The assignment: write a précis, in 800-1000 words (approximately four double-spaced pages), of the first two-thirds of “Reading: An Intertextual Activity,” by Robert Scholes. Your precis should cover Scholes’s essay through the top of page 28.
What the heck is going on here, what is a precis?
Derived from French, the word “précis” means a summary. So, if your professors give you such writing assignments, they want you to summarize some text and convey the summary in minimum words.
- A critical précis is a clear, concise, and logical summary of a passage preserving its essential ideas only.
Before writing a précis, make sure you clearly understand its peculiarities and specification.
Note: this article has been updated in April 2017.
When assigned to write a critique of a novel, be sure you understand the specification of this task: writing a critique and writing a review are far from the same.
What is the difference?
- A book review = its summary aimed at telling readers about the plot.
- A book (novel) critique = its analysis aimed at critical responding and evaluating its quality.
Have you ever wondered –
- What’s in the head of John Matrix as he rows his inflatable boat?
- What does Robocop’s inner self look like?
- Or, about how tight a ninja suit is for an American soldier?
If so (certainly, not), neither Commando nor RoboCop or American Ninja movies will help you find the answer. Literature will.
As it turns out, such literature exists:
Novelization is an attempt to translate popular movies plots into the fictional prose language.
Unappreciated writing is as good as dead.
Every person, from a college student who writes essays to a pro writer, is struggling to get recognition.
If you think that being dependent on others’ opinion is beneath your dignity, I have a shortcut for you: just press CTRL+W. (And those writing gems with zero hassle are offered to click a small ‘x’ at the right top of this tab).
And if you belong to endangered species (i.e. open to fresh thoughts), there is good news for you: I’ve prepared the unique material on the topic. Fine, I hate overextended intrigues too, so let’s go.
Updated February 2016
‘There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change.’
Famous authors attract enormous attention. Sometimes daily rituals, habits and customs of famous writers are quite weird indeed. Fans are trying to copy out the behavior of their idols, their wardrobe, and even make numerous plastic surgeries to become one step closer to the stars. The motivation behind such behavior can be explained for sure. It might be either irrational (just to have fun) or rational – to get the same results. E.g., Jack London was a huge fan of Rudyard Kipling, and he rewrote (i.e. w/o a typewriter) his books.