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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Précis. You will be required to write10 précis over the course of the semester (Essay Sample)


You will be required to write ten précis over the course of the semester. Each précis will be exactly one page, double-spaced. For each précis you will be asked to summarize clearly and concisely, and in your own words (no quotations!), the assigned reading for that class period. The goal of the précis is to explain the reading so well that even a family member or friend could understand the gist without their having read the text themselves. The précis should be sure to include:
• Mention of the author and text summarized in the précis.
• An explicit statement of the main claim(s) made, along with an explanation of what each claim
means. If a claim involves technical or unclear terminology, the terms should be explained.
• A brief explanation as to why the author is bothering to make this claim or set of claims.
• If the aim of the author is to justify a claim, the argument(s) justifying the claim should be
• If the aim of the author is to explain a claim, that explanation should be summarized.
• The précis should conclude by raising either a question or potential criticism.


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Delbanco (2012) in College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be who focuses on the relationship between college teachers and students. The author suggests that students only have tacit knowledge, and teachers are responsible for releasing knowledge into consciousness. College is a time for students to try out new ideas. Elite institutions have been vital in preparing students for competitive roles in leadership in higher education, government, and business (Delbanco 13). The author also suggests that college students, especially those from poor backgrounds, have to deal with various problems. 

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