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Precis is not a common homework assignment, so it might leave you scratching your head when you get one for the first time. Teachers of various subjects might assign precis for your homework, including science, economics, literature, and business studies.
Many government exams can also ask you to write a precis, so you must know how to write one. If you feel that you have no idea where to begin, you can seek homework answers on the Internet. Many reliable homework answers help students get a better grasp of writing a precis to perform better in the future.
Precis is a French word that means specific. But the term refers to writing a concise summary of the relevant facts or statements of an article. Writing a precis is not the same as writing a summary. When you are assigned to write a precis, you cannot paraphrase the article or convey your interpretation of what the author has written.
Abstracts of scholarly articles are the closest reference to a precis, as they follow the same pattern. You are not required to present a critical analysis of the write-up or offer your opinion about it. Rather, you must be specific and focus on the most relevant parts of the literature. You also need to follow the order in which the author has presented his or her views.
Characteristics of a Precis
These are some of the characteristics of an ideal precis writing that you must bear in mind for your homework.
- A precis should be concise. Your writing should be to the point and stick to the essential information.
- You’re not supposed to present a critical analysis of the article. You should write your precis with a neutral perspective and refer to the facts presented by the author.
- You must write a precis with the same tone and language as the author without paraphrasing.
- Do not include any additional information that has not been presented by the author in the article.
Format of a Precis
If you want to achieve good grades for your homework, make sure you follow the right format to write your precis. Maintaining the format is the easiest part of writing a precis. You simply have to follow the order of the article that you are writing about.
But you have to be extremely concise while doing that. Your teacher or professor would usually tell you how long your precis should be. But if he or she does not mention it, a precis should be not more than 10 to 15% of the original article. That means if you’re writing a precis of a 20-page publication, your precis should be 2 to 3 pages.
Steps to Write a Precis
Now that you have a clear idea of a precis, you can learn the five essential steps of writing it.
Read the Article
Just like when writing a summary of an abstract, the first step to writing a precis is to read the article thoroughly. As you read it, make sure that you take necessary notes of the relevant information presented by the author.
Pull Out the Ideas and Arguments
Your job is to extract the ideas and arguments present in the literature. It might be difficult for you to understand the most relevant pieces of information as you read along. So we suggest that you take note of everything that may be essential, and then pick the most important ones from them. If you want to judge whether a part is relevant or not, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Would the author have been able to reach the same conclusion without utilizing this idea or argument?
- If you omit this fact from the article, does it change the entire meaning?
- Does the part contain essential keywords?
- Did you come to realize something about the write-up after reading the point?
Construct the Paragraphs
Constructing the paragraphs from the points is the most tricky part of writing a precis. You have to maintain the tone and language of the article without paraphrasing it.
One way to achieve that is to identify and use the keywords present in the write-up while building the write-up around them. You can change the way those keywords have been used in the article, but make sure that it conveys the same idea as the author.
Connect the Paragraphs
Once you have constructed the paragraphs, you need to ensure that they are connected. You can use a similar method as the author has done, or you can formulate your own. However, make sure that you do not change the order of ideas presented in the article.
Review Your Work
You should review and edit the precis just like any other homework. That includes using a spell check tool or reading out loud to find any grammatical errors. You can also ask someone to review the precis for you.
While these steps are not the official guidelines for writing a precis, they can help you ace your homework. As long as you do not change the tone, language, and format of the article, you can write an acceptable precis.
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