A good piece of précis should possess the following qualities;
A good précis is always written in the fewest possible words. The writer expresses only the gist, the main purport or general idea of the passage very concisely. There is no room for examples, illustrations and quotations in précis.
- Complete and self contained:
A good précis is always complete and self contained. It means it must convey its message fully and clearly without requiring any reference and allusion to the original passage to compete its meaning. The writer should ensure that all the important ideas are included in the précis.
There is coherence in a good précis. It means that each part of the précis must be related to the other part like the beads of rosary. In order to achieve coherence, connecting words like however, similarly, therefore, that, so, consequently, etc should be used in précis. In coherence, ideas do not appear as separate notes.
- Clearness: A good précis is also clear, vivid, simple and easy to understand because in this the writer uses simple, clear and familiar words after understanding and comprehending the original passage.
A good précis is correct in every respect there is no mistake of grammar or punctuation
- Faithful representation:
A good précis presents a faithful reproduction of the main theme. There is no room in précis for on thoughts or ideas.
A good précis is almost one third of the original passage. Therefore the writer includes all the unnecessary details from the précis.
- Elimination of Outdated words:
In a good précis there is no room for outdated words and phrases. It possesses current vocabulary in it.
- Use of Grammar and Idioms:
A good précis is always in harmony with the grammar. It bears the use of idioms which makes précis more concise and useful.
A good précis also possesses proper and suitable use of punctuation marks where necessary. The use of punctuation marks makes the précis easy to understand and create effective feedback.
- Writer’s own words:
In a good précis, the writer uses words of his own. He does not borrow words, phrases, and sentences from the original passage. It shows the through understanding of the writer.
A good précis also possesses this quality if be necessary. It does not contain loose sentences. Paragraphs should not appear to be separated in a good précis. Paragraph also shows the order of ideas.
- Chronological order:
A good piece of précis does not change the chronological order of the original passage.
- Variety of language:
A good précis contains easy words and simple sentences. It avoids complex sentences which may create ambiguity and divergence between the thoughts of the original passage and the précis passage.
- Logical and natural sequence of points:
This means that sentence and ideas should follow one after the other in an unbroken chain. The main theme should run through the sentences like a thread through the beads of a necklace.
- Reflects the Title:
A good précis also possesses a title that shows the main theme of the passage. Whether the title is pointed out or not, it must emerge before the very eyes of the reader while he is reading the précis passage.
- Avoids redundancy of thoughts:
A good précis does not possess redundancies or repetition of thoughts and facts and figures.
- Avoids lexical items:
A good précis avoids lexical items. There is no room for colloquial expressions, circumlocutions, periphrasis or rhetorical flourishes.
- Use of Indirect speech
A good précis is an embodiment of indirect speech. Direct speech is always avoided that is why it is not found in a good piece of précis.
- Leading thoughts in harmony with general impression:
A good précis should give the leading thoughts and the general impression of the passage summarized. A précis that gives only leading points without general impression is not useful. It can not be called a perfect one.
- Tense: A good piece of précis may be penned down in present or past tenses.
- Third person pronoun:
A good piece of précis always uses third case of personal pronoun in stead of using first or second cases of personal pronouns.
- Avoids Personal opinion:
A good précis does not possess personal views of the précis maker. It only possesses the ideas of the writer of the original passage.