It would be no surprise to learn that most students do not know how to write a precis. In fact, most of them do not know what it is about and where they would start if they were asked to write one. Luckily, we are here to help by providing all the information that you need to know about writing a precis. Let’s dive right into it.
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What is a Precis?
The word precis is borrowed from the French language, and it means “precise” or “to cut brief”. A precis can, therefore, be defined as a brief synopsis of another work, such as a dissertation. A precis is used, to sum up, the main ideas that were stated in the scholarly piece, to explain the core message, and to elaborate the structure of the original piece.
What are the Characteristics of a Precis?
Simply put, a precis is usually written separately from the main academic work. Typically, you will find a precis in an article, either scholarly or non-scholarly. It can vary in length, depending on the original length of the article that is being summarized.
At times students usually confuse a precis with a critical analysis essay. The two are, however, quite different. Unlike critical analysis essays, a precis should not have any personal opinion in regards to the original piece.
A good precis is one that is short and straight to the point. Some of the other characteristics of this piece of writing include:
- It is a summary, not the paraphrased copy of the original text.
- It is precise and clear.
- It should be written in your own words, though you can borrow some direct quotes from the original text.
- It should not have your personal opinion.
- It should only highlight the key ideas in the original piece and leave out the secondary ideas.
- The key points should receive comprehensive coverage.
- The information in your precis should be presented in a logical sequence, with clear connections between all sections.
- You should not collect details from other sources.
- It should only be written in the third person point of view. The use of first-person pronouns is perceived as being inappropriate.
How to write a Precis in 6 steps
For starters, writing a precis requires that you know which style to follow. In most assignments, your professor will expect you to stick to the following style:
- Precis Title
- Font Size: 12
- Spacing: Double
- Margins: At least 1”
- Name and Pledge: At the end of the precis
- Ton: Author’s voice in an original scholarly piece
- Direct quotations: They should be put in quotation marks (add the page number in the parentheses right after the quote)
- Order and organization: follow the order of the original article.
With the above framework in mind, you can proceed to create your precis in the following steps:
Step 1: Pick the article or story you want to write about
Unless your professor assigned you a specific article, you will need to choose the original paper to summarize. In this case, it will be necessary to pick a publicly available article, in its entire length.
Step 2: Read through the original piece.
Take your time to read through the article you have chosen to summarize. Make sure that you understand what it entails.
Step 3: Re-read the article as you take notes
Go back to your original paper after you have gone through it for the second time, and understood all the main ideas. At this stage, your main objective should be to interpret the main message in the author’s text by taking notes.
Step 4: Make an outline
Based on the notes you have taken, you can list out all the main arguments that you collected from the article. This will essential in helping you see whether you have covered the key points adequately. Next, make a clear outline for the precis.
Step 5: Write a precis
When writing the precis, stick to the professors’ guidelines or the outline that you have. Make use of simple language and sentence structures. Your precis is a summary, so you should be sure to mind its length.
Step 6: Proofread and edit the work
Go through your work to ensure that you have included all the key details. Also, check to ensure that it does not have any unnecessary information. Finally, you should go through the draft for any errors, including punctuation, grammar, and style. Polish it until its all good.
By following the above-mentioned steps, you should be in a position to handle writing a precis with a lot of ease. If you still have any questions on how to write a precis, feel free to reach out to us. Custom Essay Writing is here to fulfill all your expert writing needs at a very affordable price.