A synopsis is a vague or brief summary of your content. In academic writing, a synopsis is written in the form of a book summary, a report, an assignment synopsis and a journal article. There can be different types of synopsis depending on the assignment’s objective - a brief talk, a short film, or a written synopsis.

The main aim of a synopsis is to brief the reader/audience about the paper's main points and what they can look forward to in case of a presentation. The writing style has to be easy to understand yet intriguing enough to keep the readers interested in the body section of the assignment.

A writer is an individual who finds writing more difficult than others. -- Quote by Thomas Mann

Many of you may wonder, “if a thesis statement and a synopsis are the same things?”. The answer to that question is no. They are quite different. A thesis statement does summarise the main points of the thesis, but it is also written in fewer words and has an argumentative statement. On the other hand, a synopsis plainly summarises the body content.

what is a synopsis

What are the Steps to be Completed Before Writing a Synopsis?

Before you start writing your assignment synopsis, follow these steps:

  • Read the whole paper carefully and draft a rough summary. You may re-read the assignment for clarity but make sure you stick to the word count - commonly fifty words or five hundred to eight hundred words for a book summary.
  • Go through the introduction and the first few lines of each section to check the formatting accuracy.
  • Jot down a sentence or few from each section that you believe is the most important point of the respective section.
  • Similarly, you may as well edit out/ not down some unnecessary parts from each section that do not contribute to the effectiveness of each section.
  • Summarise each section in keywords than long sentences. Always remember that the word count is fifty to a hundred words only.

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These few steps are essential for developing the synopsis format for the assignment. Remember that the word limit has to be kept to a minimum since you have to keep it vague. No one would like to read a synopsis of more than a hundred to two hundred words as if written beyond that, it can serve as the introduction, and you don’t want that.

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How to write a Synopsis for an Assignment?

A synopsis’s format must have the following:


Simply write the title of your research paper/assignment or the book if you are writing a book synopsis.


Write the introduction of the research paper or the book’s background and the author’s points of view about the book that has to be noted before moving forth.


The body section of a synopsis depends on the type of synopsis you are writing. If it is a research paper, you will write the procedure and hypothesis. You may also add other details of your research procedure. For a book synopsis, briefly discuss the book’s plot, imagery, characters, etc. Since a book synopsis is in an essay format, you will likewise. But, discuss the various elements - plot, characters, imagery, or the important scenes - in each of the paragraphs of the body section. Write the research procedure or the experiment steps if the research is based on the observations made throughout the experiment. Again the hypothesis is only applicable to a research experiment/paper and is necessary for the synopsis format for such assignments.


Although the conclusion is a synopsis in very few words since it is a summary. Still, if you write one, make sure you address all the important points of the book/research paper and offer scope for future research/reading.

Academic writing is not just composing thesis, articles or scholarly papers; it's about using your imagination to present new ideas through unique implementation.

So this is the format of a synopsis. You can start by just identifying the keywords for each section of the format. Heed to the word limit and refer to the original text when needed. The trick to writing your synopsis concisely is to keep editing after completing each section. Edit out any extra parts that add to the word limit but have no relevant point.

challenges that some may face when writing a synopsis

What Challenges you may come across when Writing a Synopsis?

These are a few challenges that you may encounter when writing your synopsis, so make sure you avoid these:

  • Selecting the main points from whole paragraphs can be difficult; you may use keywords when you start summarising.
  • Many students often face trouble finding the key points as they might find more than one part of a section important. You may use more than one point from each section. Just write in a way that all those fit the word limit.
  • Finding a narrative is very difficult when writing. Make sure you write in a language suitable for your synopsis.
  • Writing within a word limit is difficult, so the only advice is to edit, edit, and edit.
  • Even if your synopsis is a piece of writing, a small talk or a video, you will face challenges writing it effectively. Get a second opinion before the final submission.
  • Rephrasing will only increase your word count as you are just writing the same thing differently. Avoid that. Write your synopsis fresh and new.
  • Some students often leave out the necessary information when summarising. Read your content again to add something you missed.

All rules of academic writing are universally applicable to maintain uniformity and consistency in every scholarly paper. Various forms of academic writing are developed from a common set of universally accepted rules. 

A good synopsis will make the reader intrigued to read the original paper. But, making it too long will only put off the readers. A summary is supposed to be the length of a summary which means short and to the point. The key here is editing your content frequently and reading it thoroughly to avoid missing any important parts.

Academic writing is a challenge for many; be it a synopsis or an essay, you will face various challenges - researching, editing, proofreading, etc. Get essay writing help from experts in the field and compose moving essays to score HD. Just fill out the form to get started.

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