In this article we bring to you the pointers on Precis Writing for SBI PO and UIIC AO Exam.

Precis Writing for SBI PO and UIIC AO Exam

Precis Writing for SBI PO and UIIC AO

Precis writing, simply put refers to writing an intelligent summary of a long passage. To write a précis one should have a clear understanding of the passage in hand. Only then it is possible to include all the essential points, tips and tricks of the given passage in the précis.

A well written précis is like a miniature portrait of the passage, it retains the absolute essential points accompanied with the mood and tone of the author of the passage. The one aspect one has to be careful about is that one should not add one’s subjective interpretation or comments to the précis and should try to retain the author’s original voice and opinions.

As far as the writing style is concerned, one must write crisply and clearly and use effective sentences. Ultimately, it the coherence of the views that you present in the précis that matter, and this can be achieved by making sure that one is precise and to the point in. Unnecessary long sentences or rambling thoughts are not required in précis writing, and one should make sure that one shifts from one point to another in a smooth manner. At the end of the day, the précis should make sense and be logical in its presentation. Thus a précis is not:

  • simply a summary of a passage.
  • simply an abstract of a passage.
  • an outline of a passage.
  • a mere selection of a few important sentences from a passage.
  • a collection of disconnected facts and statements.

Features of a good précis

A good précis is:

  • marked by clarity, brevity and precision.
  • not the mere lifting of sentences from the original paragraph.
  • précis writer’s own words.
  • a miniature version of the original passage.
  • a well-knit, connected and has a logical order.
  • written in reported speech and has a title.
  • limited to the ideas presented in the original passage.

Do’s in a précis

Let us now have a look at the pointers which are the must Do’s for writing a good précis.

  • Start by highlighting the main idea of the passage and you should create contextual environment where you can include the necessary points.
  • Once the main idea is established in the précis, you can present the methods, points, facts etc. used by the author of the passage; but in your own words.
  • Compress and clarify a lengthy passage, article, etc. while retaining important concepts, key words, and important
  • Remove what is superfluous and retain only the core essence of the passage in hand.
  • Ensure that mentions about history are done in the past tense.
  • State the purpose of the research or piece of writing (example: why was it important to conduct this research or write on thistopic?)

Don’ts in a précis

Anything that has associated Do’s; also has Don’ts associated with it and précis writing is no different. Let us now have a look at the most suggested Don’ts to be taken into account while writing a précis.

You should not:

  • Express your own opinion, wish, remark or criticism. Stick to the author’s views.
  • Insert any question in your précis. Its significance may be expressed by a statement.
  • Use abbreviations or contractions.
  • Be jerky. This suggests that most probably, you have not understood the sense of the passage properly.

General Pointers for writing a précis

  1. You should keep the précis short, crisp and clear; but cover the gist and all major supporting facts, rephrased in your words.
  2. Précis should be one third of the given passage. If the original passage has 300 words, the précis should not be more than 110 words in length. The original passage is not to be reduced in length by just removing unimportant or unnecessary sentences and by reproducing the rest as the précis. It should be a brief gist or summary of the passage expressed in the writer’s own words.
  3. Précis should contain all the essential thoughts, ideas or fact in the original passage. It should not contain repetitions or observations that are not relevant to the main theme of the original.
  4. Précis should always be written in reported speech. The passage given may be a speech made by a person in Direct Speech, but the précis is to be in Reported Speech or the Third Person or in the Past tense.