- Jan 15, 2021
- Blog English, UPSC,
Essay writing is one of the 9 papers in the Civil Services Main Examination. A candidate has to write two essays in this section, each consisting of 125 marks. The Essay Writing Section comprises a total of 250 marks. The CSE examination expects the candidates to write formal essays that have factual elements in them, like quoted statistics from government reports, results of popular experiments, etc. These essays do not get too friendly with the reader and have a degree of seriousness attached to them. These essays are not driven by emotions and bring out a neutral and impartial image of the topic.
Examiners will pay special attention to the candidate’s grasp of the topic, the relevance of the essay written to the subject, and a candidates’ ability to think constructively to their ideas concisely, logically & effectively. Therefore, it is crucial that the candidates have a very clear idea about how to write an essay.
Many candidates miss some important aspects of essay writing and fail to achieve the desired score in the CSE examination. This article aims at providing you the most effective tips for acing the essay writing section in the CSE examination and provides you with the best Essay writing techniques for UPSC.
- Make the right choice.
“How to choose the essay topic in the CSE Main Examination?” This is a question that troubles many CSE aspirants. Make sure that you select a topic you have enough information about so that you don’t run out of content while writing your essay. You must know that your essay must at least have 1000-1200 words. Choose a topic where you have enough insights to include in the essay.
- Take time to think before you start.
Do not make hasty decisions. Once you have selected your topic, you should not begin writing right away. Give yourself some time to think and ponder over the topic that you have to start writing. If you do not think enough before writing, you may end up missing out on some important points which cannot be added later on. For example, if you are writing about Jawaharlal Nehru, you will start your essay with facts like, he was born in Allahabad, went to Trinity College, Home rule movement, Non-Cooperation, Electoral Politics, Pakistan resolution, ..then to becoming the PM of India. However, after you have finished writing all this, you realize that you forgot to mention his role in the Salt Satyagraha which was a significant one. Now you can’t add it later on.
- Make a framework/blueprint of your essay.
To avoid the kind of mistakes mentioned in the last point, it is always suggested that you make a blueprint of your essay in your mind first. This will ensure that you do not forget any point and cover the topic as comprehensively as possible.
- Try to maintain a balance in every topic.
There might be times when the topics given to you are very provocative or suggestive. Do not go on praising or hating a subject. The examiner expects you to think like an IAS officer and not a journalist. Try to present multiple perspectives on a topic without giving extreme views.
- Do not get Personal.
It is never a good idea to resort to name-calling. Avoid taking names of any ministers, blaming, or supporting any parties or individual. You are expected to think like an officer, not a common citizen.
- Add Quotes.
If you are using quotes in your essay, make sure that you are using the right quote with the right author. If you don’t remember what the quote exactly was, do not write it in inverted commas. Only put a quote in inverted commas if you remember it precisely.
- Don’t beat around the bush.
The trick that might have saved you in school and university exams won’t be of any use in the CSE exam. Writing irrelevant information just to reach the word limit and fill up pages will give a very bad impression and will not fetch you any marks.
- Don’t just criticize, give possible solutions.
You are writing an exam to become an IAS officer who is expected to work for the welfare of the country and its people. Just criticizing the government or anything in this case, without providing a relevant solution will just show your lack of thinking. Do not give flimsy and impractical solutions to real-life problems.
You don’t have to fill your essay with fancy words to write a good essay and score well. However, throwing in a powerful word or phrase would definitely take your writing a level up. Try to use relevant words that give more value to your content rather them just putting them in for a show.
The below chart shows the structure of a good essay: