How to Find Literary Abstracts

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    • 1). Turn to the front pages of the literary work you're researching. Some books, especially nonfiction, will provide an overview of the work at the beginning.

    • 2). Flip over your book. An abstract is an overview, a summary. If you're looking for the basics of a novel, refer to the back cover, as most will tell the gist of the story in a paragraph or two. However, this will not tell you how the book ends.

    • 3). Buy or borrow study guides such as Cliffs Notes, Spark Notes or Book Rags. These study guides provide a condensed version of many novels taught in high school and college; these do, in fact, include the end of the story.

    • 4). Search for articles written about the literary work you're researching. Journal articles will give a summary of the book along with the summary of the article itself. This may help you understand your own research better.

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