Essay Writing Skills

  • The essay paper consisting of 200 marks in the civil services main examination is crucial in getting the final outcome or selection and ranking. It is very critical as it is a compulsory paper and its score is incorporated in getting the agreggate. It is decisive because there is no specialisation in an essay and so no aspirant can not claim expertise, unlike optional subjects.
  • At last, an essay is a paper, which dont have a reservoir of definitive information as in the case of general studies. All this constitutes a challenge. For every effective composition one should ideally begin with clarifying the purpose of the composition to oneself. This is true about all written and spoken communication. It's best that this principle be applied to essay writing. Although, the question cues that are suggested at this point may appear archaic, they are useful and often overlooked. At every critical juncture, while writing a topical text all applicable queries must be asked to oneself about the issue in question like who, what, where, when, why, how? These questions would avail answers that would make the text organised and accurate and also ensure that no part has been ignored. Command in applying this principle i.e.. The appropriate choice of questions will come with extensive practice, periodic evaluation and critical analysis.
  • It is very vital to get that an essay is a reflection of the personality-ideas, views, analysis, assessments and inferences, values, attitude, aptitude, orientation and communication i.e.. Written abilities, all the characteristics that are being required by UPSC in an aspirant.
  • An essay is a complete composition. The key ingredients for writing an essay would be the format (framework, structure), information (content, substance), language (expression, presentation) and logic (analysis and information).
  • The compact design of looking at essay writing in perspects of introduction, body and conclusion is only the format. This is fundamental to essay writing, the concept of an essay is very intricate. An essay needs to be a topical text that is self-explanatory and comprehensive, concise, composite and unambiguous, informative and reasonable.

Format comprises

  • An impact-oriented thematic introduction consisting of core conceptual scheme, the defining criteria, the central idea etc.
  • A series of paragraphs containing arguments based on information, analysis and systematic inter-connectivity.
  • The whole impressive synoptic presentation or an effective conclusion or a final inference.
  • The introduction is mere the starting part of an essay and should be restricted to a paragraph unlike a book, the introduction of an essay is not captioned. The introductory paragraph is expected to introduce the topic and wherever required, explain the central theme or idea, fundamental or core concepts and definitional criteria. The introduction must arouse interest and develop curiosity in the minds of reader be it an examiner.
  • Main text of an essay after finishing the introductory part, essentially should be a systematic organisation of information based on a consistent methodology. It deals with the topic and related issues to be focused, the correlation of facts, figures, ideas, views, concepts; an in-depth, systematic, coherent analysis, on the basis of topic leading to the logical inferences; as well as making (if required) plausible projections and providing with (if required) viable solutions. The text of the composition must enrich, nurture and elaborate the vital ideas stated in your introduction or thesis paragraph.
  • As the text approaches near the conclusion, the essay will then reached to a stage called ‘critical mass’ a sort of a climax. The conclusion, a summary, must deliver the essence or crux of an essay. It must not comprise any new evidence, facts or figures.