Writing a book summary for college

This process is as much about YOU as it is about the book you are reviewing.

Writing a book summary for college

To decide which details to include in the summary of a book chapter, consider the "who, what, when, where, why and how" while reading the chapter. Take notes that answer these questions and compile the information into complete sentences. Main Characters and Setting Begin your summary by stating the main characters and setting of the chapter in one to two sentences.

The main characters are who the story is about. They do most of the acting, feeling and talking in the chapter.

Make sure to include the genre, publication date, number of pages, and publisher information. If the book has won any major awards or broken sales records, mention those as well.
Good summaries are harder to write than you may think -- bad summaries are easy! Summary skills in college The ability to write an effective summary might be the most important writing skill a college student can possess.
Writing Book Reports - TIP Sheet - Butte College Scholarship Strengths and weaknesses Later you may decide to omit some of these points.

Include information about both the protagonist, the positive main character, and antagonist, the person who opposes the main character, if the chapter includes both of these characters. If the chapter contains supporting characters, such as friends and family members, only include them if they influence the chapter's outcome.

The setting of the chapter is when and where the story takes place. The setting can be as specific as Manhattan in June or as broad as a rural village in the Middle Ages. Main Theme The main idea is the main theme in the chapter. To determine what it is, consider what the main character spends most of the time doing or thinking about.

Often the character is attempting to solve a conflict. The conflict is sometimes internal. For example, the character might be struggling to contain his anger or dangerous impulses. Other times the conflict is external -- the character against his environment or another character.

The character could be stuck in a storm or trying to win someone's affection. The main idea can also include a message or a moral. In two or three sentences, state the main action, the conflict and the moral, if it is obvious.

How to Write a Book Summary (with Sample Summaries) - wikiHow

Supporting Details The supporting details are the feelings and actions that support the main idea. They include the ways that the main character attempts to resolve the conflict. The supporting details answer the questions of why and how.

Consider the motivation of the protagonist and antagonist and how they are feeling or reacting to the chapter's events. Include broad details or concepts, but be selective and focus on the most significant ones.

Write the details as the author presented them chronologically. Two or three more sentences are sufficient.

writing a book summary for college

Revise for Clarity Review your summary and revise it as needed. All the essential elements -- characters, setting, theme and significant details -- should be clearly and logically presented without distracting nonessentials or opinions.

The summary should be in your own words, not the author's. If you use an especially colorful sentence from the chapter, attribute it to the author to avoid plagiarism.

How to Cite

Verify that your summary includes the title and author of the book as well as the chapter reference. Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.How to Write an A+ College-Level Book Review.

(A Quick Introduction to Reading and Writing Critically). Analyze the text as an individual reader. This process is as much about YOU as it is about the book you are reviewing. the writing process Guidelines for Writing a Summary When you underline and annotate a text, when you ask yourself questions about its contents, when you work out an outline of its structure, you are establishing your understanding of what you are reading.

Language & Lit

The How to Write a College Book Report Infographic presents the tips are designed to guide, teach, and help you master this art. Basics of Book Report Writing The moment you get the task to write a report about a book, you start feeling anxious and uncertain.

TIP Sheet WRITING A SUMMARY. When you tell your roommates what you remember of a particularly good talk in class, you summarize. When you give a brief oral . TIP Sheet WRITING BOOK REPORTS.

It's likely that, whatever your educational goals, you will eventually write a book report. Your instructor might call it a critique, or a summary.

Summary is indispensable in preparing for and writing an argumentative essay. When you summarize a text (or describe visual material), you distill the ideas of another source for use in your own essay.

How to Write a College-level Book Review