Master Writing Skills YouTube Lecture Handouts

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1 Key to Unlock Success in Reading Comprehension Questions

Reading Comprehension questions should be attempted by not reading the passage thoroughly but by doing a quick X-ray of the questions first and then moving to the passage and highlighting the major points believes Dr. Manishika Jain.

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Direction Words

  • Compare
  • Contrast
  • Criticize
  • Defend
  • Define
  • Describe
  • Discuss and review
  • Distinguish
  • Evaluate
  • Direction Words
  • Explain and show
  • Illustrate
  • Justify
  • Name, list, tell and enumerate
  • Prove
  • Summarize and outline
  • Trace

Prepare Yourselves- Look Before You Leap

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Coherent Flow is Must! !

Arrange your thoughts in an orderly fashion!

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Record Information

  • Be selective: you can՚t use everything
  • Check word limit
  • Ask yourselves:
    • Do I need this information?
    • How will I use this information?
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What to Include

  • Use source materials:
    • Books, journal articles, and other publications
    • First-hand research results
    • Personal communication


~Economic Times, Feb 2016

Analyze, NOT Summarize! !


  • Policy action and economic development are necessary for women՚s empowerment


  • I believe that poverty and lack of opportunity breed inequality between men and women, so that when economic development reduces poverty, the condition of women improves on two counts:
    • When poverty is reduced, the condition of everyone, including women, improves.
    • Gender inequality declines as poverty declines, so the condition of women improves more than that of men with development.
  • Economic development, however, is not enough to bring about complete equality between men and women. Policy action is still necessary to achieve equality between genders. Such policy action would be unambiguously justified if empowerment of women also stimulates further development, starting a virtuous cycle.

Be Lively: Enhance Creativity

  • Think “outside the box.”
  • Do something other than the typical approach.
  • Create an engaging title.
  • Add interesting quotations & humor.
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Pictures Speak Better Than Words

  • Rajasthan is a State of India.
Pictures Speak Better Than Words in Map

Examples Are So Crucial!

  • Article on Sex ratio or Gender Gap:
  • Include Census Data
  • Refer extreme cases – Kerala vs. Haryana

Examples: History

  • Think of events with universal themes … things you can say a lot about.
  • Examples: Nuclear Holocaust, WWII, Independence Movement, etc.

Examples: Current Events

  • Examples: Recent Election, Olympics in China, Disturbances in Syria etc.

Examples: Personal Experience

  • You can make these up!
    • Try not to go too far overboard though …
  • Just make sure to relate your ‘experience’ to the prompt.
  • They are just and just yours! ! !

Common Error # 1

  • Error: Answer with the wrong list or the wrong concept.

For example: When asked to take up “women empowerment” , don՚t only discuss the current problems; also discuss historical context, reformers, current policy measures etc.

Common Error # 2

  • Error: Write sketchy answer.
  • Completeness is KEY! ! !
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Common Error # 3

  • Error: Answer question in the wrong way.

Common Error # 4

  • Error: Not know the key terms either as they appear in the question or as they are needed in the answer.
  • Do you understand the term lexical?

Common Error # 5

  • Error: Not know how to apply knowledge to new situations

What can a developing nation like India learn from the recent economic crisis and consequent meltdown faced by the western economies?

Question Words

Common Error # 6

  • Error: Leave out important material like parts of the question, supporting details, or ramifications and implications.

Improving Writing

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Caution! !

  • Try to break into points
  • Use pictures or diagrams. Draw a caption to explain it
  • Proper heading, subheading and paragraphing
  • Use colored pen or highlight
  • Link direct opening and punchy end or vice versa

Working Towards Perfection! !

  • Be logical
  • Be organized
  • Have some idea of the world around you
  • Read on a daily basis
  • Be able to take criticism
  • Know grammar well
  • Have a well-developed vocabulary
  • Write often
  • Be determined