What Is a Book Summary?

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A book summary is a brief written piece describing the main points of a book. For non-fiction works, the summary usually briefly describes each main point covered in the book and the author’s conclusions. For fiction works, the summary describes the plot, main characters and theme.

While book reviews and reports generally include abbreviated book summaries, they are not considered summaries. Reviews and reports typically focus on subjects outside the scope of the book’s plot, such as its structure or its expected impact on the public. Both reviews and reports allow the writer to include his own interpretations and thoughts of a book, while a summary should cover only the facts.