What is the Difference Between Precis-Writing and A Summary?

Before writing to attract the audience’s attention, proper understanding of Precis-Writing and Summary is necessary. After exploring the definitions of these terms, you will find similarities among them. But they have many differences too. This article will tell you how these two terms differ from each other. This will be beneficial for better understanding.


The word Precis comes from the English word ‘Precise.’ The literal meaning of the word precise is ‘exact’. But ‘Precis’ refers to the act of summarising something. In Precis-Writing, the writer has to present a long passage within few lines. The underlying meaning, and concept of the main passage will remain the same though. Still, there are no strict rules and regulations for Precis-Writing.

Precis-Writing and its importance

These days, business tycoons do not have time to review lengthy sections in magazines and journals. But staying updated on current affairs is one necessity of their lives. A useful way to fulfil this need is that of Precis-Writing. The summarised form of a section can help the reader by decreasing the reading times. Precis-writing, and headlines sections of news channels have the same purpose in a true sense. Both can let the viewer go through the main events in a few important points.

Some important aspects will help you in overviewing the essentials of Precis Writing. Things that may help you in precis writing are given as follows;

  • The length of the precis draft must be less than one-third of the section under consideration.
  • A precis writer can use his words while presenting the essence of any article.
  • You should avoid the use of original sentences as much as you can.
  • As one of the essentials for this, you must use the past tense. Indirect speech can also be used within your final draft.
  • The Precis writer must brainstorm separate titles for each Precis.
  • You have to preserve original sequential orders in the Precis draft.

By learning these Precis Writing essentials, you may understand what the audience expects from you as a Precis Writer.


According to a coursework help firm, the summary is a short form of all the main points of the article. It aims to present a quick review of the text. Every dissertation or report contains this necessary section. This is where an author can sum up his own work. The summary helps other authors in ensuring their exclusion, and inclusion lists.

Importance of Summary:

Like Precis, the summary also has some essentials. A brief overview of the summary’s essentials is important. This is because they will help you in identifying the difference between Precis and summary.

  • The structure of a summary may vary depending on its purpose. Based on the purpose, the summary can be of two types. These are as follows;
  • Summary of writer’s own work
  • Summary of someone else’s work
  • You need to read the whole paragraph, or text before presenting the final drafts.
  • You need to isolate all important points from a text. Then you must use them artistically in your summary.
  • In text that is longer than ten pages, you need to sum up each paragraph into one or two lines. You can use all these sentences logically. This is for ensuring a good summary at the end.
  • Try to exclude extensive ideas, and details of a specific event. Again, the summary is the section where you need to sum up everything. You don’t need to introduce something new into it.
  • When summarising others’ work, the writer can use his own voice. This is allowed for highlighting main events in the text.
  • If you are summarising someone else’s works, you must include the following things;
  • Author’s/s’ name/s
  • Title of the original work
  • Main idea of the text
  • Direct quotations
  • Keywords
  • Abbreviation list
  • Phrases
  • Author’s tag
  • The main findings and outcomes
  • A summary is an independent section. So, it must be current.
  • If you are writing the summary of your work, you can follow this tip to save yourself from the logical issues.

‘Before starting another paragraph, note the summary of the preceding paragraph into your notebook.’

This tip will increase credibility of the summary. It will also help you in identifying any repetition of concepts within the whole text.

It is now time to point out common differences between both. These are given as follows;

Differences between Precis writing and A Summary

Precis Writing


  1. It must use a heading.
  2. Maintenance of original structure and order is necessary for Precis Writing.
  3. In precise writing, you have to extract essence of the text.
  4. It must have a concluding paragraph.
  5. The tune of speech must necessarily remain the same.
  6. It contains main points of the original text.
  7. In some cases, you don’t need to paraphrase the original text.
  8. It contains the main points only.
  9. Precis is a replica of the original text.
  10. Precis, in all cases, presents a message.
  11. The length of Precis must be less than one-third of the original content.
  12. No verbal form of Precis is acceptable.
  13. In certain conditions, a Precis can use the language of the writer.
  1. A heading is not necessary for Summary writing.
  2. You can summarise the findings here. But order preservation is not necessary in some cases.
  3. No need to extract anything. Just state your findings.
  4. It is not essential to end the summary with a concluding paragraph.
  5. You can use the author’s tune as well.
  6. It is a form of description.
  7. Depending on the case, you can write a summary by paraphrasing the main text.
  8. Skipping of a few main points is acceptable (less important points).
  9. Summary does not always aim to convey a message.
  10. The length of the summary can exceed one-third of the original content.
  11. You can present the summary in either written, or verbal form.
  12. Narrow down the lengthy sentences into your own words.