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    What Are Dos And Don'ts of a Good Precis?



    Dos
    a) Read through the whole passage you are asked to make a précis of or find out the central through, that is, the general argument contained in it. If not already given, calculate approximately the number of words in the passage set.
    b) Read the passage thoroughly (slowly and carefully) twice, thrice, or four times, if necessary, so that clear grasp of the whole passage could be obtained.
    c) Mark the salient points (leading ideas) appearing in the passage or make marginal notes, leaving out all unimportant ones or note them down separately on the margin. This requires considerable practice.
    d) Give a suitable heading of your précis.
    e) Prepare a rough copy with the help of marks or marginal notes. Arrange them, if necessary in what you think to be the best logical order. But it is better to keep the same order of thought as in the original.

    f) Write your précis in the third person, indirect form and appropriate tense. The tense of the précis should be the same as that of the passage.
    g) It is better to give designations of officials and not their names and titles. At times, the official designation is not mentioned and you have to use the personal name. Whatever, designation you employ, you must stick to it throughout the précis.
    h) If necessary, divide the précis into paragraphs and to show where these begin, indent your writing clearly.
    i) Revise your rough copy, abridge it and if need be, improve its language. The précis should in itself be a piece of good English.
    j) Read once again the original passage to see that all the important points have been incorporated in your précis.
    k) Then write out the précis in its final revised form. Handwriting counts here also as everywhere else.
    Don'ts
    a) Do not express your own opinion, wish, remark or criticism.
    b) Do not insert any question in your précis. Its significance, if essential, may be expressed by a statement.
    c) Do not convey the ideas in the précis by incomplete sentence.
    d) Do not use telegraphic abbreviations.
    e) Do not be jerky. This suggests that most probably, you have not understood the sense of the passage properly.
    f) Do not retain one or reject the other if two ideas are equally important. Either retain both or give that combined significance.
    g) Do not forget that a standard précis will bring good marks in the examination. ORIGINAL PASSAGE
    Our instinctive apparatus consists of two parts – the one tending to further our own life and that of our descendants, the other tending to thwart the lives of supposed rivals. The first includes the joy of life, and love and art, which is psychologically an offshoot of love. The second includes competition, patriotism and war. Conventional mortality does everything to suppress the first and encourage the second. True mortality would be the exact opposite. Our dealings with those whom we love may be safely left to instinct; it is our dealings with those whom we hate that
    ought to be brought under the dominion of reason. In the modern world, those whom we effectively hate are distant groups, especially foreign nations. We conceive them abstractly, and deceive ourselves into the belief that acts which are really embodiments of hatred are done from love of justice or some such lofty motive. Only a large measure of scepticism can tear away the veils which hide this truth from us. Having achieved that, we could begin to build a new morality, not based on envy and restriction, but on the wish for a full life and the realization that other human beings are a help and not a hindrance when once the madness of envy has been cured. This is no impossibly austere morality yet its adoption would turn our earth into a paradise.
    THE NEW MORALITY
    Two parts of our instinctive part are to safeguard our selfish interests and to harm our enemies. The first contains joy love and art and the second patriotism and war. Conventional morality suppresses the first and encourages the second. True morality consists in being reasonable rather than harbouring hatred for others. We wrongly call our bad behaviour justice. We must realize this truth. Sympathy and understanding should replace every and hatred. Only this new morality can make life pleasant.
    Last edited by frankenstein; 23rd May 2015 at 11:05 AM.

 

 

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