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The Parts of a Book

The Front Matter

The front matter includes the following:

Title page — the full title and author’s name closely resembling how they appear on the cover with the publisher imprint. In a print book, the title page is a right hand page.

Copyright page — includes information about copyrights, edition dates, ISBN, as well as your publisher and printer. Usually appears on the verso (reverse) of the title page.

Dedication page — a page where the author names the person or people to whom they dedicate their book. This is normally a right hand page with the verso blank.

Table of contents — a list of chapter numbers or titles and page numbers where they begin. The table of contents should list both the body and back matter.

Preface — an introduction written by the author.

Foreword — an introduction written by another person.

The Body

The body includes the following:

Prologue — a chapter-like section sets the stage for the story to follow.

Introduction — a few pages which introduce the reader into the subject matter.

Chapters — sections into which the narrative is divided.



Afterword — final thoughts on the book written by the author or someone familiar with the content.

The Back Matter

The back matter includes the following:

Acknowledgments — a section to acknowledge and thank all those who made contributions to the book’s creation.

About the author — this is where the author gives a brief summary of their work and personal life.

Appendix — additional details about the book.

Endnotes — supplementary notes that relate to specific passages of the text, and denoted within the body by superscripts.

Glossary — definitions of words or other elements that appear in the text in alphabetical order.

Index — a list of terms used in the book along with the pages on which they appear, almost always in alphabetical order.

Bibliography — a comprehensive breakdown of sources cited in the work.

Not all books contain every part listed above. Novels and other works of fiction usually have a title page, copyright page, a dedication, and table of contents in the front matter. There might be a prologue before the first chapter in the body. End matter may list only information about the author and perhaps an appendix listing other books by the author.

Nonfiction may use many more of the parts such as introductions, glossaries, indexes, and bibliographies.