How To Write a Precis

How To Write a Precis

A Precis is A Type of Academic Writing

Besides a college life that is full of joy and fun, students always have to prepare different assignments. Academic papers are not the most pleasant thing young people face during their study. Precis writing is one of them. It is especially so when students know nothing about the preparation of such an assignment. So if you also want to learn more about a precis, then let's not waste time and find out everything about it. 

A precis is a type of summary of a book, article or a story. Its main aim is to present the most important points of the text by adding any unnecessary details. It also shouldn't introduce your own opinion or attitude to the characters or the plot itself. A book precis should be clear, short and catch readers' attention at once. Along with this, a structure of such a paper must be also perfect with all parts nicely connected with each other. Of course, precis writing has much more rules, features, and principles. It is high time to look at them more closely. 

The Key Characteristics of a Good Paper

Every academic assignment has particular features and rules. A book precis is not an exception as well. Before starting to create it, one should learn all available characteristics in order to know what to put an accent on. If not, a teacher will be definitely disappointed with your work and you can forget about a high grade. So, these are the most important aspects of a rhetorical precis:

  • The paper must be written in the third person;
  • A structure of the assignment must be clear and logical, without any unnecessary points;
  • It must not contain any original sentences or phrases;
  • A mood, voice, and style of the author should be saved in the whole text;
  • The paper must not present your own ideas, point of view or conclusions;
  • All events and facts must be the same as in the original text.

Taking all specified features will definitely help focus on the required points and save your time while writing a precis. Along with them, you need to remember all the useful recommendations which you have received from your tutor. Maybe they will help you cope with such a task easier.

What are Taboos for a Precis

A precis like any other academic tasks have own don'ts that you should always keep in your mind. Knowing them may prevent you from making mistakes. Otherwise, your reputation will be spoiled and A+ grade will remain only a big dream. So, these are the most important taboos you will not find in any precis examples:

  • Complicated phrases and sentences that may prevent readers from catching the main idea of the whole document;
  • Personal pronouns such as "I” and "We”;
  • Own ideas, style, conclusions or mood;
  • Any contractions or abbreviations;
  • Any questions;
  • The facts or the information absent in the original story.

Hope, this list of taboos doesn't make you feel even more scared. In fact, avoiding the mentioned above points is not as difficult as it may seem to be. Write the précis and always try to avoid using them. If you do, you will get a good grade for sure.

A Simple Guide to a Successful Precis

We continue talking about creating a good precis and it's high time to look at important steps of achieving your goal. Of course, knowing useful information is very important but what you should do if you need to prepare a precis right now? There will not be any difficulties if you follow these recommendations:

  1. Start work at a precis with reading an original text many times. Don't try to remember everything at the very beginning. Your first goal is just to catch the overall idea.
  2. Next, see what a required quantity of the words is. As a rule, the teacher mentions this. If no, try to calculate on your own. 
  3. If with two previous points is everything Okay, then go on creating a precis.
  4. You need to mention all key moments of the article and avoid including the details which were not specified in it.
  5. Think well about a heading. It is the first a reader sees and it should produce a good impression.
  6. Then, arrange all the prepared notes properly and do not forget any significant things. At the same time, try to remember about a perfect and clear structure of the paper.
  7. It is also very important to take all grammar rules into consideration when you write the précis. Among the most significant ones are past simple tense, third-person narration and indirect speech.
  8. Next, check the paper again. Delete all available punctual or spelling mistakes.
  9. The last step requires a comparison of your notes and original text. They must present the same ideas and thoughts.
  10. Think about what parts or sentences you can make better and go on improving rhetorical precis.
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