Course Syllabus
Course Name

Synopsis Writing

Category Expert Competence
Offered Major/ Year Taken/ Type of Course Major 1 / First or Second Year / Required
No. of Credit 2
Number of Classes 8
Professor Yasushi Shibata

Professor Profile:
Graduated at Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Engineering of Waseda University. Graduated from Faculty of Psychology, Earlham College (USA). As a non-fiction book translator, published more than 55 translated books, and tens of books of translation and education of English. Involved in distance education for more than 20 years since 1990 at Babel University, and since 2000 at Babel University Professional School of Translation.
Course Summary Learn how to write a synopsis, practice writing synopsis for fiction/nonfiction work, and acquire skills in practical synopsis writing.
How this course was developed In 1974 students began to start graduating from Babel, and in the 1970's through the 80's many of these graduates began to enter into the field of industry and publishing. It was during this time that Japan experienced great economic growth that led to increased demand for publication of translated writings. Thus, publishing companies started looking for ways to select books worthy of translating such as information about the author and reviews of the country originally published.
In 1984 Babel established the translation request service forum Babel International (in 1997 name changed to Babel Translation Media Center) and began accepting requests from publishing companies for translation (fiction, nonfiction). In this process, in order to provide introductions of various works a synopsis of those works became necessary, and consequently the practice of providing a synopsis for publishing companies began.
This is the background in which Babel University began teaching students how to write a synopsis and its importance. In 1997 Babel began a course designed to teach students attending at campus. In 2001 Babel University Professional School of Translation's online classes began, and this course has been used in this program. Professor Yasushi Shibata, who has accumulated synopsis writing know-how from teaching in the traditional classroom and as a translator who has worked closely and extensively with publishing companies, created the text for this course and currently teaches. As a side note, summaries of works of fiction are called synopsis, but summaries of nonfiction works are called outlines. This course works with both genres.
Course Objective Have students obtain writing skills of synopsis asked by publishers or other clients, which is necessary for translators.
Learning Outcome  Students who have successfully completed this course will be able to write synopsis that will satisfy clients (including publishers).
Course Progression Read text.
Listen to audio lectures
Submit assignment (4 in total: Lessons 5, 6, 7, and 8)
Deliverable (Course Texts, etc.) Lesson 1 to Lesson 4: Text “Synopsis Writing”
Authored originally by Professor Yasushi Shibata. Copyrighted by Babel University Professional School of Translation(Revised in November 2012)
Lesson 5 to Lesson 7: There is no text written by Professor. There is one English book for exercise in each lesson.
Lesson 8: Text “Synopsis Writing in US Publishing Industry”, Materials “Fiction Synopsis Writing, Nonfiction Outline Writing, and Scientific Paper Abstract Writing”
Authored by Professor Yoshiharu Ishida. Copyrighted by Babel University Professional School of Translation.(Revised in June 2013)
Course Outline Lesson 1: Lecture “What is a Synopsis?”
Lesson 2: Lecture “How to Write a Synopsis”
Lesson 3: Lecture “Illustrations of Synopses”
Lesson 4: Lecture “Notes on Writing a Synopsis and Effective Study Method”
Lesson 5: Exercise of Writing Synopsis (Bluish)
Lesson 6: Exercise of Writing Synopsis (The Bible on Leadership: From Moses to Matthew—Management Lessons for Contemporary Leaders)
Lesson 7: Exercise of Writing Synopsis (How To Get Control Of Your Time And Your Life)
Lesson 8: Lecture “Synopsis Writing in US Publishing Industry”
Grade Evaluation and Course Requirement Assignments for all 4 lectures(Lessons 5, 6, 7, 8) are required.

There will be no final exam for this course.
Grades will be evaluated on the scores of the assignments from grades A to F.
Grade Score
A 85 - 100
B 70 - 84
C 60 - 69
D 50 - 59
F 49 and under
Submission papers will be returned with the evaluation sheet, which states evaluation marking and comments as well as corrections with rubrics.

*Minimum Course Requirement: B or above
Copyright©2012 Babel Corporation. All Rights Reserved
Last Revised in January 2016