At one point in your life, you will be required to write a précis. You, therefore, need to understand what it is as well as its goal. The goal of a précis is to showcase the heart of one’s work in a way that is more understandable and concise. A précis should include your main argument or the thesis statement of a paper, the purpose of your study, the methods used in a study, the findings, and finally, the conclusion of your study.

Therefore, it should not reveal everything but enough to arouse attention and interest in a reader. 

What Is a Précis and Why Is It Important?
The term précis is not English but is an old French word which meant to cut short. It is simply defined or described as a summary or a short and succinct summary of your work or study. In essence, after reading the précis of your paper, someone should be able to get the main point you wish to communicate as well as why you wish to communicate that particular point. 

Additionally, readers should also be able to get or understand the structure of your work as well as any arguments used to support your main point. However, it should not mimic or be written like critical analysis. While both pieces tend to include the main argument of a paper, the latter also goes further and assesses the author’s main argument as well as the evidence used to support the same. However, a précis is quite objective and therefore, does not include any individual response or reaction to an article. 

Précis writing is indeed important and for several reasons. These include:

  • It gives a brief description of the key terminologies used in the paper.
  • It provides readers with a short description of the methods used in an article or research paper.
  • It provides readers with the purpose of a study or helps them understand why the article is important.
  • A précis is also important because it helps to compress a piece of work while seeking to retain the important segments.

Criteria of a Strong Précis
Writing a précis should not be a big problem. However, you can easily fail in writing a good précis. Therefore, if you wish to write a good précis adhere to the following criteria:

  • Ensure that it is brief, clear, and precise. Avoid wordiness and go straight to the point.
  • Use your own words and avoid taking or using the article’s words.
  • Ensure that what you write is an exact but miniature version of your article.
  • Logically connect your arguments and ensure your précis is well-knit.
  • Ensure your précis flows seamlessly. All the points in your paper should flow and you should use linking words such as Additionally, Secondly, Moreover, etc. to help your paper maintain coherence.
  • Include essentials only and remove what is unnecessary. 
  • Include a title in your précis.

How to Spot a Weak Précis
At, there are numerous tips on how to write good essays, or good research papers. 

However, this article will go further and give you details of how a bad précis looks like. Spotting a weak précis is not difficult and you need to look out for the following:

  • Lack of coherence in how an article is written. This means the ideas in a paper are not connected and the paper does not flow.
  • A weak précis will also use the original words of the paper. 
  • One which fails to indicate the main point or is not at all related to the main article.

Rules You Should Follow when Writing a Précis
While writing a précis, ensure you adhere to the following rules:
  • Write you précis in reported speech at all times. This means you should write it in the words of the author.
  • Avoid being subjective while writing a précis. This means you should not express your own opinion of paper or even offer criticism, remarks, or a wish. Remain objective at all times.
  • Make it short and to the point. Do not make it long and always ensure you present the original ideas of your paper. 
  • Do not include new ideas or ones which were absent or missing in the original paper. 
  • Use whole words and avoid using abbreviations in your précis. 
  • Do not include any questions in your précis. While writing a précis avoid including questions or making inquiries into the article. Use statements in your précis and make them precise and clear. 
In conclusion, it is essential to understand that a précis is not a personal statement or interpretation of an article. Before you write one, ensure you have completely understood the work, study, or article you are writing on. A weak précis will always lack coherence with the original paper. Therefore, to express the central argument and to abstract it well, understand the work first. Do not veer off and become subjective but always stick to what the original author says or states. For more information visit where you can get professional advice and also have experts write your précis for you.