How Do You Write a Chapter Summary for a Novel?


Quick Answer

Write a chapter summary of a novel by composing a concise recap of the major events and conflicts within the chapter. Don't forget to include information about the main and secondary characters, themes, and setting when writing the summary.

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Full Answer

Your summary should address the who, what, where, when, how and why of the chapter you read. The summary must focus on the facts and not include your opinion about the characters or the chapter. Occasionally a teacher may ask you to add your own thoughts about the events in the chapter, but a traditional summary should not include this information.

Although nonfiction writing often includes an explicitly stated central theme or thesis, notice that fiction authors imply, but seldom directly state, the theme of their novel. Even if the theme seems unimportant, you should write at least one sentence about the theme for the chapter, or how the chapter's events reinforce the book's overall theme. Use examples within the chapter to prove that the theme you stated is correct.

Your teacher may require you to use a chapter summary worksheet. This worksheet may ask you for information about the setting, a list of characters who appear in the chapter and a summary of the chapter's plot. It may also require a list of new vocabulary words within the chapter and their definitions.

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