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Review Writing: The Difference Between Summarizing And Analyzing

There is a great set of differences between writing an analysis of a piece of literature and a summary of a piece of literature. If you were assigned the task of writing a review of an article, book, play, or other piece of literature, then you are going to have to clarify with your professor, or by referencing the instructions for the assignment if the intended goal is to summarize, or analyze. When it comes to the differences between summarizing and analyzing literature, you are going to find that they really are like two separate assignments even though they both can be parts of reviewing a piece of literature.

When you are summarizing a piece of literature, you are going to tend to follow a specific set of rules and meet a specific set of expectations. Some of the expectations and rules for writing a great summary for a piece of literature includes:

  • You are going to have to include valuable facts from the text
  • You will basically be retelling the story that you initially read with fewer intricate details
  • You will need to introduce all of the important characters
  • You will need to explain the problem of the text
  • You will need to elaborate on the climax of the literary journey
  • You will have to explain how the climax and problem of the story was resolved
  • Finally, you will be expected to conclude the summary with a strong statement that explains the purpose for the literature.

These are the guidelines for writing a perfect summary of a piece of literature for a class.

If you are expected to write an analysis of a piece of literature, then you are going to be expected to complete a different set of guidelines, and expectations. In order to write an acceptable analysis for a piece of literature, you are going to be expected to:

  • Read the complete literature and select a subject matter to focus on
  • You will provide examples to support your argument for or against the subject matter from the text
  • You do not need to introduce all of the characters, only the ones that are of importance to your argument
  • You will not retell the entire story, you will only include evidence from relevant parts
  • You will make a clear argument with cited quotes from the text.

This will all help you to prove a point and create a compelling argument.