Essay Writing Tips for IAS Mains 2017: The Essay Paper is designed to have two sections A and B with four topics each. A candidate is required to select a topic from each section and write essays on them. The word limit of the essay can range anywhere from 1000 words to 2000 words, while the time duration is three hours. The total marks that this paper carries is 250, which forms a part of your total UPSC CSE score.
Thus, it is a key component in deciding the final outcome of the IAS examination and keeping essay writing tips in your mind becomes all the more important.
Essays are formulated on thoughts. Thus, essays are indirectly a reflection of an aspirant’s personality, ideas, opinions, analysis and assessment of the situation. IAS Mains Essay Paper is a test of values, attitude, aptitude, clarity of thought and writing ability.
Essay Writing Tips and Strategy for IAS Mains 2017
As much importance the exam holds in determining the final outcome of UPSC result, the exam does not come with a prescribed syllabus and thus remains a topic of worry among most students.
There is no definite topic on which the aspirants can be asked to write essays in the exam, like General Studies. Thus the option of the rote method of preparation is out of the question. This fact makes it a challenging aspect of the CSE exam. There are a few essay writing tips to keep in mind while writing for IAS mains examination.
Know the Essay Format
It is important for all candidates to understand that essays do not mean scribbling down your thoughts in the order that they appear to you. Essays are formatted text that flows a structured path beginning with introductions and end in logical conclusions. Here is an essay format outline for example, have a look:
- Background/ History related
- Main concept/ theory/ what the subject is about
- Current scenario related to it.
- Good sides
- Negative sides/ obstacles
- Suggested reforms
Never Beat Around the Bush
Examiners scrutinize your essays for useful information, logical arguments and sensible conclusions. Beating about the bush only frustrates the examiner discouraging him to pay heed to the rest of the text. Make a rule that every line that you write conveys something meaningful and that you are not ranting random thoughts throughout the paper.
Have a Logically Correct Structure
One of the most important essay writing tips of all is to write the content in a flowing structure. Jumping on and off topic spoils the beauty of an essay. There needs to be a logical continuation from beginning to end. It is a good practice to organize the essay into well-structured paragraphs that are easy to understand and comply with the logical structure of the essay.
Brainstorm for First Half Hour
Spend the first half hour thinking about the topics given. Take note of all ideas and views that cross your mind. Memorize all the related facts, dates and figures you can think of. Famous quotes, currents events, people, historical significance are all things that you must jot down at the end of the sheet as it will help you in writing the essay later.
Avoid Being Repetitive
Do not repeat anything that you write in the paper, that’s the simple rule. Let each paragraph deal with a point without any further repetition later on unless absolutely necessary.
Don’t Deviate Off-Topic
Go off topic and you risk losing the interest of the examiner forever. Additionally, this would be counted as bad essay etiquette and can result in bad marks.
Be Mindful of the Tone of your Writing
A neutral point of view and a little human concern sane up to the tone of your essay making it meritorious. Abusive language, irrational musings, and flowery language can change the meaning of the sentences as they create confusion.
We hope this article provides you with useful information. Let us know if you have any doubts or queries in the comments section below. All the Best for UPSC Civil Services Examination 2017.