Active English Grammar

Precis Writing for Judicial Examinations

A  précis is a clear, concise, and logical summary of a passage preserving its essential ideas.

What to do

  1. Read the paragraph and count the words
  2. Write important points and link them
  3. Start writing the paragraph and review them
  4. While writing, don’t go back and read the paragraph again
  5. Edit and modify
  6. Number of words in Precis should of 1/3 of the actual paragraph
  7. Don’t change the central idea of the paragraph
  8. Retain the keywords of the paragraph
  9. Don’t waste your time in counting words, instead count lines.
  10. Your precis should be completed in one paragraph only
  11. Avoid weak sentences
  12. Don’t give your personal opinion
  13. Don’t use any idiom of your own
  14. Never conclude anything of your own
  15. Never assume anything
  16. Give a name of the Precis, reflecting the theme.



There is an enemy beneath our feet – an enemy more deadly for his complete impartiality. He recognizes no national boundaries, no political parties. Everyone in the world is threatened by him. The enemy is the earth itself. When an earthquake strikes, the world trembles. The power of a quake is greater than anything man himself can produce. But today scientists are directing a great deal of their effort into finding some way of combating earthquakes, and it is possible that at some time in the near future mankind will have discovered a means of protecting itself from earthquakes.An earthquake strikes without warning. When it does, its power is immense. If it strikes a modern city, the damage it causes is as great as if it has struck a primitive village. Gas mains burst, explosions are caused and fires are started. Underground railways are wrecked. Buildings collapse, bridges fall, dams burst, gaping crevices appear in busy streets.If the quake strikes at sea, huge tidal waves sweep inland. If it strikes in mountain regions, avalanches roar down into the valley. Consider the terrifying statistics from the past 1755: Lisbon, capital of Portugal – the city destroyed entirely and 450 killed. 1970: Peru: 50,000 killed.In 1968 an earthquake struck Alaska. As this is a relatively unpopulated part, only a few people were killed. But it is likely that this was one of the most powerful quakes ever to have hit the world. Geologists estimate that during the tremors, the whole of the state moved over 80 feet farther west into the Pacific Ocean. Imagine the power of something that can move an entire subcontinent! This is the problem that the scientists face. They are dealing with forces so immense that man cannot hope to resist them. All that can be done is to try to pinpoint just where the earthquake will strike and work from there. At least some precautionary measures can then be taken to save lives and some of the property. (330 Words)’

Earthquake – the deadly enemy of mankind.
Damage caused by an earthquake in general.
Damage caused by an earthquake-in particular,
What can the scientists do?

Earthquake – The Great Destroyer

Earthquake is the mankind’s deadly enemy. Earthquake strikes all without a distinction of nationality or political affiliation. The power of a quake is greater than that of any man-made weapon of destruction. An earthquake strikes mankind without a warning. A modern city when struck is reduced -to a nibble. A quake strikes plains, seas and mountains causing all round destruction. The quake struck Lisbon in 1755 killing 450; Peru in 1970 killing 50,000; Alaska in 1968 moving it 80 feet into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists are trying to find out means to combat earthquakes, to predict the origin of the quake so that precaution can be taken to save man and property from destruction.(115 words) 

Write a Precis of the following passage.

One of our most difficult problems is what we call discipline and it is really very complex. You see, society feels that it must control or discipline the citizen, shape his mind according to certain religious, social, moral and economic patterns.

Now, is discipline necessary at all? Please listen carefully. Don’t immediately say YES or NO. Most of us feel, especially while we are young, that there should be no discipline, that we should be allowed to do whatever we like and we think that is freedom. But merely to say that we should be free and so on has very little meaning without understanding the whole problem of discipline.

The keen athlete is disciplining himself the whole time, isn’t he? His joy in playing games and the very necessity to keep fit makes him go to bed early, refrain from smoking, eat the right food and generally observe the rules of good health. His discipline and punctuality is not an imposition but a natural outcome of his enjoyment of athletics. [171 words]

Hints: Though discipline seems to be a problem, it is necessary for all. Discipline shapes our mind and regulates our habits. Some want to be free and think that it is not necessary. Discipline and punctuality give enjoyment to athletes.


Write a Precis of the following passage.

There are different types of forests in India. So, the products received from these forests are also several. The following are some of the forest products which are important in the growth and development of industries.

Forest products and the industries based on them:

(i) Timber : Timber from the forest are utilised in building activities, industries and in carpentry workshops. In Andaman Islands, Asia’s largest saw mill has been in operation.

(ii) Rubber : Rubber trees are grown in large numbers on the Western Ghats. As a consequence, there are a large number of industries dependent on rubber in the Peninsular India.

(iii) Wood Pulp : Wood pulp is made from the wood of the forests and paper is manufactured from the pulp. Paper mills are large in number in the States of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. In the city of Nepa in Madhya Pradesh, there is a newsprint industry.

(iv) Lac and Wax : Lac and Wax are forest products and they are used in manufacturing paints. Thus a number of industries make use of forest products.

(v) And for the growth of the cottage industries the forests have been responsible in many an instance. [197 WORDS]


Many forest products are useful to man. Timber, rubber, Wood pulp, Lac and Wax are some of them. Timber is used for building activities. Rubber is useful for making many things. Wood pulp is used for making paper. Lac and Wax are used in making paints. There are many industries in India which depend on forest products.

Write a Precis of the following passage.

Prevention is better than cure. It is recognised that the only way to get rid of malaria completely is o get rid of the mosquitoes which cause it. Malaria is always associated with damp and marshy land. This is not because the land is damp, but because the static water is the breeding place of the mosquitoes which begin their life as a larva in the water. Malaria does not frequently occur in dry desert countries because mosquitoes can not breed there. The only way to destroy mosquitoes is to prevent their breeding in static water. This can be done by draining all ponds and pools. And by keeping them covered in the breeding season with a film of kerosene oil which by depriving the larva of air, kills them.


  • Prevention is better than cure.
  • Mosquitoes cause malaria.
  • We should get rid of malaria.
  • The static water is the breeding place of mosquitoes.
  • If the land is dry, the mosquitoes will not breed there.
  • WE should destroy the mosquitoes by draining all ponds and pools.
  • Another way to destroy the mosquitoes is to cover the ponds and the pools with a layer of kerosene oil.
  • The larvas get air and ultimately die.


  1. Summarize each section. Use your notes to write a brief summary for each section or paragraph, restricting the length to one or two sentences.
  2. Review and revise. Read through your précis. It should clearly express the original meaning of the text while retaining the same basic tone.
  3. Write in the present tense and maintain that tense throughout the paragraph.  Use active voice instead of passive voice.


Write a Precis of the following passage.

In her essay “Cyberspace and Identity” (1999), Sherry Turkle argues that “today’s life on the screen dramatizes and concretizes a range of cultural trends that encourage us to think of identity in terms of multiplicity and flexibility” . Turkle supports her assertion by juxtaposing theories of cyberspace and identity formation with older understandings of identity found in psychology, sociology, and philosophy. Her purpose is to show readers that theories on cyberspace and identity, which claim that identity is multiple and cyclical, do not overturn, but rather add to our understandings of identity in order to encourage her audience “to rethink our relationship to the computer culture and psychoanalytic culture as proudly held joint citizenship” (278). Turkle’s tone assumes a highly educated audience who is familiar with theories not only of cyberspace and identity, but sociology and psychology as well.



  • Clarity, which means your reader should understand what a writer intended to convey. Achieve it through using simple language and structure of your precis.
  • Correctness, which means you should watch spelling, grammar, and punctuation you use, as well as facts, figures, and dates you address.
  • Coherence, which means the logical interconnection of the original’s ideas. Your audience shouldn’t lose their interest while reading.
  • Conciseness, which means avoiding unnecessary details in your précis. Don’t omit essential facts but avoid wordy expressions, repetitions, wateriness, etc.

Write a Precis of the following passage

Water is the basis of all life. Every animal or every pliant contains a substantial proportion of free or combined water in its body and no kind of physical activity is possible in which water does not play an essential part. Water is necessary for animal life, while moisture in the soil is equally imperative for life and growth of plants and trees, though the quantity necessarily varies enormously from plant to plant.
The conservation and utilization of water is thus fundamental for human welfare. The main source of water is rainfall or snowfall. Much of Indian agriculture depends on seasonal rainfall and is therefore, very sensitive to any failure or irregularly of the some. During the rainy season large quantities of rain water flow down into the streams and rivers and ultimately find their way to the sea, and are, therefore, lost to the country. The harassing of our rivers is, therefore, it great national problem to be dealt with no national lines. Vast areas of land which at present are mere scrub, jungles could be turned into fertile and prosperous country by harassing this source of water.

Title: – Conservation and Utilization of Water.

Precis: – Water being so necessary for animal and plant life should be harnessed to our own use. The main source of water is rain. Most of
the rain water goes into rivers. This water must be used for making our barren land fertile. The conservation and utilization of water is,
therefore, a great national problem to be dealt with at the national level.

Write a Precis of the following passage

As early as the sixth or seventh century B.C. Panini wrote his great grammar of the Sanskrit language. He mentions previous grammars and already in his time Sanskrit had crystallized and become the language of an ever-growing literature. Panini͛s book is something more than a mere grammar. To has been described by the Soviet. Professor Th. Stcherabatsky, of Leningrad, as one of the greatest productions of the human mind Panini is still the standard authority on Sanskrit grammar. Through subsequent grammarians have added to it and interpreted it. It is interesting to note that Panini mentions the Greek script. This indicates that there were some kind of contacts between India and the Greeks long before Alexander came to the East. The study of astronomy was specially pursued and it often merged with astrology. Medicine had its textbooks and there were hospitals. Dhanwantri is the legendary found of the Indian science of medicine. The best known old textbooks however, date from the early centuries of the Christian era. These are by Charka on medicine and Sushruta on surgery. Charka is supposed to have been the royal court physician of kanishka who had his capital in the north-West.
These text books enumerate a large number of diseases and give methods of diagnosis and treatment. They deal with surgery, obstetrics, baths, diet, hygiene, infant feeding, and medical education. The approach was experimental, and dissection of dead bodies was being practiced in course of surgical training. Various surgical instruments are mentioned by Sushrutas, as well as operations including amputation of limbs, abdominal, caesarean section, cataract, etc. Wounds were sterilized by fumigator. In the third or fourth century B.C. there were also hospitals for animals. This was probably due to the influence of Jainism and Buddhism with their emphasis on non- violence. [300 WORDS]

Title:- India advancement in the Ancient Ages.

Precis:- Panini wrote his great grammar of Sanskrit in the 6th century B.C. This grammar is the standard grammar of Sanskrit language. In ancient India, the study of astronomy was merged with astrology. Medicine was also much developed at that time, Charka wrote books on medicine and Shushruta wrote on surgery. These books deal with many diseases and the methods of their treatment. They also deal with surgery, obstetrics, hygiene and medical education. Surgery was also much developed. The sterilization of wounds was known to physicians of that time. Due to the influence of Jainism and Buddhism, there were hospitals for animals in India in the third or fourth century.[109 WORDS]

Write a Precis of the following passage

It is physically impossible for a well-educated or brave man to make money the chief object of his thoughts, just as it is for him to make his dinner the principal object of them. All healthy people like their dinners, but their dinner is not the main object of their lives. So all healthy minded people like making money—ought to like it and enjoy the sensation of winning it; it is something better than money. A good soldier, for instance, mainly wishes to do his fighting well. He is glad of his pay—very properly so, and justly grumbles when you keep him ten years without it—still his main notion of life is to win battles, not to be paid for winning them. So of clergyman͛s object is essentially to baptize and preach, not to be paid for preaching. So of doctors. They like fees no doubt, — out to like them; yet if they are brave and well educated, the entire object of their lives is a not fee. They, on the whole, desire to cure the sick, and, if they are good doctors, and the choice were fairly put to them, would rather cure their patient and lose their fee than kill him and get it. And so with all the other brave and rightly trained men; their work is first, their fee second – very important always, but still second.[233 WORDS]

Duty First, Fee afterward

Precis: Moneymaking is not the sole object of the well educated, intellectual, or brave men. A brave soldier͛s main notion of life is to fight to win battles, not to be paid for winning them. A noble clergyman is concerned more with the welfare of the humanity than his pay. A good doctor desires far more to cure his patient than to get his fee. Thus, for all cultured people, their duty comes first, then their fee. [76 Words]