How to write a precis and impress your grader?

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ABAssignmenthelp | Oct 18, 2019


A precis is a shortened form of the word passage. Basically, it is a brief replica of the original passage. Precis writing is a process using which the passage is condensed to its main points. The main objective of precis writing is to explain the theme of the passage as briefly as possible. Generally, the concise and exact use of words in writing or a speech characterizes a precis. However, it must be kept in mind that the reader of a precis is easily able to understand it without referring to the original passage. Therefore, it is important to make sure that a precis covers all the information mentioned in the original passage. As a thumb rule, a precis must be confined to one-third of the number of words in the original passage.

Before learning to write a precis, we will discuss a few basic importance of a precis: 

  • A precis is used when it is necessary to inculcate the basic idea of a chapter, a paragraph or an extract.
  • It helps in summarizing the entire passage. This helps in enhancing the understanding of the reader upon a given paragraph.
  • Precis writing improves the writing skill of the writer. The writer can learn the skill of writing in a concise manner maintaining the logical order to be followed. 
  • Precis writing is used by students and professionals to make a replica of the original document in a confined paragraph. This saves the time of the reader without compromising any information. 

The only thing to be kept in one’s mind is that a precis must be concise, clear and must not contain any ambiguous language.

When writing a precis, few guidelines must be followed. We will divide these guidelines into two parts. One that is to be followed before writing a precis and one that is to be followed while writing the precis.

The guidelines to be followed before writing a precis is mentioned hereunder:

  • Reading the passage : Before starting to write a precis, it is very important to read the paragraph a number of times. This helps you in getting a good understanding of the paragraph. Highlight all the important points that need to be mentioned in the precis.
  • Suitable Title : You must select a suitable title for your precis. The title may be written on your own or can be created using words or phrases mentioned in the passage. While choosing the title, bear in mind that the title must reflect the theme of the passage. 
  • Essential Points of the Passage : While reading the passage, the essential points of the passage must be duly noted. You may pre-draft all the points that are to be included in your precis. Keep in mind that all the irrelevant information and points such as examples or any comments must be omitted. 

The guidelines to be followed during the process of writing a precis is mentioned hereunder:

  • Create a rough draft : It is always wise to prepare a rough draft of your work. This pre-drafted precis gives you the chance to look out for mistakes. You can improve your quality of work by re-working upon it again and again. After the draft is ready, compare it with the original passage. Make sure that covers all the relevant points and the information disclosed by the passage. Also, ensure that the length of the precis is one-third of the original passage.
  • Logical arrangement of points : A logically arranged statement of a precis is more attractive to the reader. The reader stands in a much better position to understand the entire meaning of the precis. As the overall objective of a precis writing is to give a piece of complete information to the reader without going through the original paragraph. 
  • Presentation Technique : If the original paragraph is divided into many paragraphs, it must be kept in mind that the precis must connect it as a whole. You must avoid using the original sentence and words from the passage unless it is an absolute necessity. Don’t use words such as “in my opinion….”, or “I believe it…” in your precis writing. You must also exclude the use of illustrations, quotations or any repetitions. Try to keep the precis as simple as possible without any ambiguity in its language. 
  • Grammar : It must be kept in mind that the proper use of grammar is used in your precis writing. The precis must always be written in the past tense and in an indirect speech. 

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