Bihar Board Class 12th English Precis Writing Important Questions
Precis writing is a very fine, significant and useful piece of composition to only from the point of the University examination or other examinations in e familiar sense, it is so even in the practical busy work-day life as a time¬saving device and ah impressive at work.
The precis writer has to attempt precis-writing and continue its practice with the following points in mind—
(i) Precis should be given approximately in one-third of the given passage of fixed number of words as per the question. However, this is not a concern of primary importance.
(ii) The point of greatest importance is how to shorten the given passage in compact language. We have to scissor off the superficial words or phrases, delete the examples and quotations and avoid the repetitions or elaboration of the facts or the subject matter.
(iii) The central subject should be reproduced systematically and logically. Besides, the answer has to be furnished only in one paragraph.
(iv) Precis has to be made invariably and as far as practicable in third person.
(v) The passage given should not be reproduced. Like every answer, may be even more than that, this answer has to be given in one’s own words.
(vi) The title of precis should bear on leading idea contained in the passage. Moreover, it should be short and suitable representation of the said idea.
(vii) Precis should be simple and straight.
(viii) Generally some reflective passages are given for precis-writing. Sometimes some descriptive or narrative passage is also set. However, every passage, whichever it may be, is descriptive of some important topic.
Example – 1
Some people consider that man is becoming the slave of the machine. Certainly machines are playing an ever increasing part in our lives. Let us hope that they will never become more important than the man they were invented to serve. Charlie Chaplin in his film, ‘Modem Time’ drew attention to this danger.
In the film he got a job in a factory that employed mass-production methods. He had to stand by a machine with a spanner in his hand. An endless belt passed in front of him carrying slowly an endless line of articles. As each one passed, he tightened one nut on one bolt with his spanner.
His work was done with one turn of the wrist repeated throughout the day. Very soon his mind became affected and the film shows the amusing things which he did as result of his mental disorder. Although it was very funny, the film had a serious side.
It showed that the kind of work which many people do, for from giving them pride and pleasure, is more likely to fit them for the lunatic asylum.We must all hope that means will be found to retain the advantages arising out of mass production, while at the same time giving the worker some of the pride and pleasure of the old craftsmen.
Title: Machines and Their Effect
Precis—Machines are playing constantly an increasing part in our life. Allegedly the man is being enslaved by the machine. The mechanical work affects the mind adversely. However, it should be hoped that advantages of large scale production will be kept. Besides, the worker will also get some pride and pleasure out of his work.
Human life consists of a succession of small events, each of which is comparatively unimportant, and yet the happiness and success of every man depend upon the manner in which these small events are dealt with. Character is built upon little things—little things well and honourably transacted.
The success of a man in business depends upon his attention to little things. The comfort of a household is the result of small things arranged and duly provided for. Good government can only be accomplished in the same way— by well regulated provision for doing little things.
Accumulation of knowledge and experience of most valuable kind is the result of little bits of knowledge and experience carefully treasured up. Those who learn nothing in life are set down as failures—because they have neglected little things. They may have themselves considered that the world has gone against them, but in fact they have been their own enemies.
There has long been a popular belief in good luck, but like many other popular notions it is gradually giving way. The conviction is extending that diligence is the mother of good luck, in other words, a man’s success in life will be proportionate to his industry, to his attention to small things.
Negligent shiftless loose fellows never meet with luck because the result of industry is denied to those who will not use.the proper efforts to secure them. It is not luck but labour that makes men. Luck, says an American writer, is ever waiting for something to turn up. Labour with keen eye and strong will, turns up something.
Title: The Secret Of Success
Precis—Life is made of the stuff to small events. Much of our success and happiness depends on the manner we deal with small events. Those who neglect little things in their lives are bound to fail in life. Only labour counts and character is destiny. The man is the architect of his own fate. His success is in proportion to his industry. His failure is also due to him.
Example – 3
In every country people imagine that they are the best and the cleverest and the others are not as good as they are. The Englishman thinks that he and his country are the best; the Frenchman is very proud of France and everything French; the Germans and Italians think no end of their countries and many
Indians imagine that India is in many ways the greatest country in the world. This is all conceit. Everybody wants to think well of himself and his country. But really there is no person who has not got some good in him and some bad. And in the same way there is no country which is not partly good and partly bad.
We must take the good wherever we find it and try to remove the bad wherever it may be. We are, of course, most concerned with our own country, India. Unhappily, it is in a bad way today and most of our people are very poor and miserable. They have no pleasure in their lives.
We have to find out how we can make them happier. We have to see what is good in our ways and customs and try to keep it, and whatever is bad we have to throw away. If we find anything good in other countries we should certainly take it.
Precis—Citizens of different countries suffer from conceit. They suffer from superiority complex. They overrate themselves and their countries, but underrate others. Really, however, no country is fully good or bad. Besides, we should be receptive to the good and indifferent to the bad. We should surely take even the good found in others.
Example – 4
Occasions cannot make spurs for young men. If you expect to wear spurs you must win them. If you wish to use them you must buckle them to your heels before you go into the fight. Any success you may achieve is hot worth having unless you fight for it. Whatever you win in life you must conquer by your own efforts, and then it is yours—a part of yourself. Let not poverty stand as an obstacle in your way.
Poverty is uncomfortable, as I can testify, but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed over board, and compelled to sink or swim for himself. In all my acquaintances I have never known one to be drowned who was worth saving . To a young man who has in himself the magnificent possibilities of life it is not fitting that he should be permanently commanded.
You must not continue to be employed, you must be employer. You must be promoted from the ranks to a command, go and find it, and command it. You can at least command a horse and there can be generalization of them, and may carve out a fortune with them.
Title: Success Honour
Precis—Opportunities themselves cannot honour the young men. For honour they have to make efforts and fight. Even success without fight is not deserved and attainable. Really, poverty cannot stand in the way of success. The established fact is that most of the people are themselves responsible for their rise or fall. Moreover, the young persons should never be parasites or dependent. They can even grow rich only when they command and function as employers.
Example – 5
Education is not an end but a means to an end. We do not educate children only for the purpose of educating them; the purpose is to prepare them for life. As soon as we realise this we will understand that it is very important to choose a system of education which will really prepare children for life.
In many modem countries it has for some time been fashionable to think that by free education for all—whether rich or poor, clever or stupid—one can solve all the problems of society and build a perfect nation. But we can already see that free education for all it not enough.
We find in such countries a larger number of people with university degrees than there are jobs for them to fill. Because of their degrees, they refuse to do what they think ‘low’ work. In fact, work with the hands is thought to be dirty and shameful in such countries.
When we say that all of us must be educated, what we mean is that all of us must be educated in such a way, that each of us can do whatever job is suited to his brain and ability. And, secondly that we can realize that all jobs are necessary to society and that it is very bad to be ashamed of one’s work or to scorn someone else’s. Only such a type of education can be called valuable to society.
Precis—Education is a means and its object is to prepare the students for living life. It is wrong to think that free education can solve all the chronic problems of our society. It has rather created more unemployment as the students getting this education dislike manual work which they take for a low work. This is a very wrong attitude. We should rather be ready to do any work suited to our brain and ability.
Example – 6
What is really needed in the world, perhaps more than ever before, is not some new world shattering discovery in nuclear physics, or some breath¬taking discovery in chemistry or medicine. The advance for which the world is waiting beyond any doubt, is a small advance—a slight advance in charity, in understanding, forbearance, tolerance, justice and mercy. That is what the world is waiting for and waiting rather anxiously.
But charity and tolerance and forbearance and understanding of one another are non-material matters. And in non-material things—in the simplest social things—science has been helpless. It cannot help us to distinguish good from evil.
May be, this will not always be so. Who knows ? It is quite possible that some day science will effect an improvement in human brain itself. Not a structural improvement, for in structure the human brain is the greatest miracle of all. Its understanding will come last.
But there might well be a functional improvement. This is far from fantastic. Already instances areknown, like amphcetamaine, which appear temporarily to increase the power of reasoning, other chemicals are known which give intellectual stimulation.
I should say there is hope that man will one day improve on natural man, raise his intellectual status and give him greater power of reasoning and understanding to abolish war. Whether that will be so, whether he will have a better understanding of his fellowmen remains to be seen.
There are troubulous times ahead. But those who fear the ftiture are the craven in spirit; for life is becoming more interesting and exciting.
Title: Ideal Human Qualities
Precis—The need of the hour is not any startling scientific discovery but ideal human qualities which the world is eagerly waiting for. These qualities are not material and so science has no grip over them. In the distant future, science may have functional development in human life.
The man may improve on the natural man, raise his intellectual level. But he may not have the better understanding of his fellowmen. However, as the future is troublesome and life exciting, man has to be fearless.
Example – 7
It is no doubt true that we cannot go through life without sorrow. There can be no sunshine without a shade. We must not complain that roses have thoms, but rather be grateful that thorns bear flowers. Our existence here is so complex that we must expect much sorrow and suffering.
Many people worry and torment themselves about the mystery of existence. But although a good man may, at times, be angry with the world it is certain that no man who was ever discontented with the world did his duty in it. The world is like a looking glass; if you smile, it smiles.
If you frown, it frowns back. If you look at it through a red glass all seems red and rosy: if through a blue, all blue; if through a smoked one, all dull and dingy. Always try, then, to look at the bright side of things; almost everything in the world has a bright side.
There are some persons, whose smile, the sound of whose voice, whose very presence is like a ray of sunshine, and brightens the whole room. Greet everybody with a bright smile, kind words and pleasant welcome. It is not enough to love those who are near and dear to us. We must be so that we do so.
While, however, you should be grateful and enjoy to the full the innumerable blessings of life. We cannot expect to have no sorrows or anxieties. Life has been described as a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel. It is indeed tragedy at times and a comedy very often, but as a rule it is what we choose to make it.
Title: Bright Side Of Life
Precis—We cannot escape from sufferings and sorrows in life. Our existence is really complex. There are both comedy and tragedy in life. But the world looks as the man looks at it. It is good and comfortable to those who look at its bright side while to pessimists it is sad and sullen. The judicious approach of life is only to welcome it as it is without questioning it. We have only to enjoy the essential real life.
Example – 8
In a civilised life there is a rule against violence. Against taking the law into our own hands : it is a rule which most of us observe—so many, indeed, that a great number of people go through life accepting orderlines and non¬violence as part of the scheme of Nature. But when some individual comes into their midst who refuses to observe the current rules and follows the simple rule fhat might is right, the law abiding citizens of society do not know what do to and look on in helpless bewildered confusion.
The last two wars did something to alter men’s attitude towards the ruF of life, but much less than might have been expected. Men went into the fighting line, not, because as our generals love to say, “Man is a fighting animal”, but because there were law abiding citizens obediently doing what the state told them to do.
It was the duty of the soldier to commit violence and murder upon his country’s enemies but he did these things under the order and the doing of them hardly impaired his normal law-abidingness. Considering the fact that for many years half the grown up men in Europe were engaged in trying to murder one another one can only be astonished that the postwar increase in crimes of violence has not been vastly greater. That is proof of how deeply the habit of playing according to the rules has become ingrained in us.
Title: Right is Might
Precis—Sometimes ‘might is right’ theory prevails. For a long time the adults in Europe remained, engaged in violence. The two World Wars negatived the conception of law abidingness of people. But really the rule of law prevails in a civilized society. Even in the period following two World Wars the people resumed the course of order and safety.
Example – 9
What is a democratic government to do in a country where people are steeped in ignorance and superstition, where there is opposition or resistance to even mild reforms from vested interests in society ? It can be said that if the government is to go by consent or consensus it will not be able to do anything.
Could the government ever get the consent or consensus of people for abolition of untouchability ? But has untouchability been really abolished ? Frankly speaking, even now the code of Manu is in operation, the large part of code, prepared by Dr. Ambedkar is not in actual operation.
No law, perhaps, can come into full operation unless it is acceptable to the people. And it is not nesessary to say that acceptability cannot come without conviction. The government has been taking measure after measure to change the socio-economic structure or to remove disparities, social and economic. Not that all the measures have gone in vain. Feudalism has been abolished.
gates of universities, legislatures, government services etc. have been thrown open to all castes and communities, exploitation of the weaker sections of the people has been considerably reduced. But there has been no change in the outlook of the people.
Politicians and administrators still behave like fedual lords; corruption, favouritism and nepotism have not shown any sign of abatement, faith in caste system and all that it may stand for has not weakened. In one word, independence, democracy etc. have not shattered the age-old beliefs and convictions. No wonder the blind are leading the blind.
Title: Failure Of Modern Democracy
Precis—Acceptability of law is subject to conviction and conviction is ‘ not possible as long as there are ignorance and superstition. In the modem I democracy, there is no conviction at all as the conditions for the same are not met. Our society is still conservative.
The government has made some pieces of legislation for the betterment of society, but society does not change for the better. Still vested interests who are blind are leading the other 1 unenlightened people under democracy. Besides it can be said that nothing positive is possible if we want to do it with the consent or consensus of the present people.
Example – 10
‘ We have been asked whether we are happy to be living now or whether we , wish we had lived in the past, a few centuries ago. I am clear in my view and I must say emphatically that I am glad, very glad to be living in the modem age.
There were pleasures in the past and there were adventures and many other charms by which I am impressed, but there was also a great deal of „ ignorance and dullness and many other disadvantages on account of which I think life is happier today than it was in the past.
I am interested in education. Today all children receive free education from the age of five or six until they are fifteen or sixteen. If they are clever, they continue to receive education even while they are at the University. How many children in the past learnt even to read and write ? Very few, indeed. This is a great advantage of the modem age. .
I love travelling, for I find it a source of pleasure as well as education. It brings new contact and experience which add to richness of life. Travelling is much easier today than it was in the past and now we can even think of flying to the moon. This was never possible in the past.
Then there are pleasures of music. Today thanks to the radio and the television all of us can enjoy the best music in our homes. This pleasure was not available in the past.
Title: Past Vrs. Present
Precis— One is very glad to be living at present. No doubt there were pleasant things in the past—advantages and charms. One is impressed with them. But in the past there were ignorance, dullness and many other disadvantages too. On the other hand, today we have educational facilities.
We have universal and even free education today upto the age of sixteen right from the age of five. One can cleverly enjoy free education even at the university level. Besides, travelling facilities and the pleasures of music from radio and television sets are also available to us. Thus life is happier today and our modem age is better than the ancient times.
Example – 11
When we survey our lives and endeavours, we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires is bound up with the existence of other human things. We notice that our whole nature resembles to that of the social animal. We eat food that others have produced, we wear clothes that others have made, we live in houses that others have built.
The greater part of knowledge and belief has been communicated to us by other people through the medium of language which others have created. Without language our mental capacities would be poor indeed, comparable to those of higher animals; we have therefore, to admit that we owe our principal advantage over the beasts to the fact of living in human society. The individual if left alone from birth, would remain, primitive and beastlike in his thoughts and feelings to a degree that we can hardly conceive.
The individual is what he is and it is his living in community which directs material and spiritual existence from the cradle to the grave. A man’s value to his community depends primarily on how far his feelings, thoughts and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellow beings. We call him good or bad according to his attitude in this respect.
Title: Man’s Social Instinct
Precis—Our life and actions are vitally linked with those of our fellow creatures. Our food, clothes and houses are all prepared by others. We owe language and beliefs to other people. They have been imparted to us through language. Our intellectual facilities would not have grown in the absence of language. We are superior to other animals in so far as we live in human society. Aman deprived of human society would behave like primitive animals. A man’s value is judged in relation to the great human community. The greater his usefulness for his fellows, the better he is.
Example – 12
Nations, like individual, derive support and strength from the feeling that they belong to an illustrious race, that they are the heirs of their greatness and ought to be promoters of their glory. It is of momentous importance that a
nation should have a great past to look back upon.
It inspires the life of the present, elevates and upholds it and enlightens and lifts it up, by the memory of the great deeds, the noble sufferings and the marvellous achievements of the old. The life of nations, as of men, is a great treasure of experience, which wisely used, leads to social progress and improvement; or misused, to dreams, delusion and failures. Like men nations are purified and strengthened by trials.
Some of the most glorious chapters in their history are those containing the record of suffering by means of which their character has been developed. Love of liberty and patriotic feeling may have done much, but trial and suffering nobly borne have done more than all.
Title: The National Life
Precis—Nations get support and power from their sense of belongingness to a celebrated race. They should be endowed with a rich past having the glorious history of trials, sufferings and sacrifices of the men of old. They are strengthened when they pass the ordeal or trials. Living for liberty, the feeling of patriotism and the bravely borne trials and sufferings have contributed to the life of nations and history bears a testimony to this.
Example – 13
The test of a great book is whether we want to read it only once or more than that. Any really great book we want to read the second time even more we wanted to read it the first time; and every additional time that we read it we find new beauties in it.
A book that a person of education and good taste does not care to read more than once is very probably not worth much. But we cannot consider the judgement of a single individual infallible. The opinion that makes a book great must be the opinion of many. For the greatest critics are apt to have dullness, certain in appretiations. Carlyle for example, could not endure Browning, Byron could not endure some of the greatest English poets.
A man must be many sided to utter a trustworthy estimate of many books. We may doubt the judgement of the single critic at times. But there is no doubt possible in regard to judgement of generations. Even if we cannot at once perceive anything good in a book which has been admired and praised for hundreds of years we may be sure that by trying, by studying it carefully, we shall at least be able to feel the reason of that admiration and praise. The best of all libraries for a poor man would be a library composed of such great works only, books which have passed the test of time.
Title: The Test of A Book
Precis— A great book always gives a new meaning and fresh beauties in every reading. This is the test of a great book and not that the quality of a book be judged by any particular scholar or critic. The opinion of many on the merit of a book is honourable. Besides, the judgement should be time honoured. Great books must stand the test of times.
Example – 14
Newspapers form an important link with the outside world. They provide a common man information about important events like earthquakes, cyclone, air crash, floods, result of an election, hijacking of an aeroplane, outbreak of an epidemic, visit of a foreign dignitary. Not only that, the newspapers also tell us about the weather, the sunrise and sunset time, temperature on each day.
They give information about the various entertainment programmes like films, dramas and music concerts and dance performances. In today’s engagement columns, they tell us about the seminars and symposia being held in different parts of the city. Besides, the traders and manufacturers advertise their products through newspapers. There are several other kinds of advertisements which are of use to the readers.
For example, the Situations vacant columns help the job seekers The matrimonial columns help the anxious parents to find suitable matches for their sons and daughters. Sale and purchase of property, both movable and immovable, is conducted through the newspaper columns. Thus the through the newspaper columns. Thus the newspapers occupy an important position in the lives of people. That is why we begin to feel uneasy if we do not get our newspaper on time and everyday.
Title: Importance of Newspapers
Precis— The area of coverage of newspapers had widened to such an extent that they have become important for all classes of men and women, especially for professionals. From natural disasters to political happenings, from cultural events to artistic activities, from advertisements of goods and services to information on jobs — all this information is available in newspapers They have become vital for jobseekers, manufacturers and consumers. And they help us plan our day with inputs on weather, temperature and cultural engagements in our city.
Example – 15
The university everywhere in the world is an important institution for the advancement of the people. The traditional view of a university which was regarded as a place where students would carry on their scholarly activities and build themselves as intellectuals, as isolated from rest of the society, has to be changed to a place where it becomes an institution fully conscious of the changes taking place in society and making due contribution to this change.
Universities in India have been functioning under several pressures The fast development that is taking place in society thus makes university lift- complex. The student now finds himself a victim of sudden breaking of social ties — family, village and culture. He finds that his studies have no roots is his own culture and his university education based on foreign standards is cracking.
The solution lies in better understanding of the puspose of university education among the teachers and students and in the creation of a sense of community. The students and teachers are supposed to be mindful of the real purpose of education and reorient it to suit -the changed conditions. The university authorities should, on their part, be careful not to assume that new techniques of teaching are good simply because they are new.
Title: The True Aim of University Education
Precis— The nature and functioning of a university has changed substantially. It is no longer an institution where students devote themselves merely to acquistition of knowledge; it has become an institution that is ever in touch with changes taking place in society as a whole. As a result, it has become important that the university teachers integrate modem knowledge with the social changes. In India students face a lot of difficulties arising out of the disharmony that exists between rural roots and knowledge that has a foreign base. This must be tactfully resolved.