A precis is a clear, compact logical summary of a passage. It preserves only the essential and important ideas of the original. A good precis shows the writing skills of a person.

Main features of a good precis

Clarity means getting your message across so that the reader can understand what the writer is trying to convey. It is the basic and essential requirement of a precis. The ideas should be clear and understandable. There should not be any ambiguity in your writing. The clarity can be achieved by using simple language and structure. If your precis is not understandable, the reader it will lose interest.

Mistakes in the writings always annoy the reader. At the time of writing or composing a precis the writer must ensure that there are no factual errors. Sentence and copy structure should be appealing. Spellings of words must be correct because a mistake in structure and spellings may spoil the message.
We must not ignore the following points:

  • Misspelled words
  • Mistakes in figures and dates
  • Mistakes in punctuation
  • Mistakes of grammar and structure

Objectivity means the ability to present the facts, feelings, opinions without personal bias. While making a precis, one should adopt an objective approach. He should not give and add his personal opinion and ideas in a precis. A precis should be purely a summary of the original text without any addition from the writerís side.

Coherence means the logical and clear interconnection of ideas in a written piece. A good precis should be coherent. The ideas which are presented in a precis must have a logical connection and they all should be interrelated. In short we may say that the ideas should be well knitted so that the writer may not be confused and lose his interest.

Another striking feature of a good precis is completeness. A precis should be complete in all respect. Completeness means that the writer should include all the important facts in a precis. To make it short the writer should not omit the important ideas. This mistake on the part of the writer will spoil the importance and meaning of the precis.

Conciseness is a desirable quality of a good precis. Conciseness means to say all that needs to be said and no more. The writer should write what is necessary and avoid writing unnecessary details. A succinct piece of work conveys the message in the fewest possible words. But one point must be kept in mind that the writer should not omit some basic and essential facts to achieve conciseness.
To achieve conciseness, notice the following suggestions:

  • Omitting unnecessary details
  • Avoid verbosity
  • Include only relevant material
  • Avoid unnecessary repetition