Things to Keep in Mind For Precis Writing


  • Precis writing is an important part of the syllabus in many of the competitive exams. Its importance in the exams also increases because of its presence at such stages in the exams where you need to score such marks which can get you an edge over others. So for this its important that you score well in both objective as well as descriptive papers may it be in the SSC or in Banking exams.
  • Here in this article we will see some tips to write a best precis for a given passage. 

WHAT IS A PRECIS?

  • When we are asked to write a précis we are expected to read a small passage and then summarize a bulk of words into a few in an effective manner. It’s a summary which provides a complete gist. It must represent the idea and thoughts of the author. Precis writing must not be confused with paraphrasing which is at least as long or sometimes longer than the passage and contains not just the important points but all the details.
  • But that is not the case with précis. As told earlier it’s the gist of the passage given , hence has to convey the idea of the author in minimum possible words.
Let’s now discuss some important tips of precis writing now.

1) READING THE PASSAGE

  • Précis writing is basically highlighting the idea that the author is trying to convey in a simple manner. Hence the first thing to be kept in mind is to read the passage and understand its basic idea. For this we need to give at least 2 readings to the given passage in which you have to read the passage carefully and with concentration so that all major points are retained in your mind.
  • One thing you must keep in mind is that you must understand the passage to be able to support its idea and write it in your own words.

2) LENGTH OF THE PASSAGE

  • The length of the passage should not exceed 1/3rd the size of the passage. If it’s too lengthy then it defeats the purpose of the précis. Keep it precise by avoiding repetition and unrelated content.

3) ARRANGEMENT OF THE IDEAS.

  • As much as it’s important to comprehend what the passage has in store, its equally important to be able to express what you have understood from that. It’s the arrangement of ideas which matters a lot. 
Let’s divide the body of the precis into 2 parts.

INTRODUCTION

  • In the beginning of the précis you are expected to introduce the reader to the central idea which the author wants to convey in the given passage. It should include the objective of the passage in a clear manner. The sentences should not be picked up directly from the passage but should be written in one’s own words.

BODY OF THE PRECIS

  • While writing the body of the precise, separate sections of the passage are to be highlighted giving evidences that the writer has used keeping in mind the length of the passage. Try forming your own sentences from these points. The statements should be well connected and must follow logical order. Remember to write the précis in reported speech. You must avoid any personal statement. And must keep checking the length of the passage. If its longer remove the unnecessary details. 

DONT’S OF PRECIS WRITING

1) Do not express your own ideas, opinions, remarks or criticism.
2) Do not insert any questions in the précis.
3) Do not retain one or reject the other if 2 ideas of equal importance are there in the passage. Either retain both or give the combined significance.
4) Do not use abbreviations.

So friends you have seen all what you need to write a good précis and gain an edge over others.
Keep practising!!

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