How do you write a plot summary

Literary editors use them on book jackets, reviewers incorporate them into their critiques and literature students use them in analytical essays. It offers the reader more than a skeletal list of narrative incidents; it entices him into the novel with well-written and intriguing detail. Familiarity There is no substitute for a solid understanding of the work you are writing about.

How do you write a plot summary

When summarizing the events in a story, focus on the main points of the narrative arc. Summarize the Exposition The exposition is simply the beginning of a story, in which the author "sets the stage" for the events to come.

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The characters and setting are introduced, and the main conflict of the story is hinted at. For example, a summary of the exposition of "The Great Gatsby" could read, "A young businessman, Nick Carraway, moves to Long Island in the s and meets Jay Gatsby, a rich bachelor with a mysterious past.

Define the Inciting Incident After a summary discusses the exposition, shift the focus to the inciting incident and the rising action within the story. The inciting incident is a singular event that "kicks off" the story and leads to the major conflict within the novel.

This leads to the rising action, in which the story continues to build and eventually comes to a point where the main character might have to take drastic action -- or might miss her opportunity to do this.

The revelations of the inciting incident and rising action result in events that may alter the future in unchangeable ways. A comprehensive plot summary defines the inciting incident, briefly describes it and outlines the events that lead to the highest point of action.

Discuss the Climax All stories eventually reach a "point of no return," the climax. The climax is an event that changes the course of a story, for better or worse. In your plot summary, define the consequences or results of this point in the plot.

His banishment furthers the symbolic divide between the two feuding families. The climax often changes the characters and can set off a chain reaction of events.

Tie It Up The falling action of a story is the "fall out" that comes as a result of the climax -- the chain reaction.

How do you write a plot summary

In "Romeo and Juliet," the falling action is so dramatic -- the tragic suicides of the young lovers -- that people might think this event is the climax; however, this famous tragic scene is the result of the events triggered in the duel of the climax. The resolution show how characters respond to the events that transpired earlier in the narrative arc.

For example, as the curtains close at the end of "Romeo and Juliet," the two families vow to end their feud. Although this does not bring their children back to life, it suggests a social change brought about by tragic loss.

In your plot summary, explain how characters respond to the events of the story -- and what, if any, lessons they may have taken away from the experiences.

How to Write a Book Plot Summary Essay | Pen and the Pad

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.Summary: Using it Wisely What this handout is about Knowing how to summarize something you have read, seen, or heard is a valuable skill, one you have probably used in many writing assignments.

A plot summary is generally used to provide a concise description of the work in question, to allow the reader to understand the discussion related to that plot, and to illustrate points within an article. The goal of a plot summary is to give readers a basic understanding of the story, which includes introducing them to characters and essential plot points.

You try to avoid specific details, such as a characters' appearance, unless it plays a . Nov 10,  · How to Write a Summary. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Summaries Reviewing the Piece Writing The Summary in Your Own Words Revising Your Draft into a Coherent Summary Community Q&A Writing a summary is a great way to process the information you read, whether it’s an article or a book%().

Provide a comprehensive plot summary. For articles that do not have a dedicated cast section, as key characters are introduced in the plot of a film or play with a known cast, list the actors' names in parentheses after them, Character, where applicable.

A plot summary should briefly summarize the main elements of the story, including the main characters, setting and conflict. It should also include an overview of the plot, focusing on main events and leaving out non-essential details.

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