How to Write a Summary of a Book Fast and Easy

Writing a summary can become a tough task for a student if he has no clue how to write this type of work. It is easier to deal with such a challenge if one has good instruction at hand. 

To start with, a summary is a kind of shortening the plot of the book – a student just writes about the main characters and events. One more important thing to bear in mind is that summarizing and paraphrasing are not the same works.  

Some students find it difficult. Coping with this task requires some practice and possessing analytic skills. Some students don’t want to spend their time on this and just look for someone who can write a summary for me. Such online companies like WriteMyPaperHub are commonly great helpers as they offer their summary writing services at a good price.  


A 6 Step Guide on Summarizing a Book

  1. Read the book thoroughly. You have to read and pay attention to the details – emotionally complex characters, cornerstone events, allusions, conflicts, and so on. It is better to read with a pencil. By doing this one can cope more effectively with onslaught of information if the book is complex. 
  2. Make notes about the main events happening in each chapter. It helps to develop a skill of picking up the key things and omit the unimportant. Write down the names, figures, significant events, and places.
  3. Pay attention to the characters’ speeches. Very often, the hidden motives are disguised in words and this is a kind of analysis that a student has to perform. This research is useful because it develops the ability of students to comprehend the complexity of thoughts, analyze critically, etc. 
  4. Start summarizing. After reading the source text a student can start writing the summary. It is better to write as you think without editing and caring much about mistakes as it is more effective. Use your notes with events, important words, figures, etc. Be accurate with names. It is crucial. Remember about the structure (beginning – the onset of the story, rising action – the first conflicts, problems, climax – the highest point, falling action – solving the problems, resolution – the end and final ideas) 
  5. Having written, read the whole work attentively and without haste. Check the names, dates, and other nuances if needed. If you have doubts about any statements, find them in the source and reread. The information is to be precise without speculations and contortion of facts. It is important to write a short version which is no more than half of the story text. This is the main task of summarizing. 
  6. Add personal opinion and judgements. The last crucial advice is to make sure you write without adding your personal opinion and judgments. It is not a text analysis. This type of paperwork does not imply any critique or points of view. 


7 Key Features of an Effective Summary

Students are often asked to summarize a short story or a book chapter to use it in their research papers or other works. Here are the main characteristics of a good summary:


  • The first sentence with an introduction to the topic.
  • All the unimportant details are omitted, the key ideas, events, and characters are described briefly. 
  • Compilation of similar ideas and events.
  • No quotations, succinct paraphrasing.
  • No personal opinion
  • A proper structure and length.
  • No grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes.



These characteristics are also a kind of rules which you have to follow to write the summary quickly and get a high grade. Picking up big ideas, resonating quotes (and paraphrasing them), agreements, sets, analogies you perform a meticulous research work that will bring brilliant results – the information will remain in your brain longer. Performing such tasks regularly you train your brain – each new summarising or other writing will be easier for you.  


Main Pitfalls of Summarizing a Text

Facing difficulties in the process of summarising is a popular problem. It is better to know about them beforehand to combat them effectively and without losing time. 

  • It can take a lot of time. Reading a short text is a quick process, but what about a book? It may take a day or several days. Moreover, you have to read carefully and with a pencil, and make notes in the process. So, the first advice is not to delay this task. Even if the deadline is not soon, it’s better to start the reading asap. 
  • Poor writing skills. Many students hate writing papers and try to avoid performing this task. It may result in worsening writing skills. To cope with this problem one should read different guides and instructions on writing papers, work on his grammar and vocabulary (reading is the best helper in this task), and write as much as possible. Honing writing skills every day will bring results rather soon. 
  • Paraphrasing. This is the method of rewriting someone’s words. The main task is to omit unnecessary words and leave the key ideas. 


Writing a summary does not require any special skills besides the basic ones. This type of work helps to solidify the material you’ve read and to give it in a short form. It can help to review the main ideas during your preparation for tests, you will not have to read the book once again. If you still struggle with this task, there is always an option – special agencies that help students all over the world. 

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The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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