How to write Precis: In this article we will answer one of the most important topics in English i.e how to write Precis. First let us discuss some points related to precis?
Precis Writing Definition, Characteristics, Rules Flow chart Steps
What is Precis ?
A precis may be defined as a restatement in shortened form of the main idea in a piece of writing. Precis, it should be clearly understood, is just not putting in different words what the original contains. It is neither a paraphrase of the original passage nor a list of its main points. It is a piece of continuous writing and so in order to be effective it should possess qualities such as proper organization of ideas, logical sequencing of points and the use of that variety of language which the situation demands.
What are the characteristics and principles of precis writing ?
Characteristics of precis writing :
(i) Completeness : A precis should cover the essential contents of the given passage It should not omit any important fact or idea.
(ii) Clarity : It should express the meaning of the original passage clearly and be free from all ambiguities and redundancies. Without reading the original, one should be able to get the main message through the precis.
(iii) Conciseness : A precis must be brief and precise. It should be coherent piece of writing presenting the argument logically. Naturally a patched up thing will not do. It would be a poor precis indeed if you tried to produce a smaller version of the original by mere omission of certain words, phrases or clauses. You should remember that a good piece of writing is an organic whole which loses its meaning if truncated in this fashion.
What are the rules for making a precis ?
Ten Golden Rules for Writing a Good Precis :
1.) Determine the theme of the passage very carefully : It is very important to find out the central idea or the theme of the passage. Soon you will be analyzing the passage to separate the major points from the minor ones, and the various points become major only in relation to the central or main theme of the passage.
2.) Precis is not the reproduction of important sentences : Don’t form your precis by reproducing a few sentences and deleting others. Precis writing is not the art of selection and deletion, it is the art of remodeling.
3.) Brevity is good but not at the cost of clarity : Brevity is the soul of precis writing.
But brevity is not to be achieved at the cost of clarity. If the addition or retention of a few words adds to the clarity of your precis, they should be included by all
means. Excessive economy, leading to ambiguity or obscurity, must be avoided.
4.) Your precis ought to be intelligible even to a person who has not read the original passage : This is extremely important. He-who is familiar with the original passage, of course, enjoys an additional advantage. He is in a position facts or preserved the spirit of the original passage. But he who has not read
compare the two versions and find out how far you have faithfully reproduced original passage has to judge your performance only from what you have written.
5.) Use your own language : Precis has to be written, as far as words.
6.) Precis is always written in the third person : If the author has used autobiographical form of narration or description, you should change the free
You should begin your precis with The author says… Secondly, you should away the use of direct speech in your precis. The use of indirect speech will male
more compact. Be careful of all the rules of indirect speech if the original pacey is in direct speech
7.) Use your discretion if the passage contains statistical information : statistical figures have been included to corroborate certain generalized facts, you
can safely omit them. But if the figures are basic to the very understanding of the general drift of the passage, they have to be retained.
8.) Observe proportion : Your precis should be well proportioned. Each part of the original passage should be dealt with according to its relative importance and not according to the space assigned to it.
9.) No comments please : You are not supposed to give any comments, appreciation or critical, on the ideas expressed in the passage. Your job is to interpret faithful and not to evaluate the mind of the author. You are reproducing briefly and relevantly and not creating.
10.) Reduce the passage to its one-third.
Write the Various Steps of precis Writing ?
Precis may be defined as a restatement in shortened form of the main idea in a piece of writing. Precis, it should be clearly understood, is just not putting in different words what the original contains. It is neither a paraphrase of the original passage nor a list of main points.
Steps to write Precis
Precis writing is an art that can be mastered only with practice. In general, we follow the following steps:
1. Read the passage thoroughly. Try to get a general idea of the theme of the passage
2. Read the passage again. If necessary, re-read the passage several times. Be sure that you have grasped the entire meaning of the material.
- Underline or highlight all the important ideas.
- Write down a title which sums up the theme of the passage.
- Rewrite in fewer words what the author has said. It is better to sum up the passage in the form of points. Use your own language as far as possible.
- Re-read the passage. Compare your points with the passage to ensure that no important points have been over-looked and nothing insignificant or superfluous
has been included.
- Using your points, write down the sum and substance of the passage in a well- connected and readable paragraph. This is your rough draft.
- Count the words in your rough draft. A quick way of counting words is to count the number of words in a few different lines, calculating the average number of
average number words in each line and multiplying the number of lines with the of words in a line. Then, if necessary, make alterations in your rough draft to give
it the required length.
- Review and rephrase your rough draft wherever desirable. Keep in mind the ABC(Accuracy ,Brevity and clarity ) of a good precis.
- Reconsider the appropriateness of the title and amend it, if necessary.
Write difference between summary and precis.
Ans. Difference between a Summary and a precis
|Summary is the gist of the matter, the lines are taken from the text itself.||Precis is the condensed form of the subject matter and should be in Precis|
writer’s own words
|Summary is bigger than precis.||Precis is shorter than that of summary, one-third of the original passage,|
|It may include quotations, examples Etc.||Examples, comments quotation etc, have no place in a precis.|
|It is a revision of the original highlighting the important point taken from text.||It is precis writer’s own creation taking taken from the text care of the completeness and clarity of the message.|