How to Write a Precis and Impress Your Grader?


At times, students are asked by their teacher to write a précis. However, most of them are not aware of what is a précis? Basically, a précis refers to a summary which reflects the main points the author expressed in their original text along with their mood and tone. Students when are asked to write an impressive précis so, they often get confused because they can’t come up with a precise piece of work. A good précis is one which is neither too long nor too complicated.

Teachers assign such assignments to students because it helps in better understanding of how good they are in critical thinking, highlighting, and summarizing important information. Secondly, this sort of writing provides a great way of learning new material. A précis format is different from essay writing.

A précis writer summarizes the core essence of the original document and provides readers with all the relevant information regarding its importance and worth.  If you are also the one who is struggling in writing a précis so, don’t worry. In this post, we will tell you how to write a précis and impress your examiner. Let’s find out more about it:

How to Write a Good Précis?

Although there is no particular pattern for writing a précis, there are certain things which students should consider to make their writing process simple and easier:

  1. Divide your précis into different parts:

Classify your précis into several sections. This helps writers in adding subheadings if they want to add thus, pay attention to each part. Each part will discuss new ideas in every new paragraph of the précis.

  1. Make notes:

No matter if you are reading the text for the first time or reading it twice or thrice, do write down key ideas to analyze and evaluate those points later. You can also read other précis examples to have an understanding of how you should proceed with your work.

  1. Provide a central idea in each section:

After making notes of all the relevant information, think about all the ideas which you think can be used in your summary. Write down the new ideas in a precise and well-structured sentences.

  1. Make a thesis statement:

Create a thesis statement for your précis which should be based on your collected material. Your thesis statement should be the main statement which must portray the main theme of the entire text. But, don’t forget to follow the tone of the writer of the text.

  1. Avoid giving your opinions:

It is a good initiative if you write the précis in your own words, while doing so avoid expressing your personal opinions but instead, analyze the main text. Your teacher will be more impressed with the summary you write based on the analysis so, explain what the writer claimed in his document.

  1. Proofread:

After writing the précis, it is important to re-check your written work. Make sure that your writing clearly expresses the importance, main idea, and meaning of the original text. The précis should reflect the tone and voice of the manuscript. Do pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Main Steps for Writing a Précis:

Following are the main steps for writing an impressive précis:

  • Look for sources which provide free online information. Do choose texts which are fully accessible online. If you are unable to view the full original text so, pick another document. The best choice is of choosing critical article which is written by a renowned journalist or writer.
  • Justify the reader why you choose this particular work. The selected topic must be relevant with the class standard, also pay attention to teacher’s instructions.
  • After finalizing the topic, start preparing an outline. The outline of précis may include a detailed structure of the paper, do refer it each time while you start working on a new part.
  • On a separate paper, make a list of all possible arguments.
  • Introduce author’s work in the opening paragraph of the paper. Describe his aim and purpose and avoid using any punch line sentences in this type of formal writing.
  • The introduction is the most crucial part of the précis. After introducing the author’s name and work, explain the key points by providing evidences to support your stance. Also, describe and explain the target audience. This will give an entire picture to the readers with a better understanding and knowledge of the main script. Do end your first paragraph with a thesis statement.
  • In the next paragraph which is the main body paragraph, summarize all your work. Try to make it as short as possible and make it interesting for the readers. In this section, provide the arguments and justify them too.
  • The final paragraph is the concluding paragraph. Restate the thesis statement and again highlight the importance of the manuscript and summary of all the main points.

Features of an Impressive Précis:

An impressive précis is based on the following features:

  • It is written in the writer’s own words but doesn’t include personal opinion and views.
  • A writer should paraphrase the original sentences in a way that each sentence should be unique and appealing to the reader.
  • A précis should follow a chronological order. All sections should be connected to one another that a flow should be maintained.
  • Avoid using first-person pronouns. Use third-person pronoun throughout your writing.
  • Your paper should not contain any additional detail which is not in the original text no matter if it does support the central idea of the author.
  • Avoid adding unnecessary details and information in your précis. This doesn’t mean to ignore all the essential facts but avoid repetitions and wordy expressions.

Hope now you have a clear idea of how to write a précis. Now, follow the above-mentioned tips and write a précis which shall impress your grader.

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