How To Write a Precis

How To Write a Precis

Learn the main info about precis

Students worldwide are having fun enjoying their educational process at the college or university until they receive the task to write the précis. Usually, such type of academic papers gets them worried about a grade in advance. It is expected if remember numerous requirements this type of writing features. If you want to improve the odds of success, then start with learning the definition of the precis.

A precis writing is a brief summary of a book, article, essay or any other academic work. The main purpose of this piece of writing is to determine a general idea of any subject, issue or question without expressing your own opinion. Such type of academic writing should be short, clear, excluding any unnecessary details in order to make it as much understandable for the reader as possible. In addition, the writer should follow the fixed structure. Obviously, these are not all the main features and requirements of a rhetorical precis. Below, we will discuss the other ones in greater details.

Check the basic features of the book précis

It’s nearly impossible to prepare a well-written paper without conducting laborious research. Before you start writing, it is necessary to learn the general characteristics, features, and requirements of a certain type of paper. Only in this case, you’ll achieve a result your teacher expects. So, let us determine the most essential features a successful book precis should have:

  • It is necessary to preserve the style of the source as well as the author’s mood and voice;
  • No less important is to reflect the main message of the author, the distortion of the author’s judgments is not allowed;
  • It is compulsory not to add any the facts, dates and events that were not described in the initial text;
  • There is no room for expressing a personal opinion, giving the conclusions or disseminate own ideas;
  • A rhetorical precis requires a third person narration;
  • It is not allowed to copy-paste any source sentences or phrases;
  • An entire structure of the piece must be clear, easy-to-understand. Moreover, it should contain logically connected sentences.

If you follow these points, you will shorten your workflow as well as carry out this tough assignment in an efficient way. Furthermore, it is necessary to stick to all the teacher’s instructions to make your book precis even more perfect.

6 writing precis Don’ts you must avoid

In addition to above-mentioned precis features, it is a must to remember certain don’ts to avoid them in your work. Pay close attention to them in order not to spoil your text and your grade. So, what you mustn’t use while writing a precis:

1. The first person narration, including personal pronouns such as I and WE;

2. Words and word combinations that may confuse the reader;

3. Writer’s comments, feedback, conclusions, and ideas;

4. Repetitions;

5. Questions;

6. Copied original material without paraphrasing.

As we can see, the list of things you must avoid is quite short. So, in order to achieve a first-class result, you should remember these rules in order not to make mistakes in your precis outline.

Helpful tips for you to create a topnotch paper

No doubt, the theoretical framework works great, doesn’t it? But what would you do if you have an urgent task? What will be your first step and what approaches will you use? If no, then follow these efficient tips to receive amazing results.

  1. Carefully read the source text.
  2. After the reading, follow these steps:
  • Determine the subject of the text (what is the text about?)
  • Formulate the main idea (what does the text teach?)
  • Determine the style of the text, its structure, the most critical moment of the plot, essential features, author’s general position, arguments, evidence and conclusion.
  1. Make a detailed outline of the text, highlighting the essential points.
  2. Write the plan, leaving space for the keywords.
  3. When working with a precis outline, note in it the essential issues. Determine how to shorten the text and give the reader the general idea.
  4. Make a concise outline of the text, taking into account the semantic links between the episodes.
  5. The next tip is to read the ready draft again and add some linking words and word combinations. It allows your book precis to look more natural. Your goal is to give a reader a general understanding of the topic. This way you give the opportunity to choose whether to read the entire book (article, essay, etc.) or not. By using lively, simple and clear language, your writing should motivate the reader to read the initial text.
  6. After working with the draft, it’s just the time to write the précis. Do not forget to start with the name of the author and the title.
  7. Make sure that your ready-made text is consistent, doesn’t contain any repetitions and unnecessary information. If essential, give some extra demonstrative examples.

What precis structure to follow?

It is a well-known fact that any academic paper has a certain structure and requirements. For a student, it is advisable to follow a particular scheme in order to properly carry out the task. Despite the fact your assignment is short and you should write just one page, it doesn’t mean it is easy to cope with it. So, it is better to follow all the methods and recommendations.

Like any academic writing, precis a precis writing has a particular structure. Here it is:

  • Here the student should give the basic info about the source. Do not forget to identify the author’s name, the title, date of its release and the thesis.
  • The body. Specify the main ideas along with the author’s intentions. Make sure you have provided the evidence. A student should be tolerant, considering the author’s outlook on the subject. Don’t forget that expressing own opinion is prohibited.
  • In this part, it is necessary to review the bullet points without being subjective.

To make these parts play together, it is necessary to add some additional touches while writing a precis:

  • Make a list of useful notes. No matter how many times you have read the initial text, it is necessary to determine the key insights and write them down.
  • Thesis statement plays an important role when it comes to precis writing. Don’t forget to identify it. A thesis is aimed to present the topic of the initial text.
  • Divide your work into several parts. Cover each new idea in a new paragraph. 
  • Even though the author’s tone and mood must be preserved, you shouldn’t lose your individual writing style. 
  • It is prohibited to demonstrate your opinion, attitude and preferences in the book precis. Of course, you use your own wording when creating a work, so you should determine a boundary between the paraphrasing and giving your own ideas.

Easy steps to write a top-class precis

  1. Get acquainted with the heading and subtitles (if any) of the text, its data, if you work with the article.
  2. Read the text quickly to get a general idea of its content. Write in one sentence what the text says.
  3. Thoughtfully read the entire text, paying attention to frequently repeated keywords and phrases. Note these words and phrases.
  4. Highlight the main idea of the text, i.e. You must answer the question: “What did the author write this text for?” In the text, as a rule, there is a sentence (key) in which the main idea of the text is formulated. It can be the first sentence of the text or be in the first paragraph. It is possible that the author will express the main idea in the last paragraph. If there is no such sentence in the text, you should formulate the main idea by yourself, having analyzed and summarized what you have read. Write down the main idea.

5.Highlight the main information (the main point) of each paragraph. As a rule, the first sentence of a paragraph summarizes the meaning of the whole paragraph. The key sentence may also be at the end of the paragraph. You also need to keep in mind that the paragraph cannot contain a key sentence. In this case, you have to make a generalization and write it in one sentence by yourself. 6. Start writing the precis.

  • In the first sentence, point out the title of the article, the name of the author and the date of publication.
  • In the second sentence, write what the text is about.
  • In the third sentence, indicate by how many logical parts the text can be divided (remember that several paragraphs can be combined into one part).
  • In the fourth sentence, indicate the main message of the author and evidence.
  • The last sentence is a conclusion, i.e. answer the question: “Why was this text written?”

Awesome precis examples you should definitely read

If you have an intention to master your writing skills, it is better to have a look at the perfectly written precis examples. Stop searching the Web – everything you need is just here.

Let us start with a sample devoted to the autobiographical essay.

“In Eudora Welty’s autobiographical essay “One Writer’s Beginnings” (1984), she proves that her love for writing was an after effect from the love of reading. In her work, Welty uses figurative speech, numerous repetitions and diverse choice of words, creating a clear description of the influential moments that inspired her to produce her own language world. By comparing the strict Mr. Calloway to her own mother, she demonstrates that the creativeness has either positive or negative sides. Using a reflective nostalgia in her writing, Eudora Welty makes her works appealing to the inexperienced writers all around the world.”

This is another example of a critical precis.

“In chapter one of this novel “The Light in The Forest” (1953), Condrat Richter explains that children suffer the most when grown-ups fight. Richter proofs it by comparing Cuyloga’s adoption to True Son rejection when the white army requires the return of all white prisoners. The author’s main goal was to demonstrate the contradictory feelings of the True Son in order to depict the influence that adult betrayal has on children. Condrat Richter uses an angry and betrayal tone. That appeals the readers who can deeply sympathize with the feelings of the main hero.”

Always reread your finished work
Obviously, the process of an assignment preparation is of vital importance. Nevertheless, reviewing the final text is much more significant. To start with, it is necessary to reread your ready-made work and find any possible mistakes (if they are available). Next, the student should compare the issues and ideas you identified in your paper with those in the source. Be careful to preserve the author’s voice, style and tone. If you look through the successful precis examples on the Web, you will see that a good paper should be interesting, clear and accurate. What will you choose: to check and review your piece of writing several times or receive it back?

Having learned all the above-mentioned features, principles, and requirements of writing a successful piece of paper, you are going to achieve awesome results. Your grader will surely appreciate your efforts and will give you the highest grade. At first glance, this kind of assignment might seem impossible to carry out. However, when you get right down to it, you will see there is nothing complicated at all. All you need is to follow simple tips like preserving the original message, keeping the work short, interesting and appealing to the reader. Mind that you should demonstrate the main concept of the source in your own words without spoiling your paper with your own considerations and attitudes. Better find the real evidence. When everything is done, check the text one more time to ensure you have included all the necessary moments in it. Try to do your best and you will be rewarded the A+ grade as well as the praise from your teacher and fellow students.