techniques In this, the final of the three chapters on investigative journalism, we discuss how to write your stories or compile your reports and we conclude with advice on some ethical and legal problems you may meet along the way.
This is because investigative stories usually make someone appear either bad or stupid, accusations which can lead to legal action against you for defamation. You will probably be safe if your story is true and in the public interest.
But it can lose the protection of the law if there are serious errors.
Someone - probably the people your story exposes as corrupt, dishonest or simply incompetent - will be looking closely for mistakes to attack you on. So you must take extra care. For more on the risks of defamation, see Chapter Writing Writing stories or scripts based on investigative journalism requires all the skills you need for general journalism.
However, given the risks you will face in investigative journalism, a few of the core rules are worth stressing again here: Stick to facts You will be much safer if you stick to facts which you can prove are true. That is why you check your facts and get confirmation for each one.
As you write, stop at each new important fact and say to yourself: If you do not have all the facts you would like, you may have to be satisfied with a lesser story, as long as it makes sense and contains no errors.
Avoid personal comment Do not put in your personal opinions. You may be writing a story about someone who has cheated old people out of their life savings.
You may hate this man, but you must not say it. You might believe he is evil, but you should not say that either. If you show in your story that you hate this man, that could be seen as malice, which will destroy your defence against defamation.
Just show your readers and listeners the facts. If the man is bad, the facts will lead your audience to that conclusion without you telling them what to think. Keep your language simple Keep your sentences short and your language simple and concise. Some investigations will reveal some very complicated facts, perhaps because the person under suspicion has tried very cleverly to hide their wrongdoing.
You must simplify this for your readers or listeners, so they get a clear picture of what has happened. Avoid vague words Wherever possible, avoid using vague words, such as "a large amount" or "some time later".
Words like this show that you do not have accurate details - otherwise you would use them. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but vague words will usually take the strength out of a story.
Check your work You should check your work at each stage and when you have finished, double check everything again.
Ask a colleague to read the story and try to find errors. Do not be upset if they expose errors or big gaps in information. It is better to be told now by a colleague than later in a defamation case.
Wherever possible, show the story to your organisation's lawyer, who will bring a fresh mind to the story and spot any legal problems which might arise. If anyone recommends changes, do not let them write the changes themselves.
They will not know the case as well as you do. Get them to explain what is wrong, rewrite that part yourself, then ask if it is right.
Never settle for anything you are not completely happy with. One final check worth making is to ask yourself: See if they would be able to identify any of your confidential sources from what you have written.
If there is any risk at all, change the story to protect your sources. Perhaps you can use pictures of the victims looking sad, or someone at the scene of an alleged crime.
In complicated stories, a diagram might help to show how the pieces fit together. For example, in a story involving related companies, you should include a simple box diagram showing with lines and arrows how the companies are related.
If your organisation has a graphic artist, ask them for help. In a story about how a government department has been wasting taxpayers' money, you might use a graph to show how the money has disappeared over the years.
If you have a really important document to support your story, include the relevant sections of that document as an illustration. On television, you can type quotations from the document across the screen as the story is being read out.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
Video: How to Write a Summary: Lesson for Kids Did you ever need to tell someone a story but didn't have the time to go through all the small details?
If so, you were in need of a . Providing educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction. Wikipedia:How to write a plot summary.
Jump to navigation Jump to search. This but there's also no reason that a plot summary has to cover the events of the story in the order in which they appear (though it is often useful).
The point of a summary is not to reproduce the experience—it's to explain the story. For example, to describe. Quick Start Summary Use this summary to start creating your screenplay right away. Then use it for a handy reference to detailed information as you write.
There are two basic types of summaries: a reader summary, that you compose to develop a better understanding of what you have read, or a summary essay, which is written for others and is an overview of an original text.