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7 Easy Steps on Essay Writing for UPSC Mains Exam

The UPSC Mains Exam has a total of 9 papers which includes an essay paper as well. The Essay Paper in the IAS Mains Exam
consists of two sections A and B with four topics each of 125 marks and a total of 250 (125×2) marks. Candidates have to select a
topic from each section and write about it in 1,000 to 2,000 words within the given time of three hours. The Essay paper is
considered as crucial in determining the nal result of selection and ranking of a candidate.     The Essay Paper is considered as
crucial as it is a compulsory paper and its marks are incorporated in computing the total and moreover what makes it crucial is that
there is no in-depth study in an essay unlike optional subjects where any aspirant can claim expertise.     Let us take a look at the
conventional way of writing an essay that includes introduction, body and conclusion. Though this is the fundamental but the
concept of an essay when it comes in terms of UPSC (https://byjus.com/ias/upsc-syllabus) Paper it is quite tricky.   An essay
should be of topical text that is easy to understand or follow and comprehensive, succinct, composite and de nite, as well as
informative and logical.   So, here are a few tips on how to structure an Essay Paper in the UPSC Mains Exam. For effective
composition of an essay one should generally follow the below points that are ideally suggested by the senior UPSC Aspirants and
toppers:   What to write in the Essay?
Read the topic carefully
Think and recollect the points to be included in the topic for 30 minutes
What not to write in the Essay?
Provoking Essay
Do not get personal
Deviating from the subject
Tips to enhance your Essay writing
Recommended Reading
Reading Books as Hobby

Before choosing the topic, read all the topics more than once and choose the topic wisely from the given choices so that you will
nd enough points to write about the topic.   Once you choose a topic and start to write you may nd di cult and tend to change the
topic in between which would be foolishness and it will be too late to change the topic as you would have already utilized much
time.   Read the topic twice and think about the topic for 30 minutes.

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Once you have chosen the topic to write don’t start to write immediately instead ‘think about the topic for 30 minutes’. Because
when one starts writing without thinking about the topic they may miss out many important points and in between or at the end they
may remember more signi cant points which would be too late as there would be no enough pace left in the answer sheet or time
to write more.   Hence, it is recommended to utilize the rst 30 minutes to think about the topic before starting to write as you have
three hours to write the essay.
Think about the topic for 30 minutes
Write down the random points that come to your mind at the end of the sheet
Arrange the points that you have jot down in sequence

Some important tips to make your Essay worthy

Once you have recalled, collected and noted the points then the next step is to structure it as given below:
Background/past example
Main concept/theory
Correlate with current event
Advantages and disadvantages
Suggested Changes

It is advised while writing an essay on a topic that maybe provocative not to get personal and criticize a person or government in
your writing. Some topics would be provocative where you may tend to lose control in your writing and write something in offensive
way, which is not appreciable and recommended as well.   If you are writing about the disadvantages it is suggested to come up
with few reforms that may change the disadvantages into advantages.

Always memorize the quotes correctly and the name of the person who has quoted it. If you are not sure about the quote then it is
advised to leave it instead of writing it incorrectly.

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For an effective essay writing one should clearly be sure of the purpose of writing the essay and should remember about the “Five
Wives and One Husband” concept i.e., – Who?, Why?, What?, When?, Where?, and How?,  that is taught in the school on the rst day
of Essay Writing.   Following this concept will make you to stick around the topic and not to paddle away from the topic.

Essay writing also needs continuous reading; hence it is suggested to candidates to read diverse topics and books and some of the
recommended are:

Editorial section of The Hindu Newspaper
 Magazines like Frontline, Kurukshetra, Yojana
Watch discussions and debates on television
Work on previous question papers essay topic
Finally, when it comes to Essay as one of the papers in the UPSC Exam (https://byjus.com/ias/ias-exam), it is all about to
understand and assess the personality of a candidate through which his/her views, ideas, suggestions, values, attitude, aptitude,
coordination and communication (written) abilities and other attributes are analyzed that especially UPSC looks for in an aspirant.  
If you want to analyze or enhance your essay writing skills then participate now in our UPSC Essay Contest (https://byjus.com/free-
ias-prep/exam-simulationanswer-writing-practiceupsc-essay-writing-contesttesting) and win cash prize as well as free
registration for UPSC Civil Services Mains Test Series.

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