How to write a critical summary of a book

Imagine you got an assignment to write an word precis of Shakespeare in the Bush by Laura Bohannan. It is a wonderful essay about teaching a true meaning of Hamlet to one of the West African tribes.

How to write a critical summary of a book

Unlike a book review or literary response, you won't inject your opinions or interpretations in the summary. A well-written book summary shows that you understood the author's point and are able to pull out the main ideas of the text. Creating Format A solid format creates the framework for the book summary.

It also helps you determine how much information you need to draw from the book to develop the summary.

how to write a critical summary of a book

The summary is significantly shorter than the original work, but the exact length depends on assignment guidelines and the size of the original writing.

For a book with chapters, Butte College recommends dividing the number of chapters by the number of pages required for the paper. If your instructor assigns a five-page summary for a book that is 15 chapters long, each page might cover about three chapters. Six to eight paragraphs should sufficiently cover a paragraph article, for example.

Critique Essay Writing Examples, Prompts and List of Topics

Finding Main Ideas in Nonfiction The type of passage you summarize influences the type of main ideas included in the paper. A nonfiction passage typically states the main ideas in a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.

In a longer passage or book, each section or chapter typically presents a main idea for that section. Note these topic sentences as you read the text. If the main ideas aren't obvious, stop after each chapter or section to determine the author's main point.

You should be able to condense it to one sentence. Jot down important facts that support that main idea. Analyzing Main Ideas in Fiction The key points in a novel typically take more work to identify.

Instead of coming neatly packaged in a topic sentence, works of fiction present main ideas in the form of plot twists, key actions and revelations about characters.

Look for pieces of information that change the story line or reveal things that are key to your understanding of the story line.

Write notes as you read the book so you'll have a reference when you summarize the work.

How to Write a Summary Essay |

Leave out the fine details that don't influence the outcome. Synthesizing the Key Points The introduction of the summary should include the title and author of the text, along with the overall main idea or storyline of the entire work. You can also introduce the key points throughout the book.

how to write a critical summary of a book

These additional key points become the topics of the paragraphs in the body of the summary. Develop the paragraphs with significant supporting details from the passage.

This might include names of characters, dates and key events presented in chronological order. Include only details that actually happened in the book. You should reword the ideas so they take on your own voice, but should not include your opinion, agreement or disagreement with the text, interpretations or conclusions that aren't actually presented in the piece.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.Writing a book review is not the same as writing a book report or a summary.

A book review is a critical analysis of a published work that assesses the work's strengths and weaknesses. Writing book reviews can be a profitable pathway towards developing the skills of critical reading and expressing your ideas in a clear and succinct manner.

On a more practical level, Basic Degree students sometimes write book reviews as part of their course requirements and Advanced Degree students write them as their first step into the world. A critical review is much more than a simple summary; it is an analysis and evaluation of a book, article, or other medium.

Writing a good critical review . You can write a summary essay on a scientific work, an interesting article, a novel, or a research paper. This type of essay can be on any subject. For example, you might want to write a summary essay on.

In critical analysis, one looks both analytically and critically at a short story, a novel, or a poem and makes an argument about what the meaning of the story or poem is. What follows is a discussion of what the words "critical" and "analysis" mean.

But the reader does not learn some key information expected from a review: the author’s argument, the student’s appraisal of the book and its argument, and whether or not the student would recommend the book.

As a critical assessment, a book review should focus on opinions, not facts and details.

Stop Summarizing and Start Analyzing: Here's How to Write a Good Chapter Analysis