Precis Writing Rule 1
Read the given passage carefully at least three times in order to be able to grasp what the writer has said or grasp the main idea.
Precis Writing Rule 2
Underline the important points to be included in your précis. A point is important if it is intimately connected with the main subject and if it is essential for a clear exposition of the theme.
Precis Writing Rule 3
Use your own language in the précis. While words and phrases from the original may be used in the précis, whole sentences should never be left out of the original to be included in it.
Precis Writing Rule 4
The précis should be roughly one-third of the original passage. Always prepare a rough draft first and count the words. If you find that it is too long, shorten it by removing what seems inessential and by condensing phraseology. If it turns out to be too shorten, read the original to see what more can be added to the précis.
Precis Writing Rule 5
Examples, illustrations and comparison should be left out of the précis. Figure of speech should be removed and the ideas expressed in clear, direct language.
Precis Writing Rule 6
You own comments on the ideas of the précis are absolutely forbidden. Do not express any opinion, favourable or unfavourable, about the ideas in the original passage.
Precis Writing Rule 7
Be very careful about the language you write. Mistakes of grammar and spelling are penalized as much in the précis as in other forms of composition.
Precis Writing Rule 8
See that your précis is a piece of readable English and that its ideas can be understood even by a person who has not gone through the original. This is very important.
Precis Writing Rule 9
Your précis should be a connected whole. As such it should not be divided into paragraph. (this rule does not apply to very long original pieces of writing such as those set in the competitive examinations).
Precis Writing Rule 10
Do not use the direct form of speech in the précis. If the author has written in the first person pronounced using “I” and “my”, you should write in the third person pronoun: “he” and “his”. The précis may in such cases begin thus : “the author says…………”,or” according to author……”.In case the name of the author, Chesterton or Johnson , is given at the end of the passage ,The précis should begin thus : “According to Chesterton………”,or “Macaulay says……” or “Johnson expresses the view……..”.
Precis Writing Rule 11
Think of a suitable title for the précis. The title should ordinarily not be a complete sentence. A title must be supplied even though it may not have been asked for.
Precis Writing Rule 12
Indicate the number of words in your précis at its end.