Write a Great Summary of a Book

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It may be an assignment for a literary class, or just your way to record an amazing book that is worth reading and remembering. A book summary is not hard to write, in fact it is much easier than an original essay, providing you are acquainted with the content and understood the crucial messages that were conveyed. A book summary may pop up as an assignment at any given day so you have to be prepared for such a task. Here are the main parts that you need to include in such a work.


Contrary to popular thought, books do not just appear on the bookshelves of a library. A book is a product that may take many years of hard work, an author’s synthetized effort to give life to something that is inherently the sum of his thoughts. That is why you have to include some basic facts concerning the author, the time of the writing, the background of why the author decided to write such a book, the genre and the resonance that the book received in the society at that time.


The meaty part of your work should include the facts about the plot. Indeed, without a plot a book is not a book, so make sure to describe it as understandably as possible. Not everyone can discern the crucial parts of the plot of a whole book in a few paragraphs, so you may need to practice to get it perfectly. Provide an answer a few basic questions, and discern the main story lines and how they unravel on the pages. Do not put down any unnecessary details, and look only into the core of the book you are analyzing to catch the information that you need.


A great way to record a book is by using its own words, as in, quotes from it. What are the parts that impressed you most? You can work on compiling a list of quotes while you read the book, and it will be easier for you to recall some details when you reread just these short passages in the future.


Especially if we talk about fiction, the characters of a book take up a lot of space in it. Who are they and what are their motives? Make a little dossier about each of them, and be sure to indicate the relationships that bind them. If the book contains a lot of characters, you may even draw a graph or a genealogical tree in order to not get too confused by the many relationships between them. Do not overlook their personality, as it is one of the main reasons why they are valuable.

Genealogical Tree

Personal Meaning

Indicate what impact did the book have on you personally. Include the lessons that you learned from it and what conclusions can you make when you finished reading it. If you were bored and uninterested, make sure to record it too, and give specific reasons. If it had a big impact of you because of some personal circumstances, it will be most desirable to include the reasons in your summary.

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