Raj is a software engineer with excellent technical skills. But he’s not an efficient communicator. One of his biggest weaknesses is the inability to speak or write with precision. This is why Raj keeps failing in the interview rounds as well as in placement exercises that involve language, as in the case of precis writing.
To test precision writing in candidates, there is no better challenge than precis writing, which technically means a summary of a passage of text. Let’s take a closer look at this popular recruitment exercise and explore some precis writing samples.
The Key Elements of Precis Writing
Precis writing samples with answers can only be appreciated properly when you’re aware of what exactly characterizes a precis:
Clarity doesn’t mean that you oversimplify the original passage or try to insert your own interpretations. It means that you retain the essence of the passage without making your precis an exact but shortened copy of the original.
If you look at some of the best examples of precis writing, you’ll see the authors have invariably improvised on the vocabulary. This improvisation means that you use words that can substitute the words in the passage most effectively, as you can’t copy exact sentences or words into your precis.
When you study precis writing samples with answers, notice how each of these examples of precis writing maintains a compact structure that caters to all the crucial parts of the original passage.
Tips To Remember During Precis Writing
Precis writing examples with solutions tell you what to do, but not always how to do it. This part about “how to do it” can be best understood by going through the list of tips for mastering precis writing instead of merely looking at examples of precis writing:
Make the precis one-third of the original passage in size
Before writing your precis, make a list of the important points you want your precis to cover
Try to retain any statistics or figures mentioned in the passage in your precis
Always use indirect speech in your precis
Precis Writing Examples With Solutions
To better understand how the best examples of precis writing manage to extract the main substance from a larger passage, let’s go through the following precis writing examples with solutions.
Original Text: (The Myth of Freedom by Yuval Noah Harari, The Guardian, September 14, 2018)
Liberalism is founded on the belief in human liberty. Unlike rats and monkeys, human beings are supposed to have “free will”. This is what makes human choices the ultimate moral and political authority in the world.
If you happened to be amid the riots in Washington on the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated, or in Paris in May 1968, or at the Democratic party’s convention in Chicago in August 1968, you might well have thought that the end was near. While Washington, Paris and Chicago were descending into chaos, the Soviet system seemed destined to endure forever. Yet 20 years later it was the Soviet system that collapsed. The clashes of the 1960s strengthened liberal democracy, while the stifling climate in the Soviet bloc presaged its demise.
Precis Writing Sample
Human liberty defines liberalism. The concept of “free will” is exclusive to humans and gives us moral and political authority.
During the 1960s, liberalism was undergoing a crisis in the West. Contrasted with the chaos in liberalism, the illiberal system in the Soviet Union seemed to be flourishing. However, in a matter of two decades, it was the Soviet system that collapsed, while liberal democracy strengthened by adapting itself.
Original Text (Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex von Tunzelmann, pg 277)
On 28 July, Mountbatten held a reception at which he, Patel and V.P. Menon joined forces to bully the princes. The Maharajas stood around nervously to watch this daunting triumvirate at work. Mountbatten would not be able to provide Patel with a completely full basket of apples, but it is striking that he managed to secure as many as he did.
Most of the princes would disappear quietly into estate management or gin palaces, as they pleased. But an impressive number of exceptions ran for office in the new democratic India. Whatever may be said about Mountbatten’s tactics or the machinations of Patel, their achievement remains remarkable. Between them, and in less than a year, it may be argued that these two men achieved a larger India, more closely integrated, than had 90 years of the British raj, 180 years of the Mughal Empire, or 130 years of Ashoka and the Maurya rulers.
Precis Writing Sample:
Mountbatten held a reception with the purpose of bullying the princes in tandem with Patel and V.P. Menon. As the princes speculated, Mountbatten went about persuading them, providing Patel with far more accessions than he should have been able to.
Many princes became irrelevant after accession, but some ran for office in independent India. But between themselves, Mountbatten and Patel achieved something remarkable, constituting an India at the time of independence that was greater and more closely integrated than ever before.
Perfect The Art Of Precis Writing
Some examples of precis writing, as cited above, demonstrate that precis writing is no simple skill. At Harappa , the Writing Proficiently course is tailor-made to cater to the development of skills like precis writing. Through this course, you will learn how to structure your precis, summarize arguments, and achieve precision through the best examples of precis writing. Enroll today for the Writing Proficiently course and join employees from organizations like Airtel, Uber, Standard Chartered, etc. in becoming perfect precis writers.
Explore topics such as What are Written Communication Skills, the Significance of Writing Skills, Different Types of Writing Styles, Examples of Descriptive Writing & Common Persuasive Writing Techniques and learn to draft well-crafted messages to convey your ideas and intentions.
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