Writing a précis means making an intelligent summary of a long passage. To write a précis one should have a clear understanding of the passage: only then well one be able to include all the essential points in the précis. Some general considerations:
* It is generally accepted that a précis should be a third of the passage given. If the original passage has 300 words, the précis should not be more than 110 words in length. * A précis should be in the language of the précis-writer. The original passage is not to be reduced in length by just removing unimportant or unnecessary sentences and by reproducing the rest as the précis. It should be a brief gist or summary of the passage expressed in the writer’s own words. A précis should be full i.e. it should contain all the essential thoughts, ideas or fact in the original passage. It should not contain repetitions or observations that are not relevant to the main theme of the original. A précis is always written in Reported Speech. The passage given may be a speech made by a person in Direct Speech, but the précis is to be in Reported Speech and in the Third Person and in the Past tense. Techniques of Précis – Writing
There three kinds of work to be done in producing a clear and successful précis. They are (1) Reading, (2) Writing and (3) Revision. Reading
Read the passage carefully
If one reading is not enough to give you a general idea of its meaning, then read it a second time. As you read, find out the subject or the theme of the passage and what is said about the subject. It will be a good thing if you find out the lead or the topic sentence. The lead sentence will help you to see the subject clearly. It will also help you to think of a title for the précis. Further reading may be necessary at this stage to make sure that the details of the passage are also understood. Read the passage more slowly this time, even sentence by sentence, and make sure that everything in the passage is understood. If this is not done, it is likely that you will miss something important, especially if it is expressed by a short phrase or a single word. Now comes the process of selection. The writer of the précis has to decide what facts or ideas in the passage are essential and what are of secondary or no importance. Taking the main ideas of the passages as your point of reference, it should not be too difficult to write out the important points in the original in a corner of your work sheet. Writing
You should first prepare a draft of the précis, keeping in mind, the need to reduce he original to one-third its length. The main thoughts expressed in the passage, the ideas it contains, the opinions presented and the conclusion arrived at should figure in the rough draft. Unimportant things like the names of people and places and dates should not figure in it. It may so happen that your first draft is too long or that it sounds rather jerky. Shorten it if necessary and write out a careful second draft during college preparation. Sometimes you may need to work out three or even four drafts, but with reasonable care and concentration, you should normally succeed in producing a good précis by the second draft. Remember that a précis is a connected whole and that it should read smoothly and continuously. Revisioin
When you have made your second (or final) draft, carefully revise it before writing out the fair copy. Look for many mistakes or slips in grammar or spelling and correct them. Don’t forget to give your précis a title for precis.
Summarize in not more than 120 words, describing the author's trip in Cherokee. You may adopt the author's point of view.
During my vacation last May, I had a hard time choosing a tour. Flights to Japan, Hong Kong and Australia are just too common. What I wanted was somewhere exciting and exotic, a place where I could be spared from the holiday tour crowds. I was so happy when Joan called up, suggesting a...
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