Practical English Usage
English grammar and vocabulary exercises
Precis writing tips - useful aids in summarizing
A useful aid in summarizing is the method of substitution. Study the following examples:
Write indivisible for cannot be divided
In many cases a phrase or a clause can be replaced by an adjective or adverb. For instance, the sentence ‘The old woman accepted the gift with a heart full of gratitude’ can be summarized as ‘The old woman accepted the gift gratefully or thankfully.’The length of a summary
There are no hard and fast rules regarding the length of the precis or summary. Ideally it should be one-third of the length of the given passage.How to choose a heading?
Read the given passage carefully. Find out what the passage is all about. Try to find a word or a phrase or a short sentence that will sum up the subject matter of the passage. This should be the heading or title. If the given passage is a story, you may choose the name of the protagonist or an incident in the story as the heading. If the given passage is an essay or a paragraph, you may use some apt proverb or quotation as the heading. Begin all the important words in a heading with capital letters.
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