What is plot in a book review? Is it a summary or analysis?

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shoshona eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Basic plot: beginning, rise in action or tension, the climax of the story, the unraveling of the story (the part where you begin to get what's going on, and then the falling action and return to normalcy or the feeling that things will have some kind of return to being right again. 

A summary is something you tell or write about a story. You sum up what it was about.  Think of it as telling your friend what a movie was about, including the ending.

An analysis is entirely different than either plot or summary. Analysis can describe why you enjoyed or didn't enjoy a story. It examines the writer's...

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iklan100 | Student


The plot of a story, in a book review or elsewhere, is essentially a literary term, meaning or relating to the events that make up a story, and how they inter-connect to mark or show a development or 'evolution' in the story as it proceeds. It is quite comprehensive as it covers all the story from start to finish, and shows how the 'pattern' of the story develops.

A summary is somewhat similar to a plot, in that it simply gives the outline of the story i.e. what happens in it.

The analysis of a story is something else entirely, it takes into account a number of things which we, as 'critics' and readers have to analyse and give our views and opinions about- these can include (a) an analysis of the plot too, where we can tell or say how good or effective the plot is and why we think so; (b) analysis of the main characters in the story, (c) analysis of the main themes and ideas that we think the author is writing about in the story and so on.

Thus, these are all various elements or parts of literary analysis and study.

For the purpose of your class literature/book review (of Jonathan Swift's works or any other) a 'plot' would signify writing a detailed view of the story and its development according to a certain pattern, or way.

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