Table of Contents
Precis Writing Examples
Example 1 :
1. The very abundance of books, an increasing and confusing abundance in our days, has made it important to know how to choose promptly and judiciously among them. On this subject, the first advice I venture to submit is to secure and to read only the best books. There are plenty of them, far more than you will ever have time to read. And when a wide range of excellent works is so readily obtainable, it is surely unfortunate to waste valuable minutes on any others. You may ask what I mean by the best books. Passing by for the moment those publications which in each of the great languages of the world we call its classics, I mean by the best books those from which you receive most and can carry away most in the form either
of knowledge or of stimulation. When you want to learn something about a subject in which you are interested, do not turn to the first volume which you have heard named, or which professes by its title, to deal exhaustively with the subject. Consult your teacher or any well-read friend, or the librarian of the nearest public library. I believe one of the greatest services public libraries render is that they provide librarians who are both competent and willing to advise serious students.
Sample Solution :
Title : How to select good books.
A prompt and judicious selection of books is necessary because of a confusing abundance of books now-a-days. One should secure and read only the best books and not waste time in reading trash. The best books are those which give the reader maximum knowledge and stimulation. A reader should consult his teacher, or any well-read friend, or the librarian of the nearest public library to select books of his interest.
2. We are in the midst of an international crisis and perhaps the crisis that confronts us today is the crisis in the spirit of man. We have built up a civilisation whose achievements are remarkable and which holds a promise of even greater achievements in the future. While these material achievements are very great, we appear slipping away from the very essence of civilisation. Ultimately, culture and civilisation rest in the mind and behaviour of man and not in the material evidence of it that we see around us. During the war, the civilisation process stops and we go back to some barbarous phase of the human mind. Are we speeding back to this barbarism of the mind ? Unhappily, the world of today finds that it cannot do without force. We have to protect ourselves and prepare ourselves for any contingency. We have to meet aggression or any other kind of evil. To
surrender to evil is always bad, but in resisting it we must not allow ourselves to be swept away by our own passions and fears and act in a manner which is itself evil. Even in resisting evil and aggression, we have always to maintain the temper of peace and hold out the hand of friendship to those who, through fear or other reasons, may be opposed to us. That is the lesson that our great leader Mahatma Gandhi taught us, and imperfect as we are, we draw inspiration from that teaching.
Title : Crisis in the spirit of man today.
The people of today are facing a crisis in the spirit of man. In spite of remarkable material progress, man is slipping away from the essence of civilisation. The essence of culture and civilisation rests in the mind and behaviour of man and not in his material achievements. War halts the progress of civilisation and pushes the human mind back to barbarism. But force is necessary for self-protection and for resisting aggression or evil. However, even while resisting evil or aggression, people should maintain the temper of peace and friendship.
3. It is evident that until doubt began, progress was impossible. For, as we have clearly seen, the advance of civilisation solely depends on the acquisition made by the human intellect, and on the extent to which those acquisitions are diffused. But men who are perfectly convinced of the accuracy of their opinions will never take the pain of examining the basis on which they are built. They look always with wonder, and often with horror, on views contrary to those which they inherited form their fathers, and when they are in this state of mind, it is impossible that they should receive any new truth which interferes with their forgone conclusions. On this account, althought the acquisition of fresh knowledge is the necessary
precursor of every step in social progress, such acquisition must itself be preceded by a love of inquiry and, therefore, by a spirit of doubt, because without doubt, there will be no knowledge, for knowledge is not an inert and passive principle, which comes to us whether we will or not, but must be sought before it can be won. It is the product of great labour, and therefore, of great sacrifice.
Title : Conditions for acquiring knowledge.
The progress of civilisation depends of acquisition of fresh knowledge and its diffusion. Such acquisition presupposes a love of inquiry and a spirit of doubt. Thus, those who are devoid of any doubt about the accuracy of their preconceived ideas cannot acquire any new knowledge which contradicts those ideas. Knowledge has to be sought and acquired by great labour and sacrifice.