Dreams will come true

Precis writing

Writing Example


The passage : What do we dream about?  (228 words)

A subject of great debate has been the nature of dreams that people experience. Dreams can range from the mundane to the fantastic. They can create emotions like anxiety, joy, fear, anger, etc., in the dreamer. Dreamers often feel that what they experience in their dreams is very real.

It is common for people to have recurring dreams. Some people have recurring dreams of falling, flying or being chased. Nightmares are also common and often occur among children and adolescents. Nightmares may be the result of unresolved conflict or anxiety.

Many theories have been put forth to explain why dreams occur. One of the theories is that dreams are merely reproductions of incomplete thoughts or events experienced in the day. Another theory is that dreams are representations of our desires and fears. It has also been propagated that our dreams are populated with universal symbols that may be recognizable across a myriad of cultures.

Sometimes dreams have been reported to contain warnings or messages about the immediate future. It has also been suggested that dreams can be used for solving problems and arriving at solutions.

Many people keep dream journals. They record their dreams on a daily basis. Dream journals may be maintained as a hobby or to gain a better understanding of dreams and consequently oneself.

Carl Jung, the famous psychologist maintained a dream journal known as the “Red Book”.

The precis : Nature of dreams  (75 words)

When people dream, they experience various emotions such as anxiety, joy, fear, etc. Often dreamers believe their dream is real. Many people have recurring dreams. Nightmares are also commonly experienced. They may be due to unresolved problems. Dreams may be extensions of one”s thoughts, embodiments of one”s fears and desires and predictions about the future. Dreams may even be useful in solving problems. The famous psychologist, Carl Jung was known for keeping a dream journal.


Learning Points

A precis is the short form of a passage. It is a miniature replication of the original passage.

Precis writing is a process of condensing a passage to its main points. It expresses the theme of the passage as briefly as possible.

A precis is characterized by its brevity. More importantly, it should be easily understood by the reader without having to refer to the original passage.

Thus, a precis must briefly cover all the ideas stated in a passage.

In a nut-shell, precis writing means bringing out the gist of given passage in a few number of words not exceeding one-third of the original passage.

A precis has several important uses. Let us take a look at the uses of a precis :

– It is useful in grasping the ideas of a passage, extract, chapter or book.

– It aids concentration when reading a passage that has to be summarized.

– It improves writing skills and teaches one to write in brevity as well as to follow a logical order.

– It can be used by students and working professionals in order to replicate information in a brief and complete form.

There are certain guidelines that must be followed when writing a precis.

They can be divided into guidelines to be followed before writing the precis and guidelines to be followed during the process of writing a precis.

Before writing the precis, we must follow these guidelines :

– First of all, read the passage a number of times so as to gain an understanding of the passage.
– Select a suitable title for the passage. The title can be created using words or phrases from the passage.
– The title must reflect the theme of the passage.
– Note the length of the original passage.
– The essential points of the passage must be noted. Irrelevant and incidental points such as examples, illustrations or comment by the author may be omitted.
– Using the essential points, an outline of the passage may be formed.

The following are the necessary guidelines followed during the process of writing the precis :

– A rough draft is written using the outline formed.
– The essential points must appear in a logical sequence.
– If the original passage is separated into paragraphs, the precis must present them as a connected whole.
– Avoid using words and sentences from the original passage unless absolutely necessary.
– Avoid words like “In my opinion,”, “I believe that”, etc.
– Exclude proverbs, illustrations, repetitions and quotations.
– The precis must be written in simple and unambiguous language.
– The precis must be written in the past tense and indirect speech. It is written in the third person.
– Compare the draft to the original passage an check that all the essential points have been covered.
– Revise the draft and ensure that the length of the precis is one-third of the original passage.
– Check for spelling mistakes, grammar and errors in punctuation.
– Write the final draft and include a title or heading.

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