This structured analysis of expository literature fosters a deep understanding, exploration, and connection of informational text by pulling back the layers of the content and the delivery of oral and written rhetoric. This level of analysis lends itself well across curricula, and develops the student's internal background knowledge and stamina through productive struggle and, ultimately, a richer comprehension of the written word.
According to V. Stevenson and M. Frerichs, "a rhetorical précis analyzes both the content (the what) and the delivery (the how) of a unit of spoken or written discourse. It is a highly structured four-sentence paragraph blending summary and analysis. Each of the four sentences requires specific information; students are expected to use brief quotations (to convey a sense of the author’s style and tone) and to include a terminal bibliographic reference. Practicing this sort of writing fosters precision in both reading and writing, forcing a writer to employ a variety of sentence structures and to develop a discerning eye for connotative shades of meaning."
Prepare to be amazed with your students when this type of analytical sleuthing is practiced throughout the school year!