What is a Precis?
A precis is a specific kind of summary of an article, book, or speech that uses
the language and overall structure of the original source.
Precis-writing is defined as a brief statement in a summary form of the
essential ideas in a longer article.
How to write a Precis?
The precis-writer should read the full passage thoroughly to get main theme.
Read the paragraph and While writing, don't go back and read paragraph
Underline or highlight all the important ideas.
The precis-writer can use his/her own language for precis-writing.
Confirm, whether unimportant points and irrelevant points are excluded in
Each material facts are presented in a separate paragraph
Edit and modify if necessary.
A Precis Must Have These Points
Number of words in Precis should of 1/3 of the actual paragraph
Don't change the central idea of paragraph
Retain the keywords of the paragraph
Don't waste your time in counting words, instead count lines.
Your precis should be completed in one paragraph only and in some cases it
can be exceeded.
It must be a miniature version of the original passage.
It must follow the order of ideas of the original.
It must have a title.
It should be written in reported speech (indirect).
Common Mistakes While Writing a Precis
Don't give your personal opinion
Don't use any idiom of your own
Never conclude anything of your own
Never assume anything
Why “Precis Writing” is Needed?
The primary object of precis writing is to present facts and information to
spend time reading unnecessary details
The necessity of speedily reading documents mainly arises in business firms
and government departments besides other fields of activity
Precis-writing is regarded as a very important kind of composition because it
develops one's capacity to discriminate between the essential and the non-
Teaching is the noblest of professions. A teacher has a scared duty to perform. It is he on
whom rests the responsibility of moulding the character of young children. Apart from
developing their intellect, he can inculcate in them qualities of good citizenship,
remaining neat and clean, talking decently and sitting properly. These virtues are not
easy to be imbibed. Only he who himself leads a life of simplicity, purity and rigid
discipline can successfully cultivate these habits in his pupils. Besides a teacher always
remain young. He may grow old in age, but not in spite. Perpetual contact with budding
youths keeps him happy and cheerful. There are moments when domestic worries weigh
heavily on his mind, but the delightful company of innocent children makes him
overcome his transient moods of despair.
Teaching is the noblest profession. A teacher himself leading a simple, pure and
disciplined life can mould the character of the young children and make them neat and
good mannered citizens. Besides he remains every young forgetting his own domestic
worries in the constant company of the young.
Difference Between Precis & Summary
A small replica or a model of any passage
Shortened description of any passage or
It always maintains the order of the
original piece and is always in written
Not specifically have to maintain the
order and can be written as well as
In a Precis, the reader reads a piece of
information and has to extract the main
idea that is being talked about
In summary, the reader or listener decides
what are the main points that need to be
expressed from the given piece.
Maintains the keywords, Data and
Concept from the source
This expresses the main idea of each
paragraph and evidence in support of that
idea from the original source
Activity: Precis Writing
Several times in the history of the world particular countries and cities or
even small groups of people have attained a high degree of civilization. Yet
none of these civilizations, important they were, have lasted and one of the
reasons why they did not least was that they were confined to a very few
people. They were like little oasis of civilization on deserts of barbarism. Now
it is no good being civilized if everybody round about you is barbarous, or
rather it is some good but it is very risky. For the barbarians are always liable
to break in on you, and with their greater numbers and rude vigor scatter
your civilization to the winds. Over and over again in history comparatively
civilized people dwelling in cities have been conquered in this way by
barbarians coming down from the hills and burning and killing and destroying
whatever they found in the plains. (153)