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Sample Précis

Below is a sample Précis with comments embedded. To read the comments, position the cursor over the mark (you do not need to click). Move the cursor off of the pop-up window with the comment to close the comment. This interactive sample is designed to give you a way to examine an example of a well-formed Précis and to explore commentary about it. First, read through the Précis at least twice. Make note of the elements of the Précis as listed in the Communication Activity #6 directions. Identify each element of the directions in the sample. Then explore the commentary by positioning your cursor on the comment marks. When you select a comment mark, make sure to make note of the context in the Précis it occurs in. You are working here to understand the form of Précis. If you have any technical difficulty with this sample, please use the click version Précis.

Arthur Schopenhauer, in his essay "The Vanity of Existence" (1851), claims
that human existence has no absolute value and that an absolute value is necessary to an ultimate meaning for life. Schopenhauer supports this claim with several consise arguments, all of them concluding that the absolute value we attempt assign to our lives is either illusion or vanity. His purpose in this essay seems to be to make his readers aware of their own arrogance in order to lead them to a realistic humility about our limited place in the universe. Schopenhauer takes a sharp, even sarcastic, tone in criticizing his readers who are likely to be people who do think that their lives have ultimate meaning, including college students taking a philosophy