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Old Monday, December 11, 2006
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Default Precis Writing

METHOD OF PROCEDURE

You must make up ur mind from the beginning that precis-writing means intensive brain-work.There is no easy short cut to summarising a passage.To tear the heart out of a passage means concentrated thought,and u must b prepared 4 close attention and hard thinking.

1 READING

a) First read the passage through carefully,but not too slowly,to get the general idea of its meaning.If one reading is not enough to give u this clearly,read it over again,and yet again.The more u read it the more familiar will it become to you,and the clearer will b:
its subject,
what is said about that subject.
Ask urslf,"What is it i am reading?What does the author mean?What is his subject?What is he saying about it?Can i put in a few words the pith of what he says?"
b) Usually u r required to supply a title 4 ur precis.This is a gud stage at which to do this.Think of some word,phrase or short sentence that will sum up briefly the main subject of the passage.Sometimes it is supplied by what we may call a key-sentence.This may b found at the beginning or at the end of the passage.In its absence,u must get a clear idea of the subject from the passage as a whole,and then sum it up in a suitable heading.
THe effort to find a suitable title at this stage will help you to define in ur mind what exactly the subject or main theme of the passage is.

c) Further reading is necessary to ensure that u understand the details of the passage as well as its main purport.Take it now sentence by sentence,and word by word.If the meanings of any words are not clear,luk them up in a dictionry.THis is important coz a phrase,a sentence,or even a word may b of prime importance,and misunderstanding of it may cause you tok miss the whole point of the passage.

c) U should now b in a position to decide what part parts of the passage are essential and what parts are comparatively unimporitant and can b omitted widout any loss.The process of selection must not b in a haphazard or mechanical way.Discard incidentical and unimportant details.
Jot down ur conclusions in brief notes_the subject,the title and the details which u consider essential.

2) WRITING

a) Rough drafts

u shud now b ready to attempt the writing of the precis;but b sure of the limit within which it must b compressed. to b continued_____
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Nice janab. One should allocate more time for precis writing because it takes time. Mind should be refreshed and one should take a little break too during writing the precis; and in this break he/she should think over the matter which is discussed in the given paragrapgh.
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2 WRITING

IF u r told to reduce the passage to a third of its length,count the number of words in the passage and by three.Dont exceed.
it is not likely thay ur first attempt will b a complete sucess .The will probably b too long.Infact u may hav to write several drafts before u find how to express the gist of the passage fully within the limits set.A gud deal of pacience and revision is required.It is a gud plan to write the first draft widout having the actual words of the original passages before ones eyes.

b) IMPORTANT POINTS
1 the precis shud b in ur own words.It must not b a patchwork made up of phrases ans sentencesquoted frm the original.

2 the precis must b a connected whole.it may b divided into sections or paragraphs,according to changes in the subject matter,but these must not appear as seperate notes,but b joined together in such a way as to read continuously.

3 The precis must b complete and self-contained,that is it must convey its message fully and clearly widout requiring any refreence to the original to complete its meaning.

4 It is only the gist,main purport,or general meaning of the passage which u hav to express.there is no room in a precis for colloquial expressions,circumlocutions,periphrasis or rhetorical flourishes.All redundancies of expression must b rigorously pruned.if faithful reproduction of the main theme is the fitst essential of a precis,conciseness is the second.
5 The precis must b in simple,direct grammatical and idiomatic English.

c) THE ART OF COMPRESSION

You are not bound to follow the original order of thought to the passage to b summarised,if u can express its meaning more clearly and concisely by transposing any of its parts.
In,condensing,aim rather at remodelling,than at mere ommission.We may omit mere repetitions,illustrations and examples.But we change figures of speech into literal expressions,compress wordy sentences,and alter phrases to words.

Take a few examples,

His courage in battle might without wxaggerarion be called lion-like.
He was very brave in battle.

THe account the witness gave of the incident moved everyone that heard it to laugher.
The witness"s story was absurd.

There came to his recollections.
He remembered.

The acted in a manner that rendered them liable to prosecution.
They acted illegally.

He got up and made a speech on the spur of the moment.
He spoke off-handed.

John fell into the river and, before help could reach him,he sank.
john was drowned in the river.

The England of our own days is so strong and the Spain of our own days is so feeble,that it is not possible,widout some reflection and care,to comprehend the full extent of the peril which England had frm the power and ambtion of Spain in the 16th century.
We cant nowadays fully realise what a menace Spain was to England in the 16th century.

d) INDIRECT SPEECH

a precis must b written in indirect speech,after a "verb of saying"in the past tense.For example:
"Whether we look at the intrinsic value of our literature,or at the particular situation of the country,we shall see the strongest reason to think that of all foreign tongues the English is that which would be the most useful to our native subjects."
Macualay

LORD MACUALAY said that England's noble literature and the universality of her language made English the foreign language most useful for India.

The change frm direct to indirect calls for calls for attention to the following points,

1 correct sequence of tenses after the "verb of saying'' IN THE PAST TENSE.
2 clear differentiation of the various persons mentioned in the passage.Care must b taken with pronouns he,she and they.To avoid confusion proper names shud b used occasionally.
3 correct use of adverbs and other words indicating time.
4 Proper choice of "verbs of sayings",to indicate questions,comments,warnings,threats or exhortations.

Great care must b taken to avoid lapsing into direct speech.
Some passages however best b summarised in direct speech,rely on ur judjment.

(#3) REVISION

Revise the final draft,
Take care of its length,
Compare it with the original to see that u hav not omitted any important point,
Correct mistakesin spelling and punctuation,grammar and idiom.

Then write out the fair copy neatly,prefixing the title you have chosen.

Last edited by Princess Royal; Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 01:50 AM.
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Post Tips for Writing a Précis

Tips for Writing a Précis
by Constance DeVereaux

A well-written précis should be a serviceable substitute for the original work. The goal is to
preserve the core essence of the work in a manner that is both clear and concise. At a
minimum, the précis should include the topic or main thesis, the purpose of the research,
what was studied, what methods were used, what results (or insight) were gained, and a
conclusion. This guide provides tips and includes links to two sample papers, one on fetal
protection policies and the other on James L. Sundquist and constitutional reform.

Goals of the Précis

Compress and clarify a lengthy passage, article, or book, while retaining important
concepts, key words, and important data.

Remove what is superfluous and retain the core essence of the work.

Give a brief description of key terms

Give a brief description of methods * an idea of the general approach used by the
researchers.

State the purpose of the research or piece of writing (why was it important to
conduct this research or write on this topic?)

When finished, the précis should clearly state:

This is what was studied (argued, discussed).

This is how it was done (this was the focus).

This is what was learned.

This is what it means (why it is important).

Sample Précis

"Fetal Protection Policies and the Cultural Mandate for Job Segregation by Gender"

"James L. Sundquist, Constitutional Reform and Effective Government"

Claremont Graduate School

Writing the Precis

As serious academic writers, you will have to read and remember large amounts of prose (and poetry) along with
scientific and social-studies articles as well. In many of your college courses, you are probably able to memorize facts
and key statements with relative ease, but in English courses and others which also require close, critical reading, you
are asked to go a step further, i.e., to present the informing argument of, let's say, an article and to reproduce the
logical development of the argument in as cogent a form as possible in your own words. In order to demonstrate that
you have assimilated the central argument and proof of another scholar's critical interpretation, you must be able to
summarize and even compose a precis of an argument.

A summary or a precis is NOT a personal interpretation of a work or an expression of your
opinion of the idea; it is, rather, an exact replica in miniature of the work, often reduced to
one-quarter to one-fifth of its size, in which you express the complete argument!

What actually happens when you write a precis? First, you must understand the complete work so that you can
abstract the central argument and express it cogently and completely. Next, you must develop the argument exactly
as the writer has presented it AND reduce the work by 755-80% of its size. Of course, this is possible when you
consider exactly how you "learn" to read the work.

The key word here is assimilation. When you read the material, it is probable that you will understand only those
parts which have associations within your own experience (intellectual, emotional, physical, etc..

How you actually go about writing a precis depends largely on your ability to restate the writer's central ideas after
you have assimilated them in your own mind.

Here are the rules of the game:

1. Read the article many times most carefully.

2. Write a precis of the article in which you state the entire argument
and present the logical progression (the development) of the argument.

3. Reduce the article to one-fifth to one-quarter of its original length
and omit nothing from the essential argument. This is, in reality,
the key to the whole enterprise!

4. Type the precis and begin with your abstraction of the central, inform-
ing idea of the article. Having understood and written the central idea,
present the essential argument in as cogent manner as possible.

(Clue: Once you have assimilated the article through the illustrations
and examples the writer uses to make his/her abstract ideas concrete,
you do not have to include these in your precis!)

5. Here is a central rule:

Do not copy a single sentence from the article! You may use
key words and phrases only when you are expressing ideas which are
technically precise or when you feel comfortable using the writer's
own words, i.e., you understand exactly he or she means, and there
is really no better way to express the concept.

Finally, in order to complete this assignment, you will have to read the work most carefully, ask questions about the
work repeatedly, and reach into your own experiences so that you can shape most cogently the writer's concepts!

This assignment is not easy! When you have completed it well, you will never, never forget the argument, the
examples, and the development of the article. More than likely you will also be learning that, when you write research
papers and other critical papers, you ability to write the precis is central to the basics of analysis, synthesis,
comparison, and other key, higher order thinking skills absolutely required for your success in college and in the
profession or career you have chosen when you graduate.

Palo Alto College

STEP #1
Begin with an article that is relevant and interesting, one with meat to it.
Read it and make sure that you understand it.

STEP #2
Select the most important points contained in the article.
Underline or highlight those points.

STEP #3
Collect your key points.

Salt Lake City
IOC awarded SLC the 2002 Winter Olympics.
leak from disgruntled employee of organizing committee
questions from member of IOC
bidders suspected of bribing IOC members
four groups investigating
IOC members heavily courted
members pledge to return gifts of over $150
IRS may investigate
IOC members serve without pay but are allowed to accept plane tickets, accommodations, and lavish
meals
looks like nearly $400,000 was paid in scholarships and financial aid to 13 students
six recipients related to IOC members
members not accepting blame but citing past practices
games will probably still be held in Salt Lake City
city worried about sponsors pulling out
IOC investigating
some members may be forced to resign
reform is needed

STEP #4
Place your ideas in sentences.
Arrange your sentences into one unit,
the "Synopsis."

By an overwhelming margin, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected Salt Lake City, Utah, as the site for the 2002 Winter Olympics. But based on leaks from a disgruntled employee of the local organizing committee and questions from a member of the IOC, the Salt Lake City bidders are suspected of bribing IOC members. So far four groups have opened investigations. The IOC members serve without pay and are pledged to refuse gifts in excess of $150; but they are heavily courted and allowed to accept plane tickets, hotel accommodations, and lavish dinners. It now looks like they also took nearly $400,000 in scholarship money and financial aid to 13 students, six of whom were related to IOC members. So far no one is accepting blame; they are only citing past, similar behaviors. While the games will probably still be held in Salt Lake City, local organizers are concerned about the pull-out of sponsors and the possibility that the IRS might begin an investigation. The IOC is investigating and some members may be forced to resign. Reform is needed.

Montgomery County Community College

Paraphrase, Summary, and Precis

Three writing strategies that will help you understand what you are reading are the paraphrase, summary, and precis. All three ask you to put the information that you're reading into your own words.

Paraphrase

When you paraphrase, you are explaining your source's argument, following its line of reasoning and its sequence of
ideas, in your own words. The paraphrase should give the reader an accurate understanding of the author's position on
the topic. The purpose of a paraphrase is to convey the meaning of the original message and, in doing so, to prove that
you understand the passage well enough to restate it. Remember, your job is not to prove yourself correct, but to
uncover and explain all the facts and arguments involved in your subject.

To paraphrase, first substitute synonyms for the passage's more important terms. These synonyms should be accurate
both in denotative and connotative meaning. It does not matter yet whether you agree or disagree with the passage; it
only matters that you comprehend what the show that you understand what the passage says.

This restatement preserves both the original meaning of the passage and the author's position on the matter, but it may
be difficult to read at some points. Fine tune the sentence construction, possibly even adding a phrase here and there to
illustrate a point more clearly or show a connection between two ideas.

The paraphrase alters the wording of the passage without changing its meaning. It retains the basic logic of the
argument, its sequence of ideas, and even the examples used in the passage. Most importantly, it accurately conveys
the author's meaning and opinion.

Summary

A summary restates only the author's main ideas, omitting all the examples and evidence used in supporting and
illustrating those points. The function of a summary is to represent the scope and emphasis of a relatively large amount
of material in an efficient and concise form. In your own words, state the thesis, main arguments and conclusion of the
original. In both the paraphrase and summary, the author's meaning and opinion have been retained. However, in the
case of the summary, examples and illustrative elements of the passage are omitted. Because they can be used to
encapsulate everything from a long narrative passage of an essay, to a chapter in a book, to the entire book itself,
summaries can be tremendously helpful.

Precis

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 precis retains the logic,
development, and argument of the original in much shorter form. Thus, a precis 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 precis, 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 precis against the original to be sure
that it is exact and retains the order, proportions, and relationships of the original.

University of Kansas

PRECIS

The following has been excerpted from Warriner's English
Grammar and Composition: Complete Course, pages 429-437.

A precis is a brief summary. Writing a precis is valuable training
in composition. Since the writing requires you to be clear and
concise, you must choose your words carefully and arrange them
skillfully you get the maximum amount of meaning into the
minimum space.

In addition to its value as a writing exercise, precis work is
excellent reading practice. In order to summarize another's ideas
in your own words, you must understand the idea thoroughly.

In school and in life after school, there are many situations that
call for the writing of a brief, accurate summary of reading. You
are frequently asked to prepare a summary of what you have
read in your textbook or in the library. Answers on examinations
often require a brief summary. People in business, in club work,
and in social work must prepare short digests of articles and
reports.

Study the following facts about precis and the basic steps in
writing.

1. A precis is a short summary. It is not a paraphrase,
which merely says in different and simpler words exactly
what the passage being paraphrased has to say. A
paraphrase may be a long as the passage itself. A precis
rarely is more than one-third the length of the original
selection and may be only one-fourth as long.

2. A precis gives only the "heart" of a passage. It omits
repetition and such details as examples, illustrations, and
adjectives unless they are of unusual importance.

3. A precis is written entirely in the words of the person
writing it, not in the words of the original selection.
Avoid the temptation to lift long phrases and whole
sentences from the original.

4. A precis is written from the point of view of the
author whose work is being summarized. Do not begin
with such expressions as "This author says" or "The
paragraph means." Begin as though you were summarizing
your own writing.

In writing a precis proceed as follows:

1. Read carefully, sentence by sentence, the passage to be
summarized. Try to grasp the writer's main point. Spotting
the topic sentence will help. Look up in the dictionary any
words whose meaning is not absolutely clear. As you read,
take brief notes to be used in your writing.

2. When you have finally decided what the author's main
point is, write it out in your own words. Do not use the
wording of the original except for certain key words which
you may find indispensable. If you cannot translate the
idea into language of your own, you do not understand
them very well. Be especially careful not to rely too much
on the topic sentence. Do not add any opinions or ideas of
your own.

3. Revise your writing until you are sure that you have given
an accurate summary.

4. Usually you will find your precis is too long, if it is more
than one-third the length of the original. Continue your
revision until you have reduced the precis to the proper
length. In this careful revision lies the principal value of the
precis as a composition exercise.

Montgomery Blair High School
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Lightbulb An Introduction to Writing the Precis

An Introduction to Writing the Precis



As serious academic writers, you will have to read and remember large amounts of prose (and poetry) along with scientific and social-studies articles as well. In many of your college courses, you are probably able to memorize facts and key statements with relative ease, but in English courses and others which also require close, critical reading, you are asked to go a step further, i.e., to present the informing argument of, let's say, an article and to reproduce the logical development of the argument in as cogent a form as possible in your own words. In order to demonstrate that you have assimilated the central argument and proof of another scholar's critical interpretation, you must be able to summarize and even compose a precis of an argument.

A summary or a precis is NOT a personal interpretation of a work or an expression of your opinion of the idea; it is, rather, an exact replica in miniature of the work, often reduced to one-quarter to one-fifth of its size, in which you express the complete argument!

What actually happens when you write a precis? First, you must understand the complete work so that you can abstract the central argument and express it cogently and completely. Next, you must develop the argument exactly as the writer has presented it AND reduce the work by 755-80% of its size. Of course, this is possible when you consider exactly how you "learn" to read the work.

The key word here is assimilation. When you read the material, it is probable that you will understand only those parts which have associations within your own experience (intellectual, emotional, physical, etc..

How you actually go about writing a precis depends largely on your ability to restate the writer's central ideas after you have assimilated them in your own mind.

Here are the rules of the game:

1. Read the article many times most carefully.

2. Write a precis of the article in which you state the entire argument
and present the logical progression (the development) of the argument.


3. Reduce the article to one-fifth to one-quarter of its original length
and omit nothing from the essential argument. This is, in reality,
the key to the whole enterprise!


4. Type the precis and begin with your abstraction of the central, inform-
ing idea of the article. Having understood and written the central idea,
present the essential argument in as cogent manner as possible.


(Clue: Once you have assimilated the article through the illustrations
and examples the writer uses to make his/her abstract ideas concrete,
you do not have to include these in your precis!)

5. Here is a central rule:

Do not copy a single sentence from the article! You may use
key words and phrases only when you are expressing ideas which are
technically precise or when you feel comfortable using the writer's
own words, i.e., you understand exactly he or she means, and there
is really no better way to express the concept.



Finally, in order to complete this assignment, you will have to read the work most carefully, ask questions about the work repeatedly, and reach into your own experiences so that you can shape most cogently the writer's concepts!

This assignment is not easy! When you have completed it well, you will never, never forget the argument, the examples, and the development of the article. More than likely you will also be learning that, when you write research papers and other critical papers, you ability to write the precis is central to the basics of analysis, synthesis, comparison, and other key, higher order thinking skills absolutely required for your success in college and in the profession or career you have chosen when you graduate.


http://lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/precis1302.html

Regards
Surmount
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Writing a Précis

A précis is a brief summary. Writing a précis is valuable training in composition. Since the writing requires you to be clear and concise, you must choose your words carefully and arrange them skillfully so you get the maximum amount of meaning into the minimum space.

In addition to its value as a writing exercise, précis work is excellent reading practice. In order to summarize another's ideas in your own words, you must understand the idea thoroughly.

In school and in life after school, there are many situations that call for the writing of a brief, accurate summary of reading. You are frequently asked to prepare a summary of what you have read in your textbook or in the library. Answers on examinations often require a brief summary. People in business, in club work, and in social work must prepare short digests of articles and reports.

Study the following facts about précis and the basic steps in writing.

1. A précis is a short summary. It is not a paraphrase, which merely says in different and simpler words exactly what the passage being paraphrased has to say. A paraphrase may be as long as the passage itself. A précis rarely is more than one-third the length of the original selection and may be only one-fourth as long.

2. A précis gives only the "heart" of a passage. It omits repetition and such details as examples, illustrations, and adjectives unless they are of unusual importance.

3. A précis is written entirely in the words of the person writing it, not in the words of the original selection. Avoid the temptation to lift long phrases and whole sentences from the original.

4. A précis is written from the point of view of the author whose work is being summarized. Do not begin with such expressions as "This author says" or "The paragraph means." Begin as though you were summarizing your own writing.

In writing a précis proceed as follows:

1. Read carefully, sentence by sentence, the passage to be summarized. Try to grasp the writer's main point. Spotting the topic sentence will help. Look up in the dictionary any words whose meaning is not absolutely clear. As you read, take brief notes to be used in your writing.

2. When you have finally decided what the author's main point is, write it out in your own words. Do not use the wording of the original except for certain key words which you may find indispensable. If you cannot translate the idea into language of your own, you do not understand them very well. Be especially careful not to rely too much on the topic sentence. Do not add any opinions or ideas of your own.

3. Revise your writing until you are sure that you have given an accurate summary.

4. Usually you will find your précis is too long, if it is more than one-third the length of the original, it is too long, continue your revision until you have reduced the précis to the proper length. For the purpose of this class your précis should be no longer than 1 typed double spaced page with 1” margins (approx. 200 – 250 words).

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Old Thursday, May 27, 2010
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THANKS GUYS...
but guys dont u think u have given so much many guid line... it will b difficult for a new begnr like to under stand thing..isnt it ?????


plz plz be specified,... i got really confused
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Old Thursday, May 27, 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amera saeed View Post
THANKS GUYS...
but guys dont u think u have given so much many guid line... it will b difficult for a new begnr like to under stand thing..isnt it ?????


plz plz be specified,... i got really confused
There is always more than one correct way to do everything, so no need to be confused. Just pick any of the above techniques which you find easy. and practice until you master it.
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Old Thursday, May 27, 2010
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A well-written précis should be a serviceable substitute for the original work. The goal is to preserve the core essence of the work in a manner that is both clear and concise. At a minimum, the précis should include the topic or main thesis, first extensive reading and afterwards intensive will mark an impression on readers mind.

In precis one must compress and clarify a passage while retaining important concepts, key words, and important data. Remove what is superfluous and retain the core essence of the work.

Give a brief description of key terms and ideas and when finished, the précis should clearly state.

Regards.
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Old Friday, September 17, 2010
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dear aspirants,
To assess the powerful precis, to me utilization of the more idiomatic language and use of phrases can weaken the quality and clearance of the precise. as for as the methodology suggested is no doubt right, one should go through that.

Zakir Hussain Samo
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