Effective Board Reporting | Free Guidance and Resources
High-performing boards rely on high-quality information, around which they form their judgements and decisions. Yet research from the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland and Board Intelligence suggests that in many organisations board packs are a barrier rather than an aid. Too often they are dominated by inward- and backward-looking detail, rather than the sort of information that will help the board to plan its future strategy. Furthermore, the sheer volume of information that board and committee members are presented with makes it unlikely they can read it all, let alone absorb it or pick out the key issues.
The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland and Board Intelligence have produced three resources to help organisations with the preparation and presentation of their board reporting:
- A ‘ cost calculator ’, which will enable organisations to quantify how much time and money they spend on producing this information
- A self-assessment tool that will enable organisations to assess the length and balance of their board packs and identify ways in which they can be improved
- Guidance to help governance professionals and those who commission and prepare papers to address some of the challenges identified by this research.
Both the calculator and the self-assessment tool provide organisations with a mandate for change, but our Effective Board Reporting guidance provides practical steps to bring about that change.
The guidance sets out a roadmap for those who want to provide their board with the very best information and insight. It is intended to be shared with the board and senior team and has been written with each of their perspectives in mind. Since knowing how to solve the problem yourself is only part of the challenge, securing a mandate to take the rest of the organisation with you is even more important.
The guidance consists of four sections, each of which deals with one of the main stages in the development of a board pack:
- identifying the information the board needs;
- commissioning board papers;
- writing board papers; and
- collating and distributing the board pack.
Download the guidance
Once you have used the calculator to uncover the cost of producing your board packs, you can use a newly developed board reporting assessment tool to help you see if the cost you are putting in equals the value you are getting out.
The assessment tool allows organisations to assess their board reports in the following three areas:
- Style – the quantity and accessibility of their reports
- Scope and content – the quality and effectiveness of their reports
- Process – the efficiency, security and timeliness of their board reporting cycle.
Try the self-assessment tool now
The cost calculator allows users to uncover the hidden cost of board reporting to understand just how much time and money your organisation is spending on board reports.
Easy-to-use and free to access, the board reporting calculator covers the time spent writing, reviewing, compiling and distributing board and committee papers; and the time the board and committee members spend reading those papers. You simply input readily available information, including the number of boards, committees and members, the average number of meetings per year, the average pack length and how the papers are distributed. This data is then adjusted for size, sector and regulatory burden, generating a cost per year in pounds sterling or euros, as well as the number of days needed to prepare the board papers.
Try the cost calculator now
Earlier in 2017, the Institute and Board Intelligence surveyed 80 governance professionals representing organisations of all sizes and sectors on how board reporting (i.e. the preparation of reports and other papers that are discussed at board meetings) operated in their organisations. The aim was to understand the main challenges to effective board reporting, in order to identify actions that could be taken to assist organisations to address these challenges.
The Challenges to Effective Board Reporting research identifies the main obstacles to effective board reporting and paves the way to find solutions.
Download the research
11 Steps To Writing Effective Board Papers Every Time
If you’re not entirely sure what board papers are, let’s start there. Board papers outline key information on the discussion points, decisions and actions required for a board meeting and are usually a few pages in length. This is not to be confused with board minutes , which are different.
Generally speaking, guidelines for a board paper include:
- An executive summary
- Background information and context
- Discussion points and actions
Board papers are a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to governance, giving the key decision-makers the information they need and keeping board meetings as structured and effective as possible. Without being part of the day-to-day running of a business, the board of directors rely on the information given to them in board reports to make the right decisions.
Without the right information and presentation, there may be oversights and misunderstandings that can have knock-on effects on the rest of the business. So, as someone who prepares documents for the board, how can you ensure that you’re writing effective board papers each and every time? Let’s take a look.
Why do you need to write board papers effectively?
The purpose of the board of directors is to make sure that the business is heading in the right direction and the right activities are taking place. That’s why they need to be aware of any issues that may stand in the way of business progress.
As some boards meet semi-regularly, well-prepared board papers are vital in equipping directors with the information they need to make effective, timely decisions. Too often they are overwhelming in volume and information, yet still insufficient for good decision-making.
11 steps to help write effective board papers every time
The impact of board papers on meetings and effective decision-making is often overlooked. Here are a few steps that will help ensure you write effective board papers every time:
1. Write for the reader
During the development of board papers, keep in mind that you are writing for the reader. Know what purpose your documents have and what information is necessary and unnecessary for the board to know to make strategic decisions. Often, high-level insights at a departmental level, as well as overviews of the available data, will give the board everything they need.
Top tip: Don’t forget that a picture is worth a 1,000 words – instead of going into detail, it’s appropriate to use graphs, pie charts and/or tables as applicable to better display information and data trends.
2. Write in plain English
Too much jargon can decrease the value of the information and divert attention from what is actually important. Remember to write in plain and simple English to make it easy for anyone and everyone. Each director on the board will have their own expertise, so marketing jargon isn’t relevant for a board that includes someone who deals only with finances, and vice versa.
As part of the general board paper process, use a formal business writing style to keep the content relevant and understandable for all involved. If there is unavoidable jargon, technical terms or legalese , try to include a glossary of meanings.
3. Include only new information
As board meetings are often restricted in time, don’t rehash the same content from previous meetings. While reminders and context are appropriate and valuable, presenting ‘old’ information as new is unhelpful and not a good use of the time available.
4. Only share relevant information
Again, time management is key in board meetings, so it’s important to stick to the agenda , keep things moving and get decisions made quickly. Therefore, when preparing board papers, be sure to weed out unnecessary details and only share short and crisp points from the topics covered to achieve maximum effect with minimal information.
Similarly to point 3, context is key, but be mindful of the level of detail included and think about how relevant this is to the decision-making process.
5. Don’t duplicate the management report
For effective board papers, don’t just copy the information from the management report . Here are some critical differences between a management report and a board paper:
While information from the management reports may be appropriate to use, board papers require less detail. Copying and pasting the same information from the management report will not help to have an effective board meeting.
6. facts and evidence are your best friends.
As the author of the board papers, it’s easy to underestimate your knowledge of the context and core reasons behind each statement. Especially as you are editing a wide range of data and evidence into smaller, easy-to-digest points. The reader might not have the same knowledge you do.
Top tip: Back up persuasive statements with evidence that can assure the reader what you say makes sense, without overexplaining.
7. Follow content with strategy
Board paper writers should remember that, after mentioning a step taken, it is useful to follow up with the strategy that was considered. This helps readers understand the goals behind the steps taken.
For example, you might explain to the board that the sales team has started to use an additional method for sales. This may need extra funding. Demonstrate to the board why this was tested initially – perhaps through competitor insights or customer feedback . This helps the board of directors to better understand the journey, context and background before making a decision on the way forward.
8. Properly structure your content
To keep the board documents simple to understand, use a structure that prioritises and clearly showcases the most important topics. This should form an ongoing style for board papers for that particular board. Use the following formatting styles to keep the document clear:
- Create a structured layout . This may include an index or appendix and page numbers.
- Use the house style , preferred options for fonts and relevant branding (including colours as necessary).
- Format headers and titles .
- Use bullet points for key facts rather than lengthy paragraphs.
- Use bold, italic and underline formatting options to highlight key issues.
- If online, share sources of information using hyperlinks .
Good structuring also means creating a logical order to the documents. If one decision can’t be reached until another is made, it’s logical to position the critical decision first to help inform the second decision.
9. Keep it concise, accurate and relevant
Simplify the information you share, and justify it with facts and figures. Only include the most relevant details, and make sure all information is accurate. As needed, link to or share an appendix with relevant sources, previous board meetings or notes to demonstrate accuracy.
In the same vein, double-checking your sources of information and data is crucial. And so is transparency. If there are big decisions to be made, make sure the risks and consequences of each outcome are explored thoroughly, instead of just highlighting the benefits of each option.
10. Keep on editing
Give yourself ample time for board paper preparation. Don’t be scared to edit the document and cut it back. Start by adding the information you think is most relevant, then step back overnight and go through it again the following morning. This will give you a fresh perspective and more of an editing eye.
Don’t refrain from editing, and keep doing so until you feel the information shared is to the point. Your goal is to provide the most relevant and valuable insights to help the board members make a decision. So, don’t be afraid to cut sections out if you don’t think they’re helpful to the process.
11. Understand the value of feedback
Peer feedback helps improve the board paper, especially when seen from a fresh pair of eyes. A great tip for making sure that your points are coherent is to use Google Translate to read the text, and that will allow you to hear any sentences that don’t make sense.
If this is your first time creating a board paper, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Many of the board members will have had previous experience with such papers and may be able to give you some pointers for your next one.
What do directors need from board papers?
Board papers need to clearly demonstrate all necessary information, facts and figures to assist strategic decision-making. Having missing, incomplete or false information can lead to poor decisions and, as a result, a lack of business progress.
Directors and non-executive directors alike have a duty to stay informed when making decisions. In some cases, poor decision-making could lead to removal from their position or even legal action if they’ve not acted fairly or in good faith .
So, what do the directors need from board papers?
- Information on holistic organisation performance
- Details of critical events, corporate crises and large-scale issues
- Changes made or discussed since the previous meeting
- A key summary of the decisions to be made, including relevant context and background
- Balanced and unbiased outcome forecasting, including risks, consequences and benefits
- A plan of action.
What are the ‘Three C’s’?
When it comes to preparing documents for the board, keeping the three C’s of effective communication in mind (or even five C’s , according to some) is critical for success! As you’re writing and editing the documents, remember to keep them Clear, Concise and Complete. Use Clear language and explanations, keep the information brief to make it Concise and make sure all relevant information is included to create Complete board papers.
How long should a board paper be?
The regularity of board meetings and time since the last one can, to an extent, dictate how long a board paper should be. However, keeping it as short as possible (while still concise) is a good idea. Try to keep it to a maximum of three to four pages. This will ensure the meeting is effective. If your board report is longer than this, consider editing it down to only the most relevant information.
What are the three types of board papers?
The three types of board papers are:
- Papers for decision or approval
- Papers for discussion
- Papers for noting
Papers for decision or approval give the board the data they need to make an informed decision. Papers for discussion are generally completed to make the board aware of a certain issue or potential issue; this may need a decision in the future but not immediately. Papers for noting are used to share information where no action or decision is needed.
The type of board paper will help inform the structure and data required.
Following the 11 steps outlined above will keep you on the right track when you’re writing effective board papers. Bear in mind the Three C’s – Clear, Concise and Complete. Focus on presenting the information in an easy-to-understand format. Keep your wording and context relevant and brief.
If you want to speed up the board paper writing process, try board management software such as iBabs . For company secretaries, iBabs can save you hours of preparation and planning for board meetings while helping you to facilitate them safely online.
References and further reading
- The Role of The Board of Directors
- The Subtle Art Of Holding Board Directors Accountable
- Ten Steps To Improving Your Corporate Governance
- Ultimate Guide: How To Run Remote Board Meetings
- [Step-By-Step] The Best Board Report Format + Template
- Minute Taking: The Ultimate Guide For Secretaries
- Robert's Rules of Order: The Meeting Agenda Simplified
- Here Is A Sample Letter To Remove A Board Member With Respect
- Complete Guide to Robert's Rules of Order Minutes + Template
- Chairing a Board Meeting + Script and Pro Tips
- Robert’s Rules of Order: Simplified Beginner’s Guide
- Here’s How You Should Write A Chairperson Report
- How To Take Executive Session Minutes (With An Example)
- Board Meeting Protocol: Rules, Procedure, Etiquette and More
- How to Close a Board Meeting as a Chairman
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Once the agenda has been confirmed the Executive team will pull together board papers for the meeting. Having a standardised board meeting paper template is important to guide the teams to provide informative and succinct material for the directors to review.
People get very focused on their own work and can lose sight that the directors may be reviewing over 30 agenda items. A good board meeting template with a guide on how to include attachments is helpful. The template should also include a draft minute or resolution, which should be one to two sentences long, summarising what the proponent is requesting of the director.
Board meeting paper content examples:
Explain what the paper is about and what it is endeavouring to achieve. Limit the introduction to a paragraph no longer than 5 sentences. It should state why the paper is being submitted to the board.
Proposed Resolution or Draft Minute
Insert the exact wording of the proposed resolution or draft minute the board is being asked to pass. If approved without amendment, this is what will appear in the meeting minutes. The draft resolution must be clear and concise.
Outline the background on what is being proposed to the Board. Provide information necessary for a proposal to be understood by a member who does not have the background knowledge of the particular matter on a day-to-day basis. Unfamiliar terminology or acronyms should be explained.
Summarise any previous Board consideration of the proposal.
If it is not possible to explain the background to a proposal in the space of one page, include attachment(s) and provide further details. The use of graphs and tables can often convey the message more effectively and in less time than text. Avoid getting into the detail unless it is necessary.
Identify any external advice / consultants / information involved in the preparation of the proposal.
Outline the recommendation on one page. Avoid repeating the statements made in the sections above. Recommendations should be sufficiently detailed to stand alone, i.e. to make sense without accompanying text.
Outline the options considered and explain why the preferred option was chosen. Identify the key decision-making criteria and note how each option performs against that criteria. Use a table and/or chart, if this helps communicate the point.
Explain how this proposal is aligned to the strategic business plans.
Explain the financial implications of the proposal in the form of an executive summary. If the financial implications are complex include an attachment and provide further details.
This section might include comments on whether the expenditure is budgeted or unbudgeted, the proposed timing of the expenditure and cash flow implications. If a business case has been prepared for a proposal, the major financial points of the case should be summarised here.
Analyse the major risks associated with the proposal and explain how these risks will be managed. Example table format.
Legal and Compliance
Outline any legal implications of the proposal for the Board considering and approving a proposal.
Outline what KPIs and/or reporting back to the Board will occur during and after implementation.
Identify the manager who will have day to day responsibility for the proposal as well as the executive who will have overarching responsibility.
List external stakeholders, this could be other internal departments or external consultants.
Download the free Board meeting template and Board meeting template formatting guide below:
Board meeting template sample
Board meeting template – formatting guide
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Writing to the board
How to write an executive summary for your board report – and why you should [with examples]
12 minute read
Congratulations: you’ve written your board report. That’s the good news. The not-so-good? Well, unless it’s only a page or two long, I have to tell you that you’re not finished yet.
Now you need to write the executive summary: in other words, a condensed version of your full document. This is (arguably) the most important part of your entire report.
Why write an executive summary?
As we’ve said before , your job as board-report writer is to make it as easy as possible for the board to take the decision you want them to take. The executive summary plays a key role here.
A good executive summary will begin to guide your board towards making that decision for you. A really good one will guide their decision from reading the summary alone.
What’s an executive summary for?
Remember that your board members are busy people. They are unlikely to have very much time to devote to your report. They may not have the time (or, forgive them, the inclination) to read the whole thing.
That’s where the executive summary comes in. It’s there for the people who can’t (or won’t) read the whole report. An effective one gives those readers enough information to form an opinion or commit to an action.
What goes in an executive summary?
Most importantly, your executive summary needs to stand alone. Your reader must be able to read it and get all your most important points, your conclusions, and your recommendations.
To make sure you’re including the most significant, relevant points – and only those points – go back to your reader-profiling exercise from writing the full report . You’ll have asked yourself questions like ‘Who will read the paper?’ ‘What do they want from it?’ and most importantly, ‘How interested are they?’
Identify the crucial information
Now go further: where specifically do their interests lie and why? What motivates or drives them, if you know (or can find out)?
Maybe one is a financial director whose priority would be maximising profits or making savings – and specifically how much could be made or saved over what period. Meanwhile, your director of operations will be focused on resources and delivery.
What about any non-executive directors? They may have a remit to question your ideas from a strategic perspective. What will they be looking for? A link to a corporate plan or vision, maybe? Maybe you have a data-driven director who would be moved by a very specific statistic or a well-chosen graph or graphic.
Don’t include too much detail. You should aim to get your summary onto one side of paper – that’s about 400 words. And you should be clear in the summary about what you want the board to do after they’ve read it (or your full paper).
And write your executive summary after you’ve finished your report. It’s easier to whittle down a well-planned and structured report into a succinct summary than to try to summarise up front and then expand into a report.
So, how do you structure the executive summary?
If your board report template comes with a structure for your executive summary too, use it. It may not suit your report, but it’s how your board want it. Or you may have a structured report template but more freedom to write the summary in the order you choose. In this case, you may find one of the following structures works well.
And if you have no template and free rein over how you write both elements, it’s worth mirroring the same structure in the report and summary.
A simple executive summary structure
For a simple summary of a report, you could try this:
- Purpose: start with the purpose of your report and remind the reader of what the piece of work you are reporting on is. Keep this part very short: three or four sentences at most.
- Background or methods: Either the background or what you did. Again, three or four sentences at most. Don’t tell the story of your project.
- Findings and conclusions: What you found out and/or the conclusions you came to. You might need a little more detail here but still keep it short.
- Recommendations: Your way forward and what you want the board to endorse.
This structure could work like this:
The purpose of this report Our Gidgetty Widget production line cannot keep up with demand. This report updates you on our progress in updating and improving the line. We ask you to endorse the proposal under ‘The way forward’ below. Our investigation We looked at the current production line and where we can improve productivity. We also looked at current and potential demand for Gidgetty Widgets over the next five years. What we discovered There is scope to expand production on our line to meet current demand. However, Gidgetty Widget demand is likely to grow at 10% a year and we will not be able to keep up with demand in 2025. We need to outsource production to a third party or build a new production line. The quickest and most cost-effective method is to outsource. The way forward We believe that we should outsource production to one or more third parties. We ask the board to allow us to share our intellectual property with suitable companies so that we can plan and cost for the future.
However, if you’re feeling bolder, you may find one of the following structures even more effective.
Sad but true: the board may not read the full report you slaved over. So make sure the executive summary can do the job by itself. Here’s how, via @EmphasisWriting Click To Tweet
Persuade with the Four Ps
If you want to make a case for something or persuade the board, you could use the 4Ps. The 4Ps is a persuasive summary structure in four parts, each of which begins with the letter P.
It looks like this:
- Position: start with where you are now. A simple statement will do. You don’t want anything controversial here. The point is to get the reader nodding from the outset.
- Problem: give the reason that you can’t stay where you are. This is the reason that you’re writing to the board in the first place. It could be an opportunity rather than a problem.
- Possibilities: outline all the ways to address the problem or seize the opportunity. This can include the option of doing nothing, which is always a possibility.
- Proposal: define your suggested way forward with your reasoning.
The summary above would look like this if we used the 4Ps:
The current situation Annual turnover from sales of Gidgetty Widgets is £50 million. We sell them in 44 different countries. Our production line produces 500,000 Gidgetty Widgets every year. We can’t keep up with demand We currently sell every widget we can produce. Our demand forecasts suggest that we need to increase production to 700,000 a year by 2025 or we will lose sales to our competitors. Three ways forward 1. We can expand our production line. We believe that we can increase production to 650,000 a year by 2023. However, we cannot expand production beyond this level. This would be affordable but will limit us to a maximum production of 650,000 widgets a year. By 2024 we will be unable to meet demand. 2. We can outsource extra production to third-party companies. This has the advantage of being cheaper than the cost of upgrading our production line and is also scalable to meet future demand. The disadvantage is that we will have to share our IP with third-party companies, which is a significant risk. 3. We could continue production at current levels and accept that we will not be able to meet demand. This has the advantage of costing nothing. But we will be at risk of our competitors launching products to compete with Gidgetty Widgets. Our recommendations We should outsource production. We will be able to keep up with all future demand and we believe that we can mitigate the risks to our IP.
The 4Ps is a great way to take your readers through your thinking. It works well for summaries, and it’s especially good for presentations and pitches.
Try putting your request first
If you don’t need to persuade but only to ask for a decision, you could try putting what you’re asking for first, like this:
This paper asks the board to approve sharing our Gidgetty Widget IP with external suppliers so that we can outsource production in the future.
Then follow with a summary of your background , reasoning , and costings .
This structure gets straight to the point when you are asking the board to agree to a decision or course of action. It makes it clear up front what the purpose of your paper is and what you are asking for. It may seem a little blunt and to the point but, remember, your board members are busy. They may appreciate your clarity and directness.
Or start with your update’s purpose
Sometimes we have to write to the board to update them on something we’re working on. This may include asking them to approve some additional work. In this case, try leading with why you’re writing to them and what you want them to do, like this:
This paper updates the board with our progress on updating our Gidgetty Widget production line. It includes budget reports, schedule updates and projected production start dates. We ask the board to approve the schedules and budgets for the next 12 months.
This tells the board exactly what to expect from the report in the first two sentences. You should then follow it with your summary updates for spending, scheduling and so on. You will have included the detail in the full report that follows.
This structure also works for regular update reports where you are simply reporting on progress and not asking the board to do anything other than note what you are telling them. In this case, you might want to pull out the highlights of what has changed since the last update, and put them up front in your executive summary.
Never be vague in a board report – or the summary document. If you are unclear about aspects of your project, you should make it clear that there are areas of ambiguity in your report. Or you should resolve the ambiguities before you write anything.
Assume that some of your readers do not share your knowledge and expertise. Be careful with jargon and explain all abbreviations and acronyms when you use them the first time, no matter how familiar they may seem to you. As always, board reports are no place for fashionable business speak. So avoid talk of deep dives , pivoting , circling back , and the new normal , please.
Formatting your executive summary
As with your full report, use formatting to make your document even more readable. Allow white space with decent-sized margins, and don’t use a tiny font to fit more text on the page (don’t go lower than 11-pt).
A few well-placed subheadings will help your reader to navigate your summary. Make sure they’re engaging rather than generic, and that they tell the reader something about what follows. Instead of ‘Background’ try ‘How did we get here?’, for example.
If you have a list, try using bullet points. But only use bullet points once in a one-page summary.
And always take the time to proofread the summary (and report). Your reputation is on the line here. Don’t do yourself the disservice of leaving a howling typo where all the board can see it.
It’s likely that more people will read your executive summary than will read the whole board report. That makes it one important page of text.
Make sure your executive summary can do the job you need it to by carefully selecting the critical information that your board members need to understand the project or situation or to take a decision. As we’ve said before, this means thinking carefully about your specific reader(s) and what will matter most to them.
Keep it short and keep it as simple as you can make it. Be clear and be precise. As always, make your board’s job easy for them.
Looking to train up a team in writing reports the board will want to read? Have a look at our in-house Writing exceptional board reports training , and get in touch if you’d like to talk with us about tailoring it to your needs.
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David wrote his first organisational policy more than 25 years ago and wishes he’d known then what he knows now about creating them. After over 25 years working in the communications departments of international charities and large organisations, he now trains and develops learning programmes for Emphasis. He has written for and worked with organisations including Amnesty International, the National Trust and the NHS, creating and implementing style and tone-of-voice guides, and developing and delivering business-writing training. These years of experience have given David an understanding of the key role an organisation's culture plays in developing its people – and their business-writing skills.
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Key governance skills – how to write for your board
The fundamentals of good corporate governance together should give assurance – with accountability, probity and transparency. This training course gives insight and intelligence on what makes governance effective through the medium of board papers.
GGI Academy offers a look into the importance of well-structured and well-written board papers. The course includes:
The fundamentals of corporate governance
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How to present the paper to board
This session can be extended and tailored to your organisation’s needs by either discussing current papers, considering how to tackle a burning issue or using exercises to put into practice lessons learnt during the session.
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Better board packs - a guide for writing and using board papers
Date: 15 August 2023
Author: Tara Granea, Independent Director - Governance, Tchoukball UK
The SGA posted a poll on the Huddle recently, asking respondents to rate the quality of their board papers. So far, 18% consider their packs to be very good, 47% feel they are good, while 35% find them to be variable. Chief among the factors cited in comments accompanying the responses were length, uncertainty as to what should be included, a lack of consistency in the format of papers presented to the board, and a need for clarity as to what is required of the board on any given paper.
Tara Granea, Independent Director - Governance at Tchoukball UK, has kindly shared a paper aimed at both those writing board papers and the board members who use them as the basis for their decision-making responsibilities.
Board Members – How to use board papers effectively.
What is the point of board papers?
Board papers are a key source of information for you as board members, alongside providing an audit trail to accompany the minutes. As board members, you have a duty and expectation to keep yourselves informed on business matters and direction, but relevant briefing material upon which to base decisions and discussions is vital from the management.
What information will be presented to me?
Management will begin with a statement of what is being asked of you as a board member, together with a short executive summary to grasp the key concepts before providing more in-depth information. The writer will draw out key messages and conclusions to inform your reading.
To guide your reading, follow these three questions:
- Can I understand what the management will achieve following this paper?
- What are my responses and thoughts to this request?
- Is there any further information I need in order to make an informed decision or discussion?
How can I use this information strategically?
To think strategically, begin by understanding the complex relationship between your organisation and its environment. There are multiple layers to every action affecting those internally and externally. Using that knowledge and perspective, you can then make decisions that facilitate enduring success.
Be curious, identify patterns and think creatively, using your experiences to connect the dots in novel ways. Try to avoid shutting down an idea simply because 'it’s been tried before’ or pursuing an idea because ‘that’s how it’s always been.’
Don't be afraid of constructive tension. Disagreements are inevitable. Therefore, be transparent and understanding in conveying your thoughts to support high-quality conversation and well-defined actions.
Research around the topic to ensure you have the most up to date understanding but be sure to collect your thoughts before the meeting in order to synthesise and share your knowledge.
Follow through on your ideas – strategic change only comes about by putting new and innovative ideas into action. Ensure you channel your energy and vision into supporting and guiding the organisation implement these ideas.
Contributors – How to write effective board papers.
Board papers are a key source of information for board members, alongside providing an audit trail to accompany the minutes. Board members have a duty to keep themselves informed on matters but relevant briefing material upon which to base decisions is vital from the management.
What information does the board need?
To guide your writing, follow these three questions:
- What do we want to achieve through this paper?
- What do we want the board’s response to be?
- What information does the board need from my paper?
Clearly present all key information and facts, indicating any actions required but avoiding in-depth operational details.
How can this be displayed?
- Begin with a statement of what is being asked of the board alongside a short executive summary so that board members can grasp the key concepts before reviewing them in greater detail. Make key messages and conclusions easy to find.
- Think visual – remember that everyone absorbs information in different ways. Would a graph, table or infographic be a better way to provide key information to board members?
- Think about using a question-and-answer format to structure your paper and thinking to break it down into manageable chunks.
- Include technical information or statistics in an appendix, with key points, metrics and information drawn out in the paper.
- Consider the ratio of information to insight – have you provided fields of information without drawing out conclusions for the members? What is the significance of the data you have shared with the board?
- Consider the risks of not taking the action recommended in the paper as well as the benefits.
Five Things to Ask Yourself
- Put yourself in their place. Imagine you know a limited amount about the topic area, or that the last update you received was a couple of months ago. What information would you need in 5-10 bullet points to be able to make an informed decision?
- Are you afraid of missing something out? Short papers demonstrate your knowledge on a topic to be able to write about it concisely. A clear brief enables you to cover all bases concisely without drowning in detail so ask for clarity where needed.
- Are you trying to write a story? Long narratives do not support the board – they need to know what is being asked and why, supported by topline details.
- Have I taken time to reflect? By making time to reflect on the contents of the paper, you can steer the boardroom conversation that follows on from it.
- Think and plan before you start to write.
- Keep a logical order to the points you want to make.
- Keep your sentences short – an average of 15 to 20 words about one main idea.
- Choose active verbs – ‘we will do it’ rather than ‘it will be done’.
- Use everyday English, where possible, choosing shorter, familiar words. Avoid jargon and legalistic words and always explain any technical terms.
- Avoid nominalisations – changing verbs or other words into nouns: e.g. ‘judgement’ rather than ‘judge’, or ‘development’ rather than ‘develop’.
- Imagine you are in conversation with your reader. Write sincerely in a suitable tone of voice. Read through aloud what you have written – does it flow, make sense, and support your request?
- Papers are written for the board, not for management.
- Do not assume the board members all share the writer’s in-depth knowledge.
- Consider the structure and presentation of your paper.
- Include both the benefits and risks for a full rounded view.
- Focus on quality and not quantity – the aim is to create better informed board members.
- Information can be highlighted, or questions can be asked during the board meeting itself for further clarification and discussion.
Tara Granea is an Independent Director - Governance at Tchoukball UK.
You can join in the conversation. Please help the SGA community by taking part in our polls on board packs and sharing your thoughts and observations in the comments on the Huddle.
- Poll 1 - "How would you describe the quality of the board papers provided to your board?"
- Poll 2 - "The main problem with our board papers is that they are..."
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- Resources & insights
Top ten tips for better board papers
The quality of board papers can have a strong influence on the efficiency and effectiveness of the board. This primer provides guidance for those preparing board papers.
- Board practices
- Decision making
- Board meetings
The impact of board papers on meetings and decision making is often overlooked. A focused agenda is the framework for a focused meeting.
Board papers are typically assembled by the CEO in close consultation with the chair. The chair is the official ‘owner’ of the board agenda and should oversee its preparation.
The quality of board papers is enhanced by a dynamic of trust and confidence between the chair and CEO. A chair should expect that the CEO will identify and prioritise the right topics for the board. Both parties should maintain a dialogue about the board papers including feedback on areas that need improvement and those that work well.
Further support information on board papers can be found in the IoD’s The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice , section 3.10.
Tip 1 - Tone: Write for your reader
Tone is number one for a reason. Put simply, tone involves asking some basic questions:
- Why am I writing this?
- Who am I writing it for?
- What do I want the readers know, consider or understand?
Many experienced writers fail to write with a focus on the governance matters the board is there to deal with. Your director audience is looking for accessible and relevant information. Asking the questions above can help in planning your paper. You should also be clear what you want your reader to do – is this paper ‘for information’, ‘for decision’ or some other action?
Does your report pass the tone test?
Tip 2 - What does your reader know?
Remember that a non-executive director might attend a handful of meetings per year. Therefore, the context and background to the paper is important. Include ‘reminder’ detail as appropriate. Avoid the risk of assuming the reader knows what you know.
Does your report pass the reader test?
Tip 3 - It’s not a duplicate management report
It’s an error to simply duplicate management reports for the board without assessing them for relevance. Generally, directors don’t need basic detail about the day-to-day running of the organisation. It’s worth looking twice at content that won’t help the board make their decisions.
There’s no strict rule about what is ‘in or out’ because the line between operational and strategic decision making can vary. The principle here is that governance and management often need different data to do their job with excellence.
Is your report written for the board or a duplicate of what your managers see?
Tip 4 - ‘Weed the garden’: What information really needs to be included for the board?
A succinct, concise paper with plenty of thought in preparation is a winning paper. Don’t be afraid to cut out unnecessary operational detail if the paper calls for a strategic decision. Avoid the temptation to think more always means better. Boards usually have limited time to discuss your paper so getting to the key issues is important. Make it clear that further supporting information is available if appropriate. If a director wants greater detail, he or she will seek it out.
Have you weeded the information during the editing phase?
Tip 5 - Persuasive statements should be backed with evidence
Writers often make a point they understand intimately but forget to provide evidence. For example, “…The project is important for organisation efficiency.”
To the writer, this is a given. The reader needs to know why. So link it together:
“…The project is important for organisation efficiency. It will reduce double-handling of customers. ”
To assume the board remembers every detail of previous discussions is not a winning formula. Boards also need to know where data in a paper came from to assess it for its merits. There’s no harm in reminding the board of its own views and decisions in in the past. For example: “The board previously took a view there was merit in the project. (Minutes of July 2012 Board meeting)"
Have you backed your argument with evidence and ensured the paper is properly referenced?
Tip 6 - Align content to strategy as appropriate
The board considers strategy and risk. It uses the approved strategic plan and goals to frame its thinking. It is therefore useful to point out where a proposal or project aligns with the strategic intent of the board. For example:
“…Approval of a new employee performance system is a step forward for the company by increasing the monitoring capability. This aligns with the strategic goal for 2012 that we improve our monitoring of staff training and performance. ”
Remember references to current strategy in board papers.
Tip 7 - Structure
Like any reader, your director audience is looking for a user friendly structure. Write with an emphasis on order of priority. Cue the reader with words like ‘priority,’ ‘primary’ or ‘important’ to demonstrate the relative value of the point.
Where possible, try using graphic and tabular material for easy reference. Dashboard reporting can distil complex information into accessible. The appendix can be used to park relevant but low priority reference detail. Bullet points can truncate sentences.
But don’t overdo it.
Is your report the optimal structure for easy navigation and readability?
Tip 8 - Simplify and justify
Keep it concise, accurate and relevant.
Writing factually and objectively can be a real challenge when you are close to the subject matter. But doing so will give the board a more balanced viewpoint from which to consider your points.
Are you keeping it simple and proving your point?
Tip 9 - Edit, edit and edit again
There’s real value in revisiting your paper with a critical eye. Sometimes a paper left for 24 hours takes on a whole new complexion.
Are you editing for precision?
Tip 10 - Value peer review and re-drafting opportunities
Peer review and commentary is a valuable feedback loop, especially if it is a large paper. A new pair of eyes reads to comprehend (and not justify) what has been written. Peers and editors can make major contributions by offering ways to drive more sense from a sentence.
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The book is available on this site for a$34.95 with a$10 postage for one book..
Payment is via with PayPal, but you can also pay with a credit card. Email [email protected] if you’d like to pay by direct debit. The book is also available as a print book and Kindle book on Amazon. Or Organisations can buy a licence for the PDF. The price depends on the number of users. Email me for a quote.
What readers are saying
‘I reviewed the first edition of this book and loved it. Now it is back in a much improved new version with thoughtful additions such as an up to date focus on electronic papers and the use of board portals.
‘The book is practical, authoritative and (of course) well written. It is a ‘must read’ for senior executives who want to improve their standing with the board and a ‘must have’ for any board that wants to increase its satisfaction with the written reports and papers that plague its meetings.
‘This book will make the lives of directors easier and improve their governance by enabling reporting to add value to decision-making.’
Julie Garland McLellan, boardroom expert
A definitive guide to writing board papers ‘If like me you are required to write board papers and have never had formal training, then this is the book for you.
‘From the minutiae of when to capitalise or use colons, to the standard principles, format and structures required for good papers. This book has it all.
‘A lighthouse in the fog of confusion. Thank you!’
Quality writing matters ‘Useful to remind us that quality writing matters. A good read for those writing report to boards. Worth investing time in.’
The first section covers the board’s role and looks at conventions for noting and decision papers. It also includes advice on templates. The second section covers every aspect of the writing process – planning, writing and proofreading – and includes chapters on visuals (graphs and tables) and PowerPoint.
Part 1: Board paper conventions
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The Best College Paper Writing Services for Busy Students
Posted: November 9, 2023 | Last updated: November 9, 2023
Embarking on the journey of higher education is akin to setting sail on a vast sea of knowledge—thrilling yet fraught with challenges. As students navigate the rigorous demands of college life, the academic load can often swell to seemingly impossible heights. One of the most daunting tasks is the crafting of research papers and essays, particularly on intricate topics, which demands an investment of time and intellect that can heavily burden an already stretched-thin student. Amidst this academic tempest, the allure of a professional college paper writing service becomes a beacon of relief. By enlisting such support, students can effectively unburden themselves from the stress of complex writing assignments. This article illuminates the path to academic ease and excellence by reviewing the top 4 paper writing services for college students 2023, offering a lifeboat in the sea of academic obligations.
Top 4 College Paper Writing Services
- 99papers.com - Optimal Price-Quality Match (Rated 4.9/5 ⭐)
- EssayBox.org - Guaranteed Timely Delivery (Rated 4.9/5 ⭐)
- BookwormLab.com - Premium Service with Professional Writers (Rated 4.7/5 ⭐)
- EssayFactory.uk - Top for all you need around UK topics (4.6/5 ⭐)
- Essays.io - Extensive Repository of Complimentary College Papers (Rated 4.5/5 ⭐)
99papers.com: Best Paper Writing Service
Website Link: 99papers.com
In a landscape of academic demands, 99papers.com emerges as an invaluable ally for college students. Since its inception, 99papers has been working to alleviate academic pressure, positioning itself as a reliable pillar in the custom writing service industry. With years of steadfast service, it has honed its craft, evolving with the needs and feedback of a diverse student body.
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Established with the intent to cater to the burgeoning needs of students, 99papers.com has weathered the dynamic changes in academic requirements over the years. It has successfully carved a niche by consistently delivering bespoke educational content that echoes the individuality and intellect of its clients.
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Understanding the multifaceted nature of college assignments, 99papers boasts a vast repertoire of writing services. From the more traditional essays, term papers, and research papers to the more complex dissertations and theses, their offerings encompass every academic writing need. Moreover, they assist with homework and projects and even cater to specific requests for help with annotations and bibliographies.
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- Affordability : One of the cornerstones of 99papers’ popularity is its pricing structure. Balancing cost and quality provides an economical solution for students often constrained by tight budgets. Their pricing is transparent, and there are no hidden fees, making it accessible for students from various socioeconomic backgrounds.
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Savings on the Scholar's Budget
Sensitivity to a student’s financial situation is apparent, as 99papers.com regularly offers discount codes to alleviate the cost burden. New customers are greeted with welcome discounts while returning students benefit from a loyalty program that rewards their continued patronage with incremental savings.
In Their Own Words: Testimonials That Matter
The accurate measure of 99papers’ impact is reflected in the testimonials of its users. These personal accounts often highlight the stress-relieving aspect of the service, the impeccable quality of writing, and the punctual delivery. It's not uncommon to read testimonies of students who credit 99papers with not just their A-grades but also with providing them with the breathing room to enjoy college life beyond the confines of their study desks.
Through its comprehensive service offerings, steadfast dedication to quality, and empathetic pricing, 99papers.com stands out as a top-tier academic writing service. It is more than just a tool for achieving top grades; it's a strategic academic partner for navigating the rigours of college education in 2023.
Essaybox.org: Professional Paper Writing Service
Website Link: EssayBox.org
Essaybox.org is a testament to excellence in the custom essay writing service industry. With a significant history of serving students worldwide, it has become a trusted name for those seeking a blend of quality, reliability, and integrity in their academic submissions.
Provenance and Expertise
Over the years, Essaybox.org has built its reputation on a foundation of trust and professionalism, emerging as a premier service that understands the nuanced needs of the collegiate community. It has dedicated itself to supporting students through the stress of academic life, ensuring they have the resources to excel.
Wide-Ranging Paper Solutions
This platform caters to a comprehensive array of academic needs. Whether it's crafting detailed research papers, engaging essays, insightful case studies, or assisting with coursework, Essaybox.org's suite of services is designed to cover the full spectrum of academic writing. They extend their expertise to book reports, speeches, and articles, ensuring that quality writing is accessible for every assignment type.
Key Benefits: A Trifecta of Assurances
- Expert ENL Writers : Essaybox.org takes pride in its team of experienced native English-speaking writers, ensuring that every paper is of the highest linguistic standard. The eloquence and command over the language these writers possess are evident in the articulate and nuanced documents they produce.
- Customer Satisfaction : The platform has consistently maintained high customer satisfaction rates, reflecting its commitment to meeting the specific requirements of each assignment with a personalised touch.
- Plagiarism-Free Content : Originality is a non-negotiable aspect of academic integrity, and Essaybox.org underscores this by conducting thorough plagiarism checks. Each paper is guaranteed to be unique, fostering confidence in the students who use their services.
Discount Codes and Budget-Friendly Options
Recognising the economic constraints of student life, Essaybox.org offers various discount codes. These discounts aim to make their services more affordable, ensuring that financial limitations do not impede access to quality writing assistance.
Accolades from Users: Testimonials
The real merit of Essaybox.org’s services shines through in the glowing testimonials from satisfied students. These testimonials often speak of the impeccable research, attention to detail, and impeccable customer service that defines the Essaybox.org experience. For many, it's not just about submitting assignments on time but about learning from the well-crafted papers they receive, which can serve as excellent study materials.
In the domain of academic writing services, Essaybox.org distinguishes itself by offering an intersection of skilled ENL writers, guaranteed customer satisfaction, and rigorous plagiarism checks, all the while being mindful of the student's budget. Its solid track record and commendable customer feedback solidify its status as a go-to resource for students aiming for academic excellence in 2023.
Bookwormlab.com: College Paper Writing Service
Website Link: BookwormLab.com
Bookwormlab.com has etched its name in the domain of academic writing services with a consistent presence that resonates with reliability and dedication. Serving as an educational cornerstone for students across the globe, it has spent years perfecting the art of customised paper writing.
Stalwart Academic Companion
Throughout its operational years, Bookwormlab.com has grown in stature and capability, becoming a stalwart companion to students needing writing assistance. Its longevity in the business is a testament to its unwavering commitment to student success and its adaptability to the evolving landscapes of education.
A Library of Paper Options
The service extends its expertise across many paper types, accommodating many student needs. From essays, reports, and term papers to more specialised formats like presentations and lab reports, Bookwormlab.com's repertoire is designed to cater to various academic levels and subjects.
Prime Benefits for Academic Success
- Round-the-Clock Support : Accessibility is critical at Bookwormlab.com, so they offer 24/7 customer support. Students grappling with time zone differences or last-minute inquiries find solace in the constant availability of professional assistance.
- Money-Back Assurance : Confidence in their service is underscored by a robust money-back guarantee. This assurance serves as a safety net for students, promising a refund should the service not meet their specified requirements.
- Confidentiality is Paramount : Understanding the sensitivity of academic integrity, Bookwormlab.com enforces a strict confidentiality policy. The anonymity and privacy of every client are safeguarded, ensuring a discreet service from start to finish.
Financial Considerations and Discounts
In tune with the budget constraints typical of student life, Bookwormlab.com offers a range of discount codes. These financial incentives are a boon for students, easing the burden on their wallets while accessing professional writing aid.
Praise from Patrons: Testimonials
Endorsements from users serve as the backbone of Bookwormlab.com's reputation. Testimonials frequently emphasise the attentive customer service, the quality of work received, and the impactful difference it has made in their academic pursuits. Many reflect on the stress relief that comes with knowing they have a trusted service on standby, ready to assist at any hour.
With its established history, breadth of writing services, and core benefits that speak directly to student needs, Bookwormlab.com holds a premier position in the academic writing industry. Its commitment to support, quality, and confidentiality makes it a wise choice for students seeking a reliable partner in their educational journey in 2023.
EssayFactory.uk: Custom Paper Writing Service in the UK
Website Link: EssayFactory.uk
Storied British Excellence
Nestled within the heart of academic tradition, EssayFactory.uk has served students with academic writing assistance for years. This UK-based service has carved out a significant niche in the market by upholding the rich educational heritage of its surroundings and offering assistance that adheres to the rigorous standards expected by British institutions.
A Diverse Writing Portfolio
From the classic essay to comprehensive dissertations, EssayFactory.uk provides an extensive array of services. Their offerings include but are not limited to reflective writing, argumentative articles, literature reviews, and research papers, each tailored to the specific directives of their clients' academic needs.
Key Advantages of a Seamless Experience
- New Customer Incentives : Embracing newcomers is part of the ethos at EssayFactory.uk, which is why they offer attractive discounts for those testing their services for the first time. This welcoming gesture not only lowers the barrier of entry but also demonstrates their commitment to student satisfaction from the outset.
- Rewards for Loyalty : Recognizing and appreciating returning scholars, EssayFactory.uk has a loyalty program that offers cumulative benefits. This approach keeps students engaged with the service, ensuring they feel valued over the long term.
- Exemplary Samples as Standard : To exhibit the calibre of their writing, EssayFactory.uk provides a selection of sample essays. These examples serve as benchmarks of quality and a preview of the professional standards students can expect.
Promotional Savings with Discount Codes
In understanding the budgetary constraints many students face, EssayFactory.uk extends a series of discount codes, providing a cost-effective solution to those seeking professional writing services without compromising quality.
Client Accolades and Testimonials
The praise garnered in customer testimonials speaks volumes about EssayFactory.uk's reputation. Students frequently commend the calibre of writing, the reliability of service, and the impactful contributions the work has made to their academic progress. The consistent mention of user-friendly service, coupled with intellectual integrity, reaffirms their standing as a distinguished provider of educational writing assistance.
Essays.io: Online Paper Writing Service
Website Link: Essays.io
Essays.io has rapidly ascended the ranks to become a prominent player in academic writing services. Although relatively new, it has been substantially impacted by delivering tailored writing solutions to a growing clientele of college students.
Innovative Approach in a Competitive Field
Since its launch, Essays.io has distinguished itself with a fresh approach to academic assistance, embracing innovation and customer-focused services. By responding to the unique needs of modern education, it has established a reputation for excellence and reliability among its users.
Varied Academic Offerings
Essays.io boasts many paper types, accommodating various academic disciplines and writing formats. From analytical essays to persuasive pieces and detailed case studies to reflective journals, the service ensures that every educational endeavour is supported.
Strategic Benefits for Student Success
- Welcoming Discounts : To ease the initiation into their services, Essays.io offers enticing discounts for first-time customers. This approach not only makes professional writing services more accessible but also demonstrates confidence in the value they provide.
- Loyalty Program Rewards : Acknowledging the value of repeat business, Essays.io has a loyalty program that rewards returning customers. This program builds a lasting relationship with students, offering them cost-saving benefits as they continue to engage with the service.
- Sample Essays as a Resource : To showcase their expertise and writing quality, Essays.io provides sample essays. These samples testify to their writing standards and offer potential clients a glimpse of what they can expect.
Savings with a Purpose: Discount Codes
Understanding the financial constraints of its clientele, Essays.io extends discount codes that make its services even more attractive. These discounts are strategically designed to align with the needs of students managing tight budgets.
Affirmations of Quality: Testimonials
The effectiveness and impact of Essays.io are echoed in the testimonials of its users. Clients often express their satisfaction with the seamless process, the calibre of writing, and the tangible benefits reflected in their academic performance. For many, the availability of sample essays and the rewards of the loyalty program have been pivotal in their continued use of the service.
With its dynamic approach to student needs, range of writing services, and an eye for affordability, Essays.io has carved out a unique space for itself. It caters not just to the academic demands of its customers but also to the broader quest for value, making it a noteworthy option for students in 2023.
Overview of College Paper Writing Services
College paper writing services operate as a lifeline in the vast ocean of academic requirements students face. These services provide custom-written research papers, term papers, essays, and many other academic assignments, meticulously crafted to meet the exact specifications and requirements set by the student or their institution. These bespoke papers are tailored to align not just with the topic but also with the required academic level, ensuring that the content is appropriately sophisticated and well-researched.
The benefits of engaging with such services are multifaceted. Principally, they save invaluable time for students, who often find themselves in a bind, attempting to balance coursework, part-time jobs, and personal commitments. This time-saving aspect can significantly reduce the high-stress levels that students experience during their college years. Moreover, these services provide direct access to expert writers who are not only adept in various academic fields but also skilled in the art of writing and research. This expertise ensures that the final product is not just content-rich but also adheres to the highest standards of academic writing.
While exact statistics vary, reports suggest a growing trend in using these services by students. It's estimated that a significant proportion of college students, at least once in their academic career, have sought the help of professional writing services. These numbers are indicative of the increasingly essential role such services play in the modern educational ecosystem, helping students to navigate the rigorous demands of college education.
What to Look for in a College Paper Writing Service
When selecting a college paper writing service, discerning students should prioritise several key features distinguishing between a mediocre experience and exceptional support in their academic journey.
First and foremost, services that employ English Native Language (ENL) writers should be at the top of the list. These writers bring an innate understanding of the nuances of the language, ensuring that the papers are fluent, coherent, and free of grammatical errors. Moreover, a thorough plagiarism check with accompanying guarantees is crucial. It not only ensures the originality and integrity of the work submitted but also protects students from the severe consequences associated with academic dishonesty.
Equally important is a money-back guarantee, which provides a safety net for students should the service fail to meet their expectations or specific requirements. This feature speaks volumes about the service’s confidence in its quality and commitment to customer satisfaction.
Around-the-clock customer support is another pillar of reliability. Whether clarifying doubts, tracking progress, or addressing last-minute changes, 24/7 availability ensures that help is always available, regardless of time zone differences or unexpected urgencies.
The availability of discounts and loyalty programs is a significant consideration for budget-conscious students. These financial incentives make it more viable for students to access quality writing assistance throughout their academic careers.
Secure payment methods are a must to protect financial information, while strict confidentiality and privacy protections ensure that personal details and academic endeavours remain secure and private.
By ensuring these features are present, students can confidently entrust their academic assignments to a writing service, knowing they have chosen a reliable partner to support them in achieving their educational goals.
FAQs About College Paper Writing Services
Is it legal to use college paper writing services.
Yes, using college paper writing services is legal. These companies operate within the legal framework, providing writing, research, and editing services. However, how students use these papers is critical. They are meant to serve as model papers or references for your work, not to be submitted verbatim as your own.
Will it get me in trouble for plagiarism?
A reputable writing service provides original content that should pass plagiarism checks. However, to ensure you don't get in trouble, it's essential to use these services responsibly. Many services offer plagiarism reports as proof of the originality of their work. It's also advisable to review and modify the provided work to make it fit your style and understanding before submission.
How do I know the paper will be high quality?
To gauge the quality, you can look at samples provided by the service, read customer testimonials, and check the qualifications of their writers. Most credible services have a selection process for writers and a quality control system. Always ensure they promise revisions or a money-back guarantee if standards are not met.
How do I keep my use of the service confidential?
In summary, navigating the demanding landscape of college academics can be significantly eased with the assistance of top-tier paper writing services. These services not only offer a reprieve from the constant pressure of deadlines but also pave the way for achieving top grades. With benefits like ENL writers, plagiarism checks, money-back guarantees, constant support, and confidentiality, exemplary service can be an invaluable ally in your educational journey. If you find yourself needing help to keep up with your course load, consider reaching out to one of the top 4 paper writing services reviewed above. By doing so, you can secure custom, high-quality papers tailored to your needs, allowing you to focus on mastering your subjects and excelling in your academic career.
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FACT SHEET: President Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence
Today, President Biden is issuing a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI). The Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation, the Executive Order builds on previous actions the President has taken, including work that led to voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to drive safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI. The Executive Order directs the following actions: New Standards for AI Safety and Security
As AI’s capabilities grow, so do its implications for Americans’ safety and security. With this Executive Order, the President directs the most sweeping actions ever taken to protect Americans from the potential risks of AI systems :
- Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government. In accordance with the Defense Production Act, the Order will require that companies developing any foundation model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety must notify the federal government when training the model, and must share the results of all red-team safety tests. These measures will ensure AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy before companies make them public.
- Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set the rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy and Homeland Security will also address AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks. Together, these are the most significant actions ever taken by any government to advance the field of AI safety.
- Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials by developing strong new standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives to ensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
- Protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception by establishing standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content . The Department of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content. Federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy for Americans to know that the communications they receive from their government are authentic—and set an example for the private sector and governments around the world.
- Establish an advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software, building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing AI Cyber Challenge. Together, these efforts will harness AI’s potentially game-changing cyber capabilities to make software and networks more secure.
- Order the development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security, to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff. This document will ensure that the United States military and intelligence community use AI safely, ethically, and effectively in their missions, and will direct actions to counter adversaries’ military use of AI.
Protecting Americans’ Privacy
Without safeguards, AI can put Americans’ privacy further at risk. AI not only makes it easier to extract, identify, and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so because companies use data to train AI systems. To better protect Americans’ privacy, including from the risks posed by AI, the President calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans, especially kids, and directs the following actions:
- Protect Americans’ privacy by prioritizing federal support for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques— including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that let AI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.
- Strengthen privacy-preserving research and technologies, such as cryptographic tools that preserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Coordination Network to advance rapid breakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with this network to promote the adoption of leading-edge privacy-preserving technologies by federal agencies.
- Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information —including information they procure from data brokers—and strengthen privacy guidance for federal agencies to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data.
- Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques, including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts to protect Americans’ data.
Advancing Equity and Civil Rights
Irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing. The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action by publishing the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and issuing an Executive Order directing agencies to combat algorithmic discrimination , while enforcing existing authorities to protect people’s rights and safety. To ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights, the President directs the following additional actions:
- Provide clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and federal contractors to keep AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination.
- Address algorithmic discrimination through training, technical assistance, and coordination between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices on best practices for investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI.
- Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system by developing best practices on the use of AI in sentencing, parole and probation, pretrial release and detention, risk assessments, surveillance, crime forecasting and predictive policing, and forensic analysis.
Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students
AI can bring real benefits to consumers—for example, by making products better, cheaper, and more widely available. But AI also raises the risk of injuring, misleading, or otherwise harming Americans. To protect consumers while ensuring that AI can make Americans better off, the President directs the following actions:
- Advance the responsible use of AI in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services will also establish a safety program to receive reports of—and act to remedy – harms or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI.
- Shape AI’s potential to transform education by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalized tutoring in schools.
AI is changing America’s jobs and workplaces, offering both the promise of improved productivity but also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement. To mitigate these risks, support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all, the President directs the following actions:
- Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers by addressing job displacement; labor standards; workplace equity, health, and safety; and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providing guidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applications unfairly, or impinging on workers’ ability to organize.
- Produce a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts , and study and identify options for strengthening federal support for workers facing labor disruptions , including from AI.
Promoting Innovation and Competition
America already leads in AI innovation—more AI startups raised first-time capital in the United States last year than in the next seven countries combined. The Executive Order ensures that we continue to lead the way in innovation and competition through the following actions:
- Catalyze AI research across the United States through a pilot of the National AI Research Resource—a tool that will provide AI researchers and students access to key AI resources and data—and expanded grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change.
- Promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem by providing small developers and entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, helping small businesses commercialize AI breakthroughs, and encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to exercise its authorities.
- Use existing authorities to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the United States by modernizing and streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.
Advancing American Leadership Abroad
AI’s challenges and opportunities are global. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue working with other nations to support safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment and use of AI worldwide. To that end, the President directs the following actions:
- Expand bilateral, multilateral, and multistakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI . The State Department, in collaboration, with the Commerce Department will lead an effort to establish robust international frameworks for harnessing AI’s benefits and managing its risks and ensuring safety. In addition, this week, Vice President Harris will speak at the UK Summit on AI Safety, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
- Accelerate development and implementation of vital AI standards with international partners and in standards organizations, ensuring that the technology is safe, secure, trustworthy, and interoperable.
- Promote the safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AI abroad to solve global challenges, such as advancing sustainable development and mitigating dangers to critical infrastructure.
Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI
AI can help government deliver better results for the American people. It can expand agencies’ capacity to regulate, govern, and disburse benefits, and it can cut costs and enhance the security of government systems. However, use of AI can pose risks, such as discrimination and unsafe decisions. To ensure the responsible government deployment of AI and modernize federal AI infrastructure, the President directs the following actions:
- Issue guidance for agencies’ use of AI, including clear standards to protect rights and safety, improve AI procurement, and strengthen AI deployment.
- Help agencies acquire specified AI products and services faster, more cheaply, and more effectively through more rapid and efficient contracting.
- Accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals as part of a government-wide AI talent surge led by the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Digital Service, U.S. Digital Corps, and Presidential Innovation Fellowship. Agencies will provide AI training for employees at all levels in relevant fields.
As we advance this agenda at home, the Administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI. The Administration has already consulted widely on AI governance frameworks over the past several months—engaging with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK. The actions taken today support and complement Japan’s leadership of the G-7 Hiroshima Process, the UK Summit on AI Safety, India’s leadership as Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, and ongoing discussions at the United Nations. The actions that President Biden directed today are vital steps forward in the U.S.’s approach on safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. More action will be required, and the Administration will continue to work with Congress to pursue bipartisan legislation to help America lead the way in responsible innovation. For more on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to advance AI, and for opportunities to join the Federal AI workforce, visit AI.gov .
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