A book summary is an overview of what the whole book entails. Contains a detailed description of the main idea of the book in brief. A good summary should tell readers the characters of the book, the main protagonists, struggles of the main protagonist and mention the book theme. The following are techniques for writing a good book summary.
Read the whole book to get an idea of what the book is about. Reading familiarises one with the plot of the book, the characters and the theme. One gets the general outline of each chapter in the book and understand the book in terms of the purpose of the book.
Make a summary after every chapter. Each chapter in the book has its theme. Reading the whole book without jotting down something is useless. We cannot remember every chapter of the book. To save time of re-reading the book, note down summaryof every chapter to identify the missed points.
Organise the summary into three sections: introduction, body and conclusion. These are the mini-summaries of every chapter. Compile them and divide them into the above three sections. The introduction should give a brief overview of the entire plot of the story, provide the title, author and time when the story was written. Introduce the main purpose of the book.
The purpose can be to inform or educate the readers. The body should explain the plot of the book for readers to understand the central theme of the book. Explain the main characteristics of the protagonist and the struggles they go through. Conclusion should talk about the story ending, achievements of the protagonist and the main theme of the book.
Adding personal thoughts is discouraged. Write what is in the book, do not include your feelings or thoughts in the summary. The summary should be based on your understanding of the book not what you think. Writing your thoughts and feelings will mislead readers for we will be subjective.
Edit the book to add or remove relevant and irrelevant information respectively. Editing assist in correcting grammatical errors, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Some of these errors are done unknowingly. They can be corrected during editing period.
A book summary is done to help readers grasp the main idea of the book, get an insight understanding of the book. A book summary is useful to students for it assists them in analysing the themes in the book, character traits of each character and its application in real life situation. A book summary act as a guide for teachers especially language teachers.
A book summary are brief and very direct. They contain detailed information in comprehensive way. A blurb can be included on the back cover. Blurbs give information on other books that could help readers. Mentions the protagonist and the things they are involved in. Blurbs leave readers in suspense to encourage them read the content of the book. Blurbs advertise the book.
In conclusion, writing a book summary requires concentration and attention to details to ensure important ideas are not left out. One should have a deeper understanding of the book because you summarise what you know not what you think. The main characters must be mentioned and the themes of the book.
To gain experience of writing a book summary, read book summaries done by different authors and try imitating their style and structure. Compare the summary with the original book and see the difference. Write your summary of the same book and compare with that of an experienced author. This will polish your weak areas and ensure you do better summaries.
Writing a book summary is the easiest task with the knowledge about the book, a pen and a notebook. The book knowledge provides you with the necessary ideas about it. A pen and notebook is for jotting down any useful point to save time. The techniques discussed above will guide you through the whole process. A book summary requires communication skills. Communication skills are useful in the body section to build up your structure and content to clarify main ideas of the book. A book summary can be done by any person as long as they understand the book and can communicate in the right message to readers.