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Rules of Precis Writing

This is a discussion on Rules of Precis Writing within the Precis Writing forums, part of the Descriptive Paper category; Rules of Precis Writing A precis is a shortening, in your own words, of a text of written work. You are to describe as accurately and briefly as possible the substance or main ideas ...

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    Cool Rules of Precis Writing

    Rules of Precis Writing
    A precis is a shortening, in your own words, of a text of written work. You are to describe as accurately and briefly as possible the substance or main ideas contained in a text.
    One of the first (if not the first) difficulties to overcome in writing a precis is getting the facts straight. You should make no statements unsupported by the text. Make sure that all you say about the text is factually correct.
    Another difficulty is putting the material into your own words. To do so, read the work carefully at least three times, put the work aside, then begin writing. This will force you to use your own words without the temptation of borrowing directly from the original.
    Selecting the most effective details is also a difficulty. Work to pick out those details that are of greatest significance. Some details are more important than others, and you must chose details according to the scale of importance.
    Do not make any conclusions about the original, its audience, or anything relating to the text. Your job is to provide your reader an accurate, but brief, map of the original and what you think about the writing or the topic of the text is not relevant here.
    The precis (pronounced pray-see) is a type of summarizing that insists on an exact reproduction of the logic, organization, and emphasis of the original texts. It is of particular use in situations in which you want to detail the relative order, proportions, and relationships of the original parts of a text. An effective pr?cis retains the logic, development, and argument of the original in much shorter form. Thus, a pr?cis is useful when you are dealing with lengthy passages that demand careful attention to the logic and organization of an argument.
    To write an effective pr?cis, read the passage several times for a full understanding. Note key points. It may, in fact, be helpful to underline these words. Restate each paragraph in one or two sentences. In cases where there are very short paragraphs, combine them in your restatement. Make sure that you retain the precise order of the original points, and combine the sentences into one or more smooth paragraphs. Finally, check your pr?cis against the original to be sure that it is exact and retains the order, proportions, and relationships of the original.
    What is the essence of a pr?cis?
    It is a short summary of the essential ideas of a longer composition; the basic thought of a passage is reproduced in miniature, retaining the mood and tone of the original. No interpretation or comment should be interjected. It must possess clear, emphatic diction and effective sentence construction. Its unity and coherence should be emphasized through smooth, unobtrusive transitions. Your summary must be intelligible to a reader who has not seen the original and should have solid compositional worth.
    100 - 200 words is the desired length of a pr?cis, unless otherwise specified.
    How to write a pr?cis?
    First, write an outline of the main ideas - those you see as most important. Think of it this way - you are summarizing the lecture for a friend who missed the class and the material will be on an upcoming test. Also, you may want to include a brief statement about the tone, audience, or purpose of the article.
    Second, put your outline into sentence/paragraph form.
    Third, count the number of words and make necessary changes.
    Do's and Don'ts of Pr?cis Writing
    • Start your pr?cis by creating context (setting) and stating the main idea of the piece. Then you should begin presenting the method that the author used to defend this thesis.
    • Always state the name of the article/document, the author and the source (is it from a magazine, book, encyclopedia, etc.)
    • Do not use the words "in this article." Use the style "Crane argues that the most significant contribution of the Czechs was . . "
    • When writing about history, use the past tense.
    • Do not use abbreviations or contractions.
    • When looking at primary sources, you should make note of the origin, purpose, value, and limitations of the document. (See website on Evaluation of sources)
    • Count your "ands."
    • Avoid words like big, good, bad, little, and a lot. Also, do not use the phrase "throughout history." This is clich?.
    • Titles of texts should be put in italics OR underlined.
    • Before writing all these first count the total number of all the words in that paragraph and divide it by 3,example:150 words, 150/3=50. So we have to finish the precis within 50 words
    Last edited by RPS; 10-11-2011 at 08:27 PM.
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    Active Member narender is on a distinguished road narender's Avatar
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    Thanks for providing valuable information

    I was always confused in writing a Precis in Exam

    U give me a lots of information how to write a Precis


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