Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Rodney P. Rice, PhD


In an effort to put technical reports into a multimedia format, this thesis explored audience analysis and multimedia issues related to executive summaries. While multimedia has been shown to be effective at conveying complex information in certain environments, little research has been done to apply this technology to technical reporting. This thesis concentrates on the executive summary audience because the executive summary is the most read and most important section of a report. To analyze the audience, I conducted telephone interviews with report readers using an interview form I developed based on Mathes and Stevenson's guidelines for conducting an audience analysis. I included a section to assess the readers' perceptions of the usefulness of four forms of multimedia--sound, video, hypertext, and CD-ROM--for effectively retrieving information from an executive summary. The data results show on average a well educated, middle aged group of readers with considerable experience in their jobs. In the multimedia assessment, hypertext was rated the most useful at retrieving information from an executive summary, with video, CD-ROM, and sound following in that order. For report writers, then, the data helps to narrow down the type of information to include and what multimedia format to consider when preparing an executive summary.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology