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What is a biographical precis?
A detailed definition and explanation to get you started in using this versatile writing format.

How will my biographical precis be evaluated?
Here are some guidelines to the grading of your effort.

How do I write a biographical precis?
Text instructions
How do I write a biographical precis?
Interactive tutorial  (requires Flash plugin)
Can I see an example of a biographical precis?
Of course. Three are available:
- Douglass
- Lao Tzu
- Annotated Example
How do I submit my assignments?

How do I read for this format?
a printable reading guide to help you read and write for the biographical precis format.






  Biographical Precis: Introduction

Writing about philosophy can be a real challenge for beginning learners. InterQuest is designed to maximize your long term knowledge of important philosophers and the issues that they raise. Your knowledge about the 3,000 year tradition of philosophy will be increased by writing about the philosophers that you encounter. This aim is accomplished through a tightly focused method of writing: the biographical precis. A biography is literature about the life and work of a person. A precis is a concise summary of essential points, statements, and facts. Thus the biographical precis is a writing format that produces a concise summary of information about some notable individual. Once you become proficient in writing the biographical precis, you will find many ways to apply it. Any endeavor that involves knowing about people and their influences can be aided using this format. Try using this method in your other courses; such as history, politics, and literature. People who use the biographical precis regularly find that they gain a large working knowledge of major people quickly. keep a record of your biographical precis (on a computer or index cards) and you will have an instant recall resource that will last a lifetime. The links on this page below take you to a variety of resources that will help you learn to write the biographical precis. Please invest some quality time in this effort, as it will comprise a major part of your course productivity. To the right are several resources designed to help you succeed at writing the biographical precis.