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The Hound of the Baskervilles

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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How do you start and write a short summary on a long chapter?

Expert Answers

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To write a chapter summary in a novel, begin by making a list of main events. For this list, you are looking for actions that move the plot line forward. You should pay most attention to the main characters and who they interact with. When considering main events, you have to learn to distinguish between the minor details and the significant occurrences. For example, descriptions of the setting or characters are not main events; pages of dialogue can often be summed up in just one sentence. Think in terms of what the author is trying to accomplish related to furthering the conflict--in this case, solving the mystery. In a book like The Hound of the Baskervilles that has chapter titles, you can use the title to give you hints as to what is important in the chapter. For example, chapter 5 is entitled "Three Broken Threads," so you would want to identify those threads in your summary. At the beginning of the chapter, Sir Henry loses another boot at the hotel, this time an old one. Holmes offers Watson's services to go down to Baskerville Hall with Sir Henry. They discuss the terms of Sir Henry's inheritance. Then they find out that the three clues or leads Holmes has been pursuing all come up as dead ends. To summarize the chapter, you would just write a sentence about each of those main events, including one sentence for each of the "broken threads." Thinking about main events will help you keep track of the plot of the story as it develops. 

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