Monday, March 1, 2010

A guide to Precis Writing

 The word 'Précis' is a French word which may mean summary, substance, abridgement, abstract, condensed, statement or epitome. All this words convey more or less the same meaning

Technique of Précis Writing:

1. In the question paper the length of the précis is stipulated and the précis of the original passage should not exceed or fall short of the prescribed length. Only five words plus or minus are allowed. If the length has not been prescribed, précis should be one third of the original passage

2. Only the bare essentials should be pruned from the original passage such as metaphors, similies, hyperboles, conceits, epigrams, should be left out. However the précis must reproduce all the main contents.

3. Précis should be an independent piece of writing and the writer should use his own words while writing the précis. The central idea around which the whole passage revolves should be borne in mind.

4. Picking up some sentences randomly from the beginning, middle and end is not a précis writing.

5. A title to a précis must be assigned whether it has been asked or not. This title should convey the Central Idea of the original passage.

6. A wide and accurate knowledge of English language and ability to sift the essential facts from the given passage will enable the précis writer to write a good précis.

Some Important Hints

1. Read the passage carefully two or three times until you have a clear idea of its general purport. The original passage may contain some ironical elements which mean just the opposite of what is said. This should be clearly understood before writing down the précis.

2. Note down the important points so that the précis can be written down from these points within the stipulated word limit in your own words by elaborating these points.

3. Illustration or stylistic effects, such as exaggeration, repetition, expansion or bombast which are not necessary to the meaning and are just added merely to illustrate the arguments should be left out.

4. No personal comments are to be made while writing the précis. 


Thanks to Shanker ( sharing this...


  1. i will be precise in my comment...
    so.....thanks :)

  2. Thanks a LOT!! Was really very helpful.

  3. awesome!!! thanx a lot.
    had no idea about mica as it was jus the 2nd time they r conducting a seperate test.