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Naeem Series By Naeem Akhtar (M.Com. M.A. English, M.

Phill) 03214346076

Précis Writing
Introduction:
Précis writing is a very fine exercise in a reading; writing and practical life for those who have to carry
on communication with others. Précis is neither a paraphrase of the Original passage nor a list of main
points. It is a piece of continuous writing which possesses proper organization of ideas, logical
sequence of points and the variety of language. It is not merely a condensed reproduction of the
original passage. Précis writing skill involves both the comprehension and effective writing. It is equally
important for business and official people.
Literal meaning:
The word précis is a French word which means exact or terse. In English it means sum up, abridge,
summary, precise etc. So it is a restatement in shorted form of the main ideas and points in a piece of
writing.
Definitions:
By Oxford Dictionary:
"It is a short version of a speech or a piece of writing that gives the main points or ideas.”
By Cambridge Dictionary:
“It is a short form of the text which briefly gives only the important parts.”
So we can say that a précis is the main theme of a passage Written in the fewest possible words.

Qualities Of A Good Précis


A good piece of précis should possess the following qualities;
Conciseness:
A good précis is always written in the fewest possible words. The writer expresses only the gist, the
main purport or general idea of the passage very concisely. There is no room for examples, illustrations
and quotations in précis.
Complete and self contained:
A good précis is always complete and self contained. It means it must convey its message fully and
clearly without requiring any reference and allusion to the original passage to compete its meaning. The
writer should ensure that all the important ideas are included in the précis.
Coherence:
There is coherence in a good précis. It means that each part of the précis must be related to the other
part like the beads of rosary. In order to achieve coherence, connecting words like however, similarly,
therefore, that, so, consequently, etc should be used in précis. In coherence, ideas do not appear as
separate notes.
Clearness:
A good précis is also clear, vivid, simple and easy to understand because in this the writer uses simple,
clear and familiar words after understanding and comprehending the original passage.
Correctness:
A good précis is correct in every respect there is no mistake of grammar or punctuation

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Naeem Series By Naeem Akhtar (M.Com. M.A. English, M.Phill) 03214346076

Faithful representation:
A good précis presents a faithful reproduction of the main theme. There is no room in précis for on
thoughts or ideas.
Length:
A good précis is almost one third of the original passage. Therefore the writer includes all the
unnecessary details from the précis.
Elimination of Outdated words:
In a good précis there is no room for outdated words and phrases. It possesses current vocabulary in it.
Use of Grammar and Idioms:
A good précis is always in harmony with the grammar. It bears the use of idioms which makes précis
more concise and useful.
Punctuated:
A good précis also possesses proper and suitable use of punctuation marks where necessary. The use
of punctuation marks makes the précis easy to understand and create effective feedback.
Writer's own words:
In a good précis, the writer uses words of his own. He does not borrow words, phrases, and sentences
from the original passage. It shows the through understanding of the writer.
Paragraph:
A good précis also possesses this quality if be necessary. It does not contain loose sentences.
Paragraphs should not appear to be separated in a good précis. Paragraph also shows the order of
ideas.
Chronological order:
A good piece of précis does not change the chronological order of the original passage.
Variety of language:
A good précis contains easy words and simple sentences. It avoids complex sentences which may
create ambiguity and divergence between the thoughts of the original passage and the précis passage.
Logical and natural sequence of points:
This means that sentence and ideas should follow one after the other in an unbroken chain. The main
theme should run through the sentences like a thread through the beads of a necklace.
Reflects the Title:
A good précis also possesses a title that shows the main theme of the passage. Whether the title is
pointed out or not, it must emerge before the very eyes of the reader while he is reading the précis
passage.
Avoids redundancy of thoughts:
A good précis does not possess redundancies or repetition of thoughts and facts and figures.
Avoids lexical items:
A good précis avoids lexical items. There is no room for colloquial expressions, circumlocutions,
periphrasis or rhetorical flourishes.
Use of Indirect speech

SCHOLARS ACADEMY
41-Durand Road, Near Queen Marry College, Lahore
Naeem Series By Naeem Akhtar (M.Com. M.A. English, M.Phill) 03214346076

A good précis is an embodiment of indirect speech. Direct speech is always avoided that is why it is not
found in a good piece of précis.
Leading thoughts in harmony with general impression:
A good précis should give the leading thoughts and the general impression of the passage
summarized. A précis that gives only leading points without general impression is not useful. It can not
be called a perfect one.
Tense:
A good piece of précis may be penned down in present or past tenses.
Third person pronoun:
A good piece of précis always uses third case of personal pronoun in stead of using first or second
cases of personal pronouns.
Avoids Personal opinion:
A good précis does not possess personal views of the précis maker. It only possesses the ideas of the
writer of the original passage.

Rules Of Précis Writing


The rules of précis writing are penned down as follows;
Carefully read the passage:
Before the writer starts making précis of the passage it should be read two or three times very carefully
so to comprehend the passage completely
Underline the main points:
After reading the passage carefully, all the important points and ideas should be underlined and the
questions at the end of the passage can assist you identify the main points
Chalk out a rough draft:
Put down all the main points in a sequence to get the first draft of your précis
Order:
It is desirable to maintain the original order of ideas but it can be changed. However the chronological
order should not be disturbed
Chronological order:
The writer should not change the chronological order of the original passage
Length:
A good précis is almost one third of the original passage. Therefore the writer should exclude all the
unnecessary details from the précis
Eliminate the Outdated words:
In a good précis there is no room for outdated words and phrases so they should be eliminated. It
possesses current vocabulary in it
Proper use of Grammar and Idioms:
The writer should use grammar and idioms properly. A good précis is always in harmony with the
grammar. The use of idioms makes précis more concise and useful

SCHOLARS ACADEMY
41-Durand Road, Near Queen Marry College, Lahore
Naeem Series By Naeem Akhtar (M.Com. M.A. English, M.Phill) 03214346076

Use Punctuation:
There should be proper and suitable use of punctuation marks where necessary. The use of
punctuation marks makes the précis easy to understand and create effective feedback
Use your own words:
The writer should use words of his own. He should not borrow words, phrases, and sentences from the
original passage. It shows the through understanding of the writer
Use Paragraph:
The writer should use paragraph if he feels necessary. He should not make loose sentences.
Paragraphs should not appear to be separated in a good précis. Paragraph also shows the order of
ideas
Use Variety of language
The writer should use easy words and simple sentences. He should avoid complex sentences which
may create ambiguity and divergence between the thoughts of the original passage and the précis
passage
Maintain the Logical and natural sequence of points
This means that sentence and ideas should follow one after the other in an unbroken chain. The main
theme should run through the sentences like a thread through the beads of a necklace
No Personal opinion:
A précis does not possess personal views of the précis maker. It only possesses the ideas of the writer
of the original passage
Use the third person pronoun
The writer should use the third case of personal pronoun in stead of using the first or the second cases
of personal pronouns
Use the indirect
A good précis is an embodiment of indirect speech. Direct speech is always avoided that is why it is not
found in a good piece of précis.
Final draft
In the end there should be re-reading and re-checking of the précis to ensure that the sequence of facts
and figures or thoughts and ideas is the same as it is in the original passage.

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