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

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

Can I see an example of a rhetorical precis?
How do I submit my assignments?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhetorical Précis
How to write one

A Rhetorical Précis, pronounced (pray-see), is a summary or abstract of a work. The Rhetorical Précis has a rigidly specific format as outlined below. It is important that you follow the format carefully. This is not an easy task. But it is a crucial step towards building critical reading ability in philosophy.


The Rhetorical Précis Format

a) In a single coherent sentence give the following:
          -name of the author, title of the work, date in parenthesis;
          -a rhetorically accurate verb (such as "assert," "argue," "deny," "prove," disprove," "insist," etc.);
          -a that clause containing the major claim (thesis statement) of the work.

b) In a single coherent sentence give an explanation of how the author develops and supports the major claim (thesis statement).

c) In a single coherent sentence give a statement of the author's purpose, followed by an "in order" phrase.

d) In a single coherent sentence give a description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the audience.

Below are links to resources about the Rhetorical Précis method of writing. Each of these is short and has at least one example. Spend some time taking the examples apart to see how the element of the Rhetorical Précis form fit into it. Your time spent understanding how this form works will pay off when you face the task of writing your own Rhetorical Précis.

Writing the Extended Rhetorical Précis Writing a Rhetorical Precis