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How to Write a Precis

Did you read a novel written by Ray Bradbury or Kurt Vonnegut, for example, and now a professor wants you to write a précis? Most students find it hard to fulfill tasks like this because of the requirements they get. And some of them just don’t know how to cope with a book précis. We collected the necessary information to help you to recognize what kind of a paper it is and how to compose it correctly. Keep on reading to influence your professor and get the highest grade.

Precis Writing Definition

Before you start fulfilling your task, you have to find out what a précis is. This word came to us from the French language and goes for “brief” or “precise”. It’s a short text containing core information about a novel, dissertation or any other written material. An author has to mention the key points of the publication trying to avoid giving his opinion. It’s not an analysis of a text – it’s just a synopsis that tells a reader about its main idea.

When writing a précis, remember that you don’t have to compose a long text or paraphrase each article. Keep the structure you’ll find in this guide and perform a short paper containing essential information for a reader who hasn’t ever seen the publication you’re telling about. Write only about things related to the original text and don’t get off the point. In other words, you have to sum up the writer’s ideas.

Write the Precis Correctly

If you desire to write an impressive précis, always bear in mind that it’s not a critical paper or scope of quotes. It’s also not a poorly composed text containing sentences that exist separately and don’t relate to the topic. Follow these rules to succeed with a perfect précis:

Before starting writing a text, prepare a précis outline. It will be your draft containing a topic of your paper, list of main thoughts, your own ideas, and plan of your task. After you write an outline, you’ll have to revise it, remove excessive sentences, and make a greater structure.

Rhetorical Precis Writing Tips

Now, when you know what a précis is and its main characteristics, you have a clear understanding of how to write it. But you also have to find out how to do it correctly. Read the tips to write the best précis and upgrade your grades:

At first, you may think that a précis is a hard task but soon you’ll even appreciate it. It develops the ability to analyze, summarize, and think critically. This type of assignment teaches you to express thoughts on a paper.

Book Precis Writing Secrets

There’s no common recipe for writing a great précis but you can use some special secrets to upgrade your chances for the “A” grade. We collected them and now we’re sharing them with you. You only have to follow these secrets:

Precis Outline Guide You Should Follow

An outline is a great option when you’re writing a précis. Sometimes it seems hard to start making it but you’ll see how this process makes the task fulfillment easier. Use this guide to write a good outline:

Write the Precis Step by Step

Now, when you know how to write an outline, it’s time to find out how to compose a précis step by step. If your teacher didn’t give you a topic and you have to choose it by yourself, just select from the publications on the Internet. Read the text and start writing yours according to these simple steps:

  1. Learn your teacher’s instructions and keep them in mind to follow the requirements.

  2. Start the text with a little introduction explaining the mission of the original article. Here, you should mention the author’s name and a little analysis of his or her publication. Add a few words about the main ideas and facts to support them. Then you have to determine a target audience of the original text to help readers to understand the key thoughts better.

  3. Describe the most important ideas and arguments explaining why they are the most important ones in the next paragraphs of a book précis.

  4. Mention the key thoughts and their purposes in a short conclusion.

Follow these steps and you won’t have to worry about the Future of your text. You’ll fulfill the task excellently and impress your professor with a well-tailored paper. But if you still need help, keep on reading about the examples and structure.

Writing a Precis Structure Secrets You Should Start Using Now

A précis is a short text containing the information and main ideas of the publication you read. How long should it be? Well, you have only one page to explain the key point of the original text. That’s why you have to keep a structure:

Precis Examples of Introduction That Will Inspire You

A good introduction part engages the reader and makes him stay with your text to the end. You already know what you should write in this section and now it’s time to get inspired. Here are a few great précis examples that will definitely show you how to start correctly:

You can find many inspiring examples on the Internet and write an impressive introduction by yourself. Follow our plan and write the author’s name, the title of his/her work, explain what your précis is about, and mention the target audience. It will be a great beginning for your text.

Rhetorical Precis Check

When you’re finished, it’s better to put away your text for a while and check it a little bit later. It’s because you may be tired and there’s the possibility that you will miss a mistake. Revise your précis at least 2 times and correct all the grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. You can even ask your family members or friends to look at it to be sure that you didn’t miss any error.

You also have to check if you managed to save the main ideas of the original text and explained their importance. Be sure that the tone of voice of your paper reflects the mood of the author. Remove sentences containing your opinion and phrases that aren’t connected with that don’t refer to the original text or its ideas.

Precis Writing Final Words

We analyzed and collected the most essential information that will help you to write a good précis and earn a high grade. You only have to follow the main rules and steps when working on this task. Summarize the main ideas of the original text, write the facts explaining their purpose, and describe the details that will give a reader a proper understanding of this publication. This guide will definitely help you to succeed with your paper.


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