Saturday, July 21, 2012

How to write a précis

How to Write a Precis

Precis means summarizing of a passage. It actually tests the ability of a reader's comprehension of a piece of article. The following points should be kept in mind in writing a precis: 
1. The precis SHOULD ONLY BE One-Third of the main passage.
2. The main idea must be grasped reading it carefully.
3. It must be written in a paragraph.
4. Give a suitable Title.
5. Figure out unnecessary points from the passage and leave them out.
6. Write with utmost care checking spelling, punctuation and errors.
7. If the main passage is described in the direct speech, try to transform it into indirect speech. And the point of view should be third person narrative.
STUDY the Following example:

 ''The man who has something to say and who is never known to speak unless he is sure to be listen to, especially in deliberative assembly or wherever there is business to be done, while no one pays attention to the man of mere words. Try to have an idea, or if you cannot find one-- ideas are by no means common--have two or three relevant facts. You may tell me that sometimes a man is forced to speak when there is nothing to be said. This doesn't often happen, because if you think a little before you rise, you will almost always find something relevant to the matter in hand, even if the occasion is a purely ornamental one. There is a well-known speech of Cicero's in which he had to present a legal case was weak, so he passed quickly and lightly over it, but made a graceful and eloquent speech upon poetry in general. The theme was not very new then, is still less new now, but the speech was so polished in its language that it can still be read with pleasure. So when you have to propose the health of someone of whose personal merits you know nothing, you may say something about the importance of his office if he is a high civil servant or a mayor, or the services rendered by his profession if he is a surgeon. If you can find nothing at all to say, don't say it. You silence will not harm you in the long run.'' (13th BCS)

>Now have a good look at the following:                        
A Speech should have Substance
Everybody listens to someone who has something to say. One should have an idea or some relevant facts before speaking. A little thinking will always produce such fact. Cicero's speech defending a poet in a legal case is illustrative. The case being weak he said very little about it, but made a wonderful speech on poetry. So when called upon to speak on somebody whose personal qualities one is unaware of, one might talk about things bearing on his office or profession. If one cannot think up any ideas, one should keep silent.