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Writing a précis

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Tutor: Sadia

Summary

Writing a précis

In a nutshell

A précis is the art of shortening a longer piece of text to a shorter summary without losing too much of the important information included in the original version. In this summary, you will learn some tips to write your own précis.



Get the overall idea and generalise it

To generalise text means to make a summary of the key ideas. 


Example

orignal text

précis text

The girl was always going to local events and activities after school, like birthday parties for friends or netball, tennis and chess.
After school, the girl was often busy.



Remove unnecessary text

Delete any writing that does not add to meaning. 


Example

orignal TEXT

PRéCIS TEXT

There are many car brands made in Italy, such as Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat and Lamborghini.
Many cars brands are made in Italy.



Take out anything that doesn't add to overall meaning

Remove any overly long phrases or figures of speech.


Example

original TEXT

PRéCIS TEXT

It is without doubt a certain pleasure to enjoy the sunshine, the time playing by the pool, the exotic food and the many sights and attractions while on a summer holiday.
A summer holiday is a pleasure.


Replace clauses or phrases for single words

Reduce longer phrases and clauses to a few or single words. 


Example

original TEXT

PRéCIS TEXT

The lesson was, without a shadow of a doubt, fun.
The lesson was fun.



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Exercises

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

How do you generalise a text?

What is a precis in writing?

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