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Some Do’s and Don’t in Precis-Writing, How to Select a Title for a Precis.

How to Select a Title?

Every Precis needs a suitable title or heading assigned to it. The title should clearly suggest what the passage is all about. Try to assign a short title (which may be a word, a phrase or a short sentence). The title is generally concealed in the first or the last sentence. If you do not get at it, then search for it in the body of the passage where in some key word, key phrase or a key sentence may betray it to you. The title should be all embracive, in other words, it should unfold the contents of the passage. Once you have assigned a suitable title, it would become easier for you to write the precis. Therefore, be cautious about the selection of a suitable title. Carelessness in the selection of a title may lead you astray and thus may end your bright chances of successful rendering of the precis.

Some Do’s and Don’t in Precis-Writing

  1. Read the passage 3, 4 times to grasp the thought content.
  2. Underline the main ideas.
  3. Arrange all the main ideas in order of their occurrence in the passage.
  4. Re-construct the passage in your mind with the help of the main ideas arranged by you.
  5. Make a rough precis.
  6. Count and compare the words with the original passage. The precis should be one third of the original passage.
  7. Prune the superficial words. Use one word instead of many.
  8. Conform to the prescribed number of words or the length.
  9. Write in your own words.
  10. Be clear in your expression.
  11. Precis should be a faithful picture of the original as far as the ideas go.
  12. Do not give your personal views and comments.
  13. Write in the third person.
  14. Do not conclude the precis with words like this is true, this is correct, therefore, however.
  15. Assign a suitable heading. It should clearly suggest what the passage is all about.
  16. Form paragraphs of your precis if there is need for it.
  17. Revise the precis, and give it a good shape.
  18. It should be in a narrative form. Avoid interrogative sentences.
  19. Do not abbreviate words or dates.
  20. Do not borrow words/sentences from original except in case of technical/ scientific terms.


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