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English Precis Writing Rules - MCQS Study Notes

English Precis Writing Rules

English Precis Writing Rules (Precis & Composition)


Precis writing rules

Precis writing definition:

A precis is a brief, original summary of the important ideas given in a long selection. Its aim is to give the general effect created by the original selection.” Precis writing is a concise summary that forsakes all unnecessary details (including illustrations, amplifications, and embellishments) in favor of reproducing the logic, development, organization and emphasis of the original.

Precis writing aims at intelligent reading and clear, accurate writing. It is a skill of both analysis and genesis that critically questions every thought included and excluded, each word used to express those thoughts, and the proportions and arrangements of those thoughts — both in the original and in the precis. In its exaction it mercilessly reveals an author’s wordiness and looseness or thinness of thought and construction. It should strengthen our style, our sense of proportion and emphasis, and our sensitivity to word meanings and an author’s viewpoint,

Four main pillars of Precis
1. Simple
2. Concise
3. Clear
4. Complete

Elements of Good Precis
1. A good Precis should give leading thoughts and general impression of the passage
2. A good Precis should be continuous and compact piece of prose.
3. A Precis should be clear, concise and complete in sense of original thoughts.
4. The precis should be written from the original author’s point of view, without editorializing.
5. Indirect Speech should be used.
6. 3rd person pronoun should be used and should be in past tense.

A Precis must fulfill following requirements
1. All Important/relevant Ideas must be included
2. All unimportant/irrelevant ideas must be excluded
3. It must be in the form of continuous narrative

What should we avoid?

      1. Avoid your own comments and other irrelevancies.
      2. Avoid borrowing sentences and phrases from the original passage.
      3. Avoid emphasizing the wrong points.
      4. Avoid exceeding the prescribed length (1/3). “5 Words could be”
      5. Avoid Bad style of Grammar and Structure.
      6. Avoid redundancies of expression.
      7. Avoid introductory remarks, Illustrations, Examples and side-remarks.
      8. Avoid Informal language.

Method of Precis Writing

1. Reading:


First Reading:

(i)    Read every word slowly and carefully until you clearly understand the sense of the passage.
(ii)   Look up all unfamiliar words, phrases, and allusions
(iii)  Identify the dominating idea, the essential thought, of the passage. Ask if this idea were omitted, would the fundamental meaning of the passage be changed?
(iv)  Determine what emphasis and space to give the thought in each section; write a heading for each section.

Second Reading:

(i)   Underscore with a pencil the important facts containing the essential thoughts. This is a process of differentiation between what is essential and what is not. Generally you will omit examples, illustrations, conversations, and repetitions.
(ii)   Reread your selections to see that they are wise and adequate.
(iii)  Determine if your underscoring expresses the main ideas.

Final Reading:

(i) Rapidly and intensely reread the origin, dwelling on the important facts selected for a precis.
(ii) If you need for more reading, you should read again, The main idea of the passage should be clearly understood by the student.

2. Title:

We must give a striking title to our precis. The title of the precis can be found either in the first Paragraph or sentence or the last last paragraph.
3. Practice is mere important for the students to achieve the goal of good precis.

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