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English Grammar

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing
Written by Shahzad F. Malik

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

Precis writing is an essential skill for students and professionals alike. It involves summarizing a larger piece of text into a shorter version that retains the essential meaning and main points of the original. Precis writing helps you to develop your critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills. It also prepares you for academic and professional communication, where concise and clear writing is highly valued.

However, precis writing can be challenging, especially if you are not aware of the common mistakes that many writers make. In this guide, we will explore some of the common errors in English precis writing and how to avoid them.

Failing to understand the original text

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

One of the most common mistakes in precis writing is not understanding the original text. Before you start summarizing the text, it is important to read it carefully and make sure you have a clear understanding of its main ideas, arguments, and evidence. Failure to understand the text can result in inaccuracies and omissions that can affect the quality and credibility of your precis.

To avoid this mistake, take your time to read the text carefully, and if necessary, read it multiple times. Highlight or underline the main ideas and arguments, and take notes of any relevant evidence or examples. This will help you to have a clear and accurate understanding of the text, which is essential for writing a good precis.

Including irrelevant information

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

Another common mistake in precis writing is including irrelevant information. A precis should only include the most important and relevant information from the original text. Including irrelevant details can distract the reader and weaken the impact of your summary.

To avoid this mistake, focus on the main ideas and arguments of the text, and leave out any unnecessary or tangential information. Use your critical thinking skills to identify the key points and evidence that support the main arguments, and ignore any irrelevant details or examples.

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Not capturing the tone and style of the original text

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

A good precis should capture the tone and style of the original text. The tone refers to the author’s attitude towards the subject, while the style refers to the author’s writing style, such as formal, informal, or academic. Failure to capture the tone and style of the original text can result in a summary that does not accurately reflect the author’s intentions or message.

To avoid this mistake, pay attention to the tone and style of the original text, and try to reflect them in your summary. If the author uses formal language, try to use similar language in your precis. If the author’s tone is serious or ironic, try to capture that tone in your summary. This will help you to create a summary that accurately reflects the author’s message and style.

Not proofreading and editing your precis

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

Another common mistake in precis writing is not proofreading and editing your summary. A precis that contains errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling can detract from the quality and impact of your summary. It can also create a negative impression of your writing skills and attention to detail.

To avoid this mistake, proofread your precis carefully, and edit it for any errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Use online tools like Grammarly to check for errors and improve the clarity of your writing. It is also helpful to ask a friend or colleague to review your precis and provide feedback on its clarity, accuracy, and impact.

Plagiarizing the original text

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

Plagiarism is a serious offense in academic and professional writing. It refers to using someone else’s work or ideas without giving proper credit or citation. Plagiarism can result in disciplinary action, loss of credibility, and damage to your reputation.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to paraphrase the original text in your own words, and cite any sources that you use. Use quotation marks when you include direct quotes from the text, and make sure to provide a proper citation for each quote. When paraphrasing, try to capture the meaning and essence of the original text, but use your own words and sentence structure. This will help you to avoid plagiarism and maintain the integrity of your writing.

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Not following the prescribed format

Avoiding Common Mistakes in English Precis Writing

Finally, another common mistake in precis writing is not following the prescribed format. Precis writing typically follows a specific format that includes an introductory sentence, a statement of the author’s main point, a summary of the supporting arguments, and a conclusion that reflects the author’s purpose or message.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to understand the prescribed format and structure of precis writing. Follow the instructions provided by your instructor or supervisor, and use the appropriate format for the type of text you are summarizing. This will help you to create a summary that is clear, concise, and effective in conveying the main ideas and arguments of the original text.

In conclusion, English precis writing is an important skill that requires practice, attention to detail, and critical thinking. By avoiding the common mistakes outlined in this guide, you can create a summary that accurately reflects the main ideas and arguments of the original text, and that is clear, concise, and effective in communicating your message to the reader. Remember to read the text carefully, focus on the main ideas and arguments, capture the tone and style of the original text, proofread and edit your precis, avoid plagiarism, and follow the prescribed format. With these tips, you can become a skilled and effective precis writer, and enhance your academic and professional communication skills.


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About the author

Shahzad F. Malik

Shahzad Faisal Malik is the administrator of CSSTimes.pk and is responsible for managing the content, design, and overall direction of the blog. He has a strong background in Competitive Exams and is passionate and sharing information with others.
Shahzad Faisal Malik has worked as a Graphic Designer/Content Creator at CSSTimes in the past. In his free time, Shahzad Faisal Malik enjoys watching Cricket, writing blogs for different websites and is always on the lookout for new and interesting content to share with the readers of this website.
As the website administrator, Shahzad Faisal Malik is dedicated to providing high-quality content and fostering a welcoming and engaging community for readers. He looks forward to connecting with readers and hearing their thoughts and feedback on the website.

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