Essay is one of the nine mains paper. which gives you an opportunity to put forward your thoughts in a manner . This paper checks the depth and breadth of your knowledge. And when we say knowledge, it doesn’t mean our conventional understanding of the same. The topics are unknown to us before the exam and we are expected to apply all that we have learnt to produce a logical and intelligent account of what is being asked. You have to write two essays each with a word count of 1000 – 1200. You have to pick one topic from four topics. The Essay Paper is for a total of 250 marks with one essay for 125 marks. Essay writing is not easy job. It requires right approach and good practice. MAny candidates take the essay paper too lightly resulting in a score not comparable with their potential. Hence, it is vital to attempt this paper with the same seriousness as all other papers in GS Mains and learn the art of writing a good essay.
It can be easily said that many UPSC exam aspirants overlook the importance of preparing their essays well. A majority of novices mistakenly feel they can write the perfect essay on their exam day, while the repeaters equate the knowledge gained through their General studies preparation to successful writing. In both cases, writing practice is left unconsidered. UPSC essay writing carries a total of 250 marks comprising of 2 essays in total (125 marks each). Leaving behind writing a good essay of 1000 to 1200 words to mere chance is a grave error.
Essay is the deciding factor in your Mains score. Even after spending months in GS preparation, aspirants struggle to score even 100 marks in GS papers out of 250 each. If one prepares smartly and gives adequate time for Essay preparation, its quite possible to score 150+ marks in Essay.
Being unpredictable nature of essay evaluation, how can we can tackle this paper?
Tackling it smartly
The duration of the essay paper is 3 hours and the word limit is not mentioned. It is generally said that 1500-2000 words should make a good essay. This can comfortably be written even with a moderate pace in 2 to 2 ½ hours. So the first 30- 45 minutes can be spent for the groundwork preparation. First is the selection of the proper essay topic. Out of the 6 topics, one topic would generally be related to philosophical issue, unless one is confident it is better to opt it out. Like wise one can eliminate topics with which one is not comfortable. Some topics, most of the aspirants cannot maintain a balance throughout the essay so better opt them also out. Finally select the topic that you think can do justice. The answer booklet of the main examination consists of 24 single pages. The last 3-4 pages can be used for rough work. If you are sure that you can complete the main booklet, then ask for one additional at the beginning of the exam and use it for rough work. In these pages prepare outline for the essay by asking questions yourselves. It is also called as brainstorming.
Few Essay Writing Tips
A proper structured framework with all your essay points is required before writing. You have see toppers strategy, papers and It will have three compulsory distinct parts. They are an introduction, content body, and conclusion. This type of format looks neat and authentic. As a result, you will be able to fetch greater marks.
UPSC essay writing is not your regular school or college question. Here, along with your knowledge of a topic, your ability to produce it sequentially, consistently and with precision is given equal importance.
Your general studies preparation, magazines like Economic and Political weekly, Yojana, etc will give to knowlwdge. These magazines will not only help you revise your GS content, but will also give you good ideas regarding content presentation.
Starting your GS answers with a definition is the right thing to do, but doing so in essays just makes it stale and boring. You must try to up the examiner’s interest by quoting a famous personality, an interesting quote, or a relatable real-life/fictional event. Books, magazines and newspapers will help you learn essay-worthy anecdotes and incidents.
One way of writing for a particular topic might not necessarily work for the other. You must first understand the nature of your topic and then decide how you want to tackle it down further.
It is a must to include constitutional provisions, examples, statistics and expert opinions, to look authentic.
A good vocabulary showcases how well-read you are. This doesn’t mean you use it incessantly. But, a strong word can add value to your sentences when used the right way.We know that you can’t read up an entire dictionary in a week. And we do not expect you to do so too. The best way to build-up a strong vocabulary is by reading the newspaper daily. Even reading non-fiction can be of great help here. What you must do is write down the words, phrases and quotes that seem unique alongside their meanings. Writing an example sentence along with it will also help you retain it in your memory longer.
- Intelligent and wordly-wise subheadings
The subheading is the entire body copy at a glance. Representing a paragraph with a catchy, smart and content-aligned subheading can get you major points in an essay exam. It raises the interest of the examiner, and also aids readability.
When writing a long essay of 1000-1200 words, it’s quite easy to end up losing out on the main message you want to convey. To ensure that you deliver the desired message, it is crucial to present your sentences/paragraphs in an organized and sequential manner. Practice is essential if you want to deliver a write-up that showcases your well-connected thinking ability. You can end a paragraph with a question, or an introduction to the next paragraph. This will help you maintain a smooth connect between your subtopics.
Though exam tests your vocabulary , but avoid using complex words just to sound well-read. Instead, concentrate on writing clear, concise and meaningful sentences that put your point across. It is best to avoid redundant sentences. A common mistake made by many is writing lengthy sentences. It’s best to put down small and simple sentences rather than elaborate ones that will make the reader lose out on the crux of your point.
You must always summarise your essay on an optimistic note in 3-4 lines. It is advisable to not skip on giving your vision for the future. Introduction and conclusion are most important in making your impression /picture and deciding your score. Hence ending and introduction of your essay should be very strong.