What is a Precis?
Precis writing or making a precis literally means to abridge or a summarize. It is a short from of a long passage. Precis writing is an academic practice where students are taught to write a precis. It enables a person to extract main ideas and points from a passage.
Precis Writing Pre-requisites:
Precis writing is an art. Following points must be considered while writing a precis.
- Length of the precis should be about one third of the actual passage.
- Precis is written with an impartial view and in third person form.
- Do not copy or borrow words or sentences from the actual passage. Use synonyms wisely.
- Maintain a sequence of events. Incidents must be mentioned in the same order as they are given in actual passage.
- Do not try to be rhetoric. Add simple words and sentences that are easy to understand.
- Study the passage or material thoroughly before precis writing.
These are the main considerations of precis writing. One must follow them to succeed in precis writing.
Method of Writing a Precis:
A simple and useful method of writing a precis is given below. Make sure to follow each step. Either you are sitting in an exam or writing any where else, the given method shall help writing a perfect precis.
- Count the words of the passage. It may feel silly but it will help to finish the precis exactly one third. Count words in first line, then count total number of lines. Multiply both terms. You will get a rough idea of total words in the passage.
- Read the passage quickly in the first go. This will give an overview of the passage and will tell you the theme.
- Read for the second time. This time a bit slowly and thoroughly. It will clear the points mentioned in the passage.
- Some points remain ambiguous up-til now. So, read for the third and last time. At this point. you have two thorough readings and all the point should sit in your mind.
- Go to the back of answer sheet or take a rough paper. Start writing the events in the same order. Make sure you skip extra words and finish the point in short sentences. Keep writing the precis of whole passage.
- Keep the original passage aside and start reading your written precis. You will find certain mistakes and will find some better words to fill. Edit this draft of precis and try to keep it one third the length of original passage.
- Once you feel confident that you have done the required editing, transfer the material on a new sheet of paper. You are done with precis writing.
For reading more about precis writing, check out this page for book about writing a precis.
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