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Easy Rules to Precis Writing

Table of Contents

    Introduction to Rules of Precis Writing

    Precis writing is a technique of shortening, summarizing, and paraphrasing. First, it demands both our reading and writing skills. Second, it starts with focusing on the main idea/s and a Topic Sentence. Third, leaving over the general details and examples. Fourth, is a need for precise writers to separate the relevant material from the irrelevant ones.  Here, an efficient reader can easily shorten a passage or a comprehension by applying these basic skills. Commonly, these techniques are based on what we call brevity and conciseness. There are certain precise writing rules to follow that are generally applicable to all reading comprehensions.

    List of Precis Writing Rules

    Reading a passage Twice before Precis Writing

    Precis writing demands to make Twice Reading a passage. In your first reading, skim through the passage to get an overview or a general idea. In your second reading, apply the rule of scanning to locate the necessary information from the text. Skimming will help you to find out the main ideas, the topic sentence, and the theme of the passage while scanning will lead you towards answering your specific questions given in a passage.

    Making a Draft

    Making a Draft of the vital points to take out the essence of the Comprehension is helpful. Later on, drafting makes your way easy to write your precis. In drafting, you are supposed to separate the relevant information from the irrelevant one, differentiate between the major and minor ideas, useful and useless details. 

    Identify the Purpose

    Identify the Purpose of the Author and the Passage. Every piece of text has a purpose. Some of the pieces of text show purpose clearly at the apparent level, but some hide the purpose between the lines. Because, every author writes with a particular purpose, either to persuade, influence, convince or mold the opinions of the people about something. No writing can be purposeless, So, it is necessary to find out the purpose of both the text as well as the writer.

    Analyze the Main Idea

    Every piece of text has a main Idea, it is the ruling idea of a passage. Similarly, you will also find out some main ideas in a passage comprehension. The reading skill of scanning will help you to find out the main ideas throughout the text. Most of the time, it appears at the beginning of a passage, but it can also change its position. After finding out the main ideas you can build your precis of the given passage.

    Focusing on the Main Ideas

    Focusing on the Main Ideas, Numerical Information, and Fact-based arguments are highly essential. While locating the main ideas you are supposed to consider these points. Facts and figures, Statistical information, evidence, and arguments are given by the author. Don’t include Minor supporting details and examples in your precis writing. Give information in Precise and Clear order.

    Find out the Theme

    Find out the Theme of the Comprehension. A theme is just like the main idea called the central idea of any text. All the pieces of text contain major and minor themes. And, a passage revolves around its major themes. They are the driving force of the whole passage. Now, we must find out and analyze the themes.

    Give Suitable Title

    Decide a Suitable Title for the Paragraph. The title is the Display Board of your paragraph. It should represent all the aspects of a piece of writing. It should cover the piece of text from head to the toe. A title should be clear and short.

    Make use of Formal Language

    Make use of Formal Vocabulary and Syntax. As in our academic writing, we use formal language as we should use it precis writing a passage. Here, We need to avoid using slang, informal expressions, and local language. Be simple, be direct, and be formal in your precis writing.

    Making Indentation

    A margin at the start of a line of writing that begins farther away from the edge of the page than the other lines is called an indentation. Simply, writing the first line of a paragraph, we leave a bit of space to make indentations of a precis writing a paragraph. However, maintenance of the Passage in a Single Paragraph of the whole passage is preferable in precis writing.

    Following up the Same Tense

    While reading a passage of comprehension, you can immediately identify the tense used by the author. So, in precis writing, you are also supposed to use the same tense following up with the author.

    Use your Wording

    Make use of synonyms and antonyms to express yourself in your writing. According to the need for Precis writing, this rule does not allow anyone to copy the phrases and sentences directly in your paragraph. Ultimately, it gives your precis the most effective and creative edge. Analytically, your creativity is encouraged in precis writing.

    Use the Third Person Pronoun

    In precis writing, it is the general rule that you are not allowed to make use of the first person and the second person. Alternatively, we can use the third person like the author says that or the speaker is of the view… etc.

    Mistakes in Precis writing

    • Don’t exceed the limit of one-third of the passage.
    • Avoid copying and pasting the original sentences of the author.
    • Don’t give personal Opinions, Comments, Judgments, etc.
    • Prevent yourself to be Subjective whether you agree or disagree with the author.
    • Don’t build more than one Paragraph.
    • No permission to Over-writing and Under-writing.
    • Never use either the first person or se
    • Don’t include irrelevant or minute details.
    • Avoid using the short form of words like: couldn’t, didn’t, ‘ll, etc.
    • No Grammatical mistakes allowed, e.g. Subject and Verb Disagreement
    • Don’t make use of Informal words e.g. slang or colloquial language.

    Precis writing Conclusion

    Shortening, summarizing, and paraphrasing are all techniques used in precis writing to check your reading skills. For starters, it necessitates both our reading and writing abilities. Second, it begins by concentrating on the important points and skipping over the minor details and examples. Third, it necessitates the use of exact authors to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. Using these basic abilities, an efficient reader can easily shorten a paragraph. These methods are based on what we call brevity and conciseness in general.

    By Waqas Sharif

    Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

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