How To Write A Precis: Easy And Clear Guidance For Students


What is a precis? This is an interesting academic writing task. It is less common than a regular essay or research paper writing. But it is still that important to learn. Precis is a summary of another work. This is a brief explanation to help you understand better what we deal with here. 

Your task is to summarize the main idea of another paper, research the arguments, and tell more about the work’s major insights. Do you panic when you see such an assignment? You shouldn’t panic at all. Your task is to research additional materials and get prepared for the task. It isn’t that difficult. All you need is a clear structure and some time for writing. That’s it. Let’s see what a precis is and how to deal with the assignment. 

Precis Writing: How to Start Working on the Paper

We have already given a brief definition of the task. The main word derives from French. When writing a precis, you should remember the major task. There’s no need to rewrite the paper. Your goal is to summarize the writing. And the finishing touch is to explain the significance of the paper to the readers. 

You need to explain the main aspects of the paper. First of all, it is necessary to tell the audience about the whole paper. There are cases when the audience knows little about the subject. And your task is to explain the essence to the readers. You need to mention the structure and provide the reader with your reaction to the paper. 

When writing a precis, you have to remember that the paper differs from regular essay writing. This is a summary, and your major task is to summarize the information. But rewriting the text isn’t necessary. You can interpret the content and use some quotes, but copying the text is a bad idea. 

You should also remember that a precis has to shed light on the value of the writing. Your task as a writer is to follow the rules of writing and correct formatting. A good structure should consist of a well-organized thesis, methods used in the paper, results, and coherent conclusions. 

A Precis Writing: Basic Requirements to the Paper

Writing a precis is easy. But you need to follow the rules of writing. We are going to point out several crucial things. This list will help you cover the precis writing perfectly.

  • Correctness should be a priority. You need to check the text and see if there are any mistakes. If you notice any misconceptions, you should amend them. It is necessary to insert correct information about the figures, statistics, and other important data. 
  • You should write clearly. You can’t ignore the natural flow of the sentences. Your task is to convey the sense of the writing. But you should also make sure that the final variant sounds good. 
  • Be objective. You can’t be exposed to your emotions and feelings. You need to provide real facts and stay away from your personal opinion. 
  • Be conscious and try to include only relevant information. 

But there are also quite crucial don’ts. These are the following things that you can’t do when writing a precis. 

  • Don’t use the same sentences as the author used in the original. 
  • You should avoid the information that would sound irrelevant. 
  • Your task is to write on behalf of the author. You can’t write a paper in the first person. 
  • Don’t use misleading data. You should always check if the data is correct. 
  • Try to write simply. 

These are the most useful tips that you can get before writing a precis. Now that you know the details let’s move on. The next step is to deal with precise writing. 

How to Manage a Precis Writing: Paper Structure

We have already mentioned that writing a paper should be a consistent process. It is necessary to work on a good structure. Writing a precis, you need to stick to a structure. Let’s look at the basic components of the paper. 


The first thing is the introduction. In the first paragraph, you need to mention the name of the original author and the title of the paper. You should also mention the date, discuss the thesis of the author and provide the reader with a personal thesis. 

In some cases, you may want to include a hook. But lots of authors say they are against such a trick at the beginning of the paper. It isn’t always appropriate to insert a hook at the beginning. A good example would be a combination of all the necessary aspects in a single paragraph. 

Body Section

The next part is to write the body sections. You need to decide on the number of paragraphs before you start writing a paper. The number of paragraphs can vary. It often depends on the ideas you want to discuss. You should take into account the arguments presented in the original work. 

Your major task is to analyze the information. You can’t simply interpret your point of view. You need to provide the reader with sound arguments and discuss them objectively. Do you want to make it more diverse and insert some original quotes? You can easily do it. However, there’s one thing to remember. The use of original quotes should be reduced. You should control them. 


This should be the last part of your writing. Here you need to conclude all the elements discussed in the paper. Your goal is to restate the basic concepts and finish your text properly. 

How to Cope with the Assignment: Necessary Tips

Working on the paper can be interesting. If you enjoy the topic and know the rules of writing, working on the assignment should be a piece of cake for you. But what if you are a beginner? What should you do to successfully manage the task? 

There are several things that you should remember. They may help you manage with the paper. Let’s discuss them in detail:

  • Stay true to the original. It will be easier for you to work on the paper if you know the original piece well. For this reason, you should read the original paper and learn it well. This way, you will better understand the specificity of the work and will be able to render the main ideas properly. 
  • Now we are to specify the basic points. You can’t miss this step. If you want to produce a structured paper, you should do it first. Look through the paper and define the main points. 
  • Look at the evidence provided by the author. You shouldn’t ignore them. They may assist you when writing a paper. 
  • Look through the original piece and see if you deal with new information. If you doubt the definition or have a vague understanding of the concept, you should check it. Your task is to learn everything about the subject of your paper. If anything is unclear for you, it would badly affect your writing. 
  • Then, you need to work on the issues that the author used. 
  • Your main task is to see how the author managed to render the main sense of the work. When you understand it, you can move further with the writing. 
  • Now we get close to the writing part. You need to read a thesis and restate it. It is one of the most crucial parts of writing. Therefore, you need to take time and be ready to work properly on the thesis. 
  • The following steps are to work on each paragraph in the original paper. You need to summarize the content and simply describe it. Don’t be too wordy. It is necessary to include only relevant data. 
  • Now you’re almost done. You need to finish the paper with a nice conclusion. When the writing part is ready, you should read the paper. Look at the original paper, make sure you managed well and finish the paper. 

These are working steps. They help beginners to manage the assignment. The steps are easy. They don’t take much time if you prepare well. It is important to work on the preparation part and then enjoy the writing activity. 

Let’s Conclude

Working on the precis may be interesting. You may enjoy discussing the ideas of another author. To be true, writing a precis has both pros and cons. On the one hand, you don’t need to write a paper from scratch. Your task is to simply summarize the work of another author. But you also need to carefully read the original work and analyze it. It is a time-consuming activity. Be ready to dedicate enough time. 

But you can make it all easier. If you follow a good outline, you will manage the paper at ease. All you need is to read the original work and use our tips. We have gathered all the necessary tips to help you manage the writing. With our pieces of advice, you will smoothly cope with a challenging assignment. Your task is to carefully look at our tips and use them. This way, the task will be such a pleasure for you.