Best Strategy For UPSC Essay Writing | How to write the Essay For UPSC | Career Launcher

In the scheme of the UPSC Mains examination, the essay paper plays a very important role. This paper carries a total of 250 marks. Initially, the candidates were asked to write only 1 essay in 3 hours till 2013, but after the change in syllabus, the challenge is now of writing 2 essays in 3 hours on diverse topics.

So, now you will have to write two essays each with a word count of 1000 - 1200. There are two sections - Section A and Section B each of which has four topics of essays. Out of these, candidates can select one topic from each section to write an essay. Candidates can select the topic of their choice from a choice of four topics. The UPSC Essay Paper is for a total of 250 marks with one essay for 125 marks.

In this article, we will discuss how to write the essay for UPSC including the genesis of essay, books, and references for essay writing and everything that a candidate must know about UPSC essay writing

Essay for UPSC - Highlights

  • Number of essays to write - 2
  • Time allotted - 3 hours
  • Word Limit - 1000-1200 words
  • Marks allotted- 125 each. Total Marks - 250

UPSC Essay Writing | Genesis of an essay

  • An essay is defined as an organized collection of YOUR IDEAS nicely written and professionally presented.
  • In other words, the essay must be well structured and presented in a way that the readers find it easy to follow and it must look tidy and not present any obstacles to the reader.
  • It must have a clear readable interesting style. But above all, it must consist of your ideas about the issue in question.
  • Developing the skill to write a good essay needs preparation, which precedes the examination phase.
  • Writing holds the key to an effective essay: it forms the core for conveying ideas from your mind to paper.
  • Language skill is not developed overnight. It demands effort and perseverance. Your command over a language is determined by your desire to master it.
  • The general essay paper plays a crucial role in compensating for the lack of high scores in GS and optional papers.
  • Many of us commit the mistake of gathering facts and information on the probable topics at the eleventh hour of preparation, thinking that we can produce a good piece of work in the examination hall.
  • What we have to understand is that arranging gathered ideas using an appropriate language is going to be a tedious job, especially when you have the pressure of time limit
  • So start working on improving your writing skills right from the beginning of your preparation. Enhance your skills by developing an interest in learning more vocabulary, acquiring a wider information base, and having a passion for reading.
  • The whole essay should be organically linked from one paragraph to another So that the examiner could feel the continuity and orderly flow and arrangement of your ideas. the unification among the paragraphs can be done through transitional words and phrases

Guidelines to be followed for UPSC Essay Paper

The best answer to how to write the essay for UPSC can be very well formulated from the guidelines mentioned below. Let’s have a look at them:

  • The essay is not merely a test of your factual knowledge. It is a test of your creativity, inventive spirit, and capacity for the generation of new ideas.
  • The choice of words and the proper statement is important.
  • For that make a list of the alternative words for the words you use often.
  • Note down powerful sentences, paragraphs, and quotations whenever you find them.
  • Keep close to the subject matter. Whatever you write it must be totally relevant to the subject matter.
  • The introductory note should be around 5 to 7 percent of the length of the essay, the body around 86 to 90 percent, and the concluding remark again around 5 to 7 percent.
  • To obtain good marks remember the abc of essay which stands for a - for accuracy; b - for brevity and c - for creativity.
  • Don't take extreme views. Your essay should reflect your balance of judgment, holistic approach, and an analytical bend of mind
  • Select the topic wisely -A topic about which you are too passionate or feel strongly about. In this case, you may tend to get excited and fail to write a balanced essay. This can work against you.
  • After selecting the topic judiciously, you should not start writing straight away. It is advisable to think for some time and collect your thoughts. Write in pencil the points you want to write as doing so you can write your points in the correct sequence.
  • Once you have the rough points in hand, you can start writing the essay. While writing, you must adhere to a good structure.

Structure of a Good UPSC Essay

  • The introductory paragraph should have clear indications about what you are going to write in the essay - begin your essay with a quote w.r.t the context
  • Set out your main idea clearly
  • You may use relevant quotes to reinforce your arguments. But never try to alter the quotes of great personalities.
  • Make it clear how you are going to address the questions, where you are going and why
  • The examiner normally gives credit to new perspectives and fresh analysis.
  • Make it clear how the main ideas relate to each other
  • Take the examinee through your answer in a logical, progressive way
  • Organized groups of related information in paragraphs
  • You may show your inferences in the concluding paragraph.

Introducing the ABC of UPSC Essay Writing

A - Accuracy, appropriateness, attentiveness to your reader, avoidance of ambiguity.
B - Brevity or conciseness, brightness or buoyancy.
C - Correctness ( of usage and grammar), clarity, consistency, concreteness.

In the course of UPSC preparation, you become a master of longitude of information. The essay paper requires you to filter, arrange, organize, and even innovate ideas out of that information, and, at the same time, not diverging from the selected topic. It’s not the dearth of content but the lack of organizational skill that holds many students back.

However, this can easily be mastered with regular practice, expert evaluation, and working on the mistakes. Once this is done, the UPSC essay would become the most rewarding part of the paper, taking you beyond 'the' line

Books and References For Making UPSC Essay Writing Easy

For general reading -

  • My experiment with truth - M.K Gandhi
  • India after independence - Bipin Chandra
  • Discovery of India - J.L Nehru
  • Getting India back on track - by Ratan Tata
  • My experiment with truth - M.K Gandhi
  • India after independence - Bipin Chandra
  • Discovery of India - J.L Nehru
  • Getting India back on track - by Ratan Tata
  • For detailed reading -
  • Democracy in India NCERTe
  • Social Problems in India - Ram Ahuja
  • Women in Indian Society - Neera Desai and Usha
  • Thakkar ( NBT Publication)
  • The Hindu ( editorial articles)
  • Yojana
  • Kurukshetra
  • Frontline

So, this is a brief introduction and guideline on how to write the essay for UPSC exam. Career Launcher brings comprehensive UPSC preparation courses wherein you will also get one to one mentorship and guidance for UPSC preparation. Join us on our telegram channel in order to keep yourself updated on the new courses. Get the information about all our course deliverables here.If you need more information, get in touch with our course counselors.

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