Writing Precis is a part of writing skills in Higher Secondary English of WBCHSE. Following we shall give a guideline on How to write precis? With precis writing examples.
WHAT IS ‘PRECIS’?
‘PRÉCIS’ is a French loan-word, which means the same as the English word ‘Precise’. It means a concise or abridged statement- that is a brief summary.
WHAT IS SO DIFFERENT ABOUT PRECIS
A precis is shorter in length and less detailed than a substance.
A precis always has a Title.
A precis differs from a summary, in the sense that a summary is a brief account of the original passage, whereas a precis is a more compressed form of it.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE WRITING PRECIS
- It is always written in the third person and indirect speech.
- The precis must be one-third (⅓) of the original passage.
- Unnecessary adjectives, examples, figures of speech, phrases, idioms must be avoided.
- Own comment cant be added.
- Short meaningful Title must be added indicating the subject.
- Words must be counted and written within brackets at the end of the precis.
Video Tutorial on – Precis Writing – How to Write Precis?
HOW TO WRITE A PRECIS?
- Read the passage carefully.
- Try to grasp the central idea of the passage.
- Underline the important points in the passage.
- Focus on the underlined points, compare them with the passage, make sure every important point is mentioned.
- Omit adjuncts and unnecessary clauses.
- Avoid all figurative expressions, examples, quotations.
- If you get any unfamiliar word try to guess the meaning.
- Make a rough draft of the collected points.
- Read the draft carefully and check if it’s meaningful, well connected and grammatically correct.
- Count the words. It should not exceed ⅓ rd of the original one.
- Do not use Imperative, Exclamatory, Interrogative sentences.
- Try to write in your own language in simple short sentences.
- Do not use colloquial words.
- If the passage is Descriptive or Narrative without any central idea, give an outline of the passage avoiding unnecessary details.
- Write your precis from the Third person point of view.
- If it is a series of letters then write your precis in the form of a continuous narrative.
- If the passage is reflective then the very first sentence should express the central idea.
- A precis should be written in the past tense.
- Present tense can be used in order to convey the general effect of the original passage.
EXAMPLES OF PRECIS
- ORIGINAL PASSAGE
One wintry night an old infirm beggar,shivering with cold,knocked at the door of a farmer who was sitting with his children around the hearth. In a feeble voice he begged for shelter and hospitality. His feet were trembling and he could no longer drag his weary body in the chilly weather of the night. His tattered clothes could hardly afford him protection against the fury of the snow. The farmer opened the door and his children ran to comfort him. They warmed up his frozen limbs and gave him food and did all they could to cheer him up. The beggar was moved to tears. In the midst of their sorrow for the misery of that man,the farmer’s children felt that night a joy they had never felt in their happiest days. (134 words)
- One wintry night an old, weak beggar dressed in rags and trembling with cold sought shelter in a farmer’s cottage.
- The farmer and his children welcomed him warmly.
- The beggar felt grateful and the children had a different kind of satisfaction.
TITLE: A WARM RECEPTION OF A BEGGAR
One wintry night an old,weak beggar clad in rags and trembling with cold sought shelter in a farmer’s cottage.The farmer and his children received him warmly , gave him food and took utmost care of him. The beggar felt grateful at such hospitality and the farmer’s children felt a unique kind of satisfaction. (52 Words)
Example 2 : How to write a precis?
2. ORIGINAL PASSAGE
The real heroes are those whom the world knows not of. They work among the poor, among the distressed. They do not expect any reward for themselves. They are moved by the sufferings of others and their main objective is to give relief to those who suffer. Theirs is the work of love. They do not hanker after fame, nor do they get it. No medals glitter on their breasts,no poets sing in their praise. They work and die for others,but no stones are raised to mark their graves. Such heroes remain unknown and die unwept, unhonoured and unsung, but they are the real heroes. Total words (103 words)
- The real heroes serve the poor and the distressed out of love and not for any prize or fame.
- They live and die for others and are the real pride of the nation.
TITLE: THE REAL HERO
The real heroes help the needy and impoverished people without expecting any honour or prize.Their life starts and ends in doing good for others. These unrecognised heroes are the real pride of a nation.
EXAMPLES TO WORKOUT
- ORIGINAL PASSAGE
It is sometimes said that the pleasure of giving is peculiar to the rich, and no doubt this pleasure is one of the greatest and purest which wealth can bestow. Still the poor also may be liberal and generous. The widow’s mite, so far at least as the widow is concerned, counts for as much as the rich man’s gold. Moreover, as regards kindness and sympathy which are far more valuable than money.
- ORIGINAL PASSAGE
When we were in the woods beyond the Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the waterside. We fancied that the lake had floated seeds ashore and that the little colony had sprung up. But as we went along there were more and yet more, and at last, under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore. I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the mossy stones about and above them.