The Abridged Version: The Précis
Although you may already have had some type of experience with several of the writing styles mentioned thus far, you may not be familiar with the précis(pray-cee, from the French word for
In writing a précis, you must:
identify the author's tone and point of view
include the key words and major points of the original work
include any valuable data that illustrates or supports the original work
disregard any introductory or supplementary information
use your own voice (you don't have to copy the original author's tone or voice)
refrain from giving your opinion of the author, the work, or the ideas presented.
Still confused? Think of a newspaper headline; it's a type of précis in that it summarizes the content, focus, and tone of a longer piece.
In general, your précis should be no more than one-third the length of the original work you're summarizing. Remember that requirements (both of length and of format) vary with instructors, publishers, and companies, so be sure to check with them about what they specify.