Everything You Should Know About Essay Writing For Mains & How to Approach

What role does an essay play in Mains examination and how to approach it? What are the basic criteria of a good essay? Check this blog for all the useful details, tips and tricks on essay writing for Mains.

While preparing for UPSC or APSC Mains Examination, you might think at some point that you will eventually write a good essay as you are well aware of the current affairs or the news trends. Well, that’s not the fact and you have to be extra cautious while approaching essays. 

Why essay is included in the Mains? 

Other than finding the writing ability of the candidate the main intention of the paper is to rationalising you as a civil service aspirant. Yes, this paper critically analyses your approach towards society and sociology and your problem-solving skills.  

The Essay paper plays a vital role in your Mains rank as it will consist of a whopping 250 marks. You will get to choose two essays from any four given topics of 125 marks each for which the ideal word count will be 1000-1200. Sound knowledge on the topics and some useful tips to follow and you can score a good mark through this paper. 

Take Some Time to Think Over The Topics

Do not jump on writing soon after deciding the topic of your choice. Take some time to collect your thoughts and points you have memorised through all your preparations. The sequence is important so place them carefully. Remember your style of writing is presenting your overall perception of sociology. 

Structure Your Essay Smartly

The structure of a good essay has to include the following:

I. Introduction

II. History/ Background

III. The Topic

IV. Current Scenario

V. Different Aspects (positive and negative)

VI. Obstacles

VII. Solution/Way forward

Be Smart to Get Extra Points 

You can get brownie points if you also include:

  1. Relevant quotes of famous personalities. This will give you that extra edge on your thinking ability as well as show your hard work on researching the very topic. An irrelevant statement or a quote may ruin your total effort so if you can’t remember any quote at the moment simply skip.
  2. Relevant government schemes and policies. Any figures or numbers will be useful but use only when you are sure about the accuracy.  

Preparation for Essay Writing 

You just can’t write a good piece of essay for APSC or UPSC Mains exams in one day. You have to prepare a lot for that. During your preparations for UPSC or APSC Mains exams try to get and memorise as many quotes, statements, dates, phrases, and examples whenever you watch or read any news stories. One of these relevant topics can make a choice for an essay in the exam. 

Some Do’s and Don’ts While Writing An Essay 

Don’t Get Personal: Whatever be the topic and no matter how well you agree do not show your opinion as a person. You have to present a balanced picture. 

Don’t Give Extreme Views: Providing extreme views may sound good in a debate but refrain from this practice while writing an essay in your Mains.

Always present a solution: The topic may be about the problem itself. What you should do is to provide a solution. This is the most crucial part of essay writing. Please remember, your problem-solution skill will be judged by your essay.  

Restrict Criticism: You are advised not to criticise the government or administration excessively. Don’t forget you have applied to be part of the same system!

Smart Approach: No one is interested in your opinion. So stop yourself from being idealistic. Instead, you may analyse both the positive and negative aspects of the subject for a better understanding.

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