Writing a précis is a valuable skill for college writing, regardless of your discipline. Like an abstract, you employ your skills in summary; however, unlike an abstract, which only provides major points/evidence, a précis requires you to include all elements of an argument. Typically, a précis “distills” a text, keeping all elements of an argument, but reducing the size by 70-80%. Your précis will be of the scholarly article below on Hamlet. Here’s the article you may use:
Janet Adelman, “‘Man and Wife Is One Flesh’” (Psychoanalysis)
Be on the article from the above
Be 4 pages (at least 4 full pages, meaning all the way to the bottom, following format)
Be of proper formatting
Include a heading:
My Name (instructor)
Date (European style)
Author and article title centered about first paragraph
One-inch margins, typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced
Page numbers in upper-right-hand corner, along with your last name
This first paragraph should also articulate the overall argument and methodology (if you are able to identify it) of the article. All subsequent paragraphs must provide a summary of all the points made and evidence used in the chapter, not just the primary ones (like an abstract). Most students find it useful to try to reduce each paragraph to 1-3 sentences, depending on overall length of the original paragraph in the books.
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