How to Write a Book Summary

Oct 23, 2018
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Creating a summary of a book is a valuable skill that can help you understand and digest the key points of a story, making it easier to share the essence of the book with others. Whether you are a student, a professional, or simply someone who loves reading, knowing how to write a compelling book summary is essential.

What is a Book Summary?

A book summary is a brief overview of the main points and key ideas presented in a book. It provides a condensed version of the content, allowing readers to grasp the core message without having to read the entire book. A well-crafted summary should capture the essence of the story, highlighting the key plot points, characters, themes, and takeaways.

How Long Should a Book Summary Be?

The length of a book summary can vary depending on the book's complexity and the level of detail you want to include. In general, a book summary can range from a few paragraphs to a few pages. It should be concise and to the point, focusing on the most important aspects of the book while omitting unnecessary details.

Writing a Good Book Summary

To write a good book summary, start by reading the book thoroughly and taking notes on key points, plot developments, and character arcs. Then, create an outline of the summary, including the main storyline, key characters, and significant events. Use clear and concise language to convey the essence of the book without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

Key Tips for Writing Effective Book Summaries

  • Focus on the main storyline and key themes.
  • Summarize each chapter or section succinctly.
  • Avoid including personal opinions or interpretations.
  • Use your own words and maintain the original tone of the book.
  • Include the book's title, author, and genre in the summary.

Examples of Book Summaries

For a summary of a good book, you can explore various genres such as fiction, non-fiction, self-help, romance, mystery, and more. Each type of book requires a different approach to summarizing, as the key elements and themes differ across genres.

Book Summary Format

When writing a book summary, it is essential to follow a format that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide a brief overview of the book, including the title, author, and main idea. The body of the summary should present the key points and plot developments, while the conclusion should summarize the main takeaways and offer a final thought or reflection.

Starting a Book Summary

To start a summary of a book, begin by reading the book carefully and identifying the central themes and key events. Create an outline of the summary structure, highlighting the primary plot points and character arcs. By organizing your thoughts before writing, you can ensure a focused and coherent summary.


Writing a book summary is a valuable skill that can enhance your understanding of a book and help you communicate its key ideas effectively. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this guide, you can create compelling and informative summaries that provide a snapshot of the book's content.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep honing your summarizing skills by summarizing a variety of books across different genres. Happy summarizing!