Essay Writing Strategy

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Writing a good essay requires right approach and good​​ amount​​ of​​ practice. But it has been observed that​​ Many students​​ have taken for granted Essay paper in civil services preparation.​​ 

It is important to understand that one essay paper is equivalent to almost 1.5​​ 
G. S.​​ papers in terms or scoring.​​ 

The essay paper too lightly resulting in a score not comparable with their potential.​​ 
Hence,​​ It​​ is vital to attempt this paper with the same seriousness as all other papers in GS Mains and learn the art of writing a good essay.

Essay requires the student to exhibit not only the art of writing but also the art of thinking.

Approach of an Essay.

Task 1: Review and review again the essay question:
Examine the topic​​ before selection.​​ Think about the issue. Brainstorm possible responses and develop creative insight.

Task​​ 2:​​ Selection of Topic:

Selection of topic should be clearly based on your holistic understanding of the subject matter.​​ So,​​ choose a topic with which you are most comfortable.

Task 3:​​ Interpretation​​ of the essay topic:

Think for 30-45 minutes before you start the Essay writing.​​ Do not be in a hurry​​ to write an essay.​​ Many people see the broader title and start writing the essay without even understanding the theme of the​​ topic.​​ You​​ need to critically analyse the theme of the essay.

Task​​ 4:​​ Brainstorming

After selection of the topic we need to brainstorm to get​​ input that you can produce in essay writing.​​ Use​​ SPECLIH​​ ​​ approach:-Think from Social, Political, Economic, Cultural, Legal, International, Humanistic perspective. You can look for quotes, examples, events, illustrations, case studies, Government initiatives, and facts and figures etc.​​ 



​​ Task 5:​​ Structuring​​ the essay

Information is one thing but how to put that information in a structured and systematic way is very important.​​ So,​​ need to focus on few​​ specific​​ things while structuring your essay.

Outline: Create an outline of essay i.e. how will your essay proceed.​​ Think about​​ PAST-PRESENT- FUTURE​​ of selected topic​​ is a good technique.

Breakup: Break up essay properly​​ in this way.

ias essay strategy

Once you have brainstormed the points, created an outline and structured your​​ essay, now​​ you are ready to write the content.

Task 6:​​ Content

Language & Presentation:​​ Write in simple language.​​ Keep short sentences and small paragraphs.

Explanation of points: Explain through examples or illustrations whatever you are trying to explain. Mention government Initiatives, policies & plans wherever possible. International examples or case study wherever possible.

Focus of essay: Throughout the essay the theme should be reflected and flow should be maintained from beginning to end.​​ 

Each paragraph should link to the​​ other. Also,​​ do not focus only on covering lot of dimensions in the essay. In this race we lose the flow of essay. More than knowledge essay should reflect your vision and ideas.

Introduction: Your Introduction should clearly lay down what the essay will entail, giving a brief idea to the reader. You can always use a story, quote, fact/Information or abstract way to create a context and then build your introduction over it.

Body: This part is all about analysis. Here three things are Important.​​ 

1.) If the topic is debatable you need to discuss both sides. If not then it will be straight-forward.​​ 

2.) In any case you will have certain line of arguments to put your case.​​ 

3.) Explain each of them through some examples.

Conclusion: In conclusion focus on three things​​ 

1.) Summarise the topic​​ 

2.) Put your concluding stand​​ 

3.) Tell a way ahead. Try to end your essay on some positive/visionary note.

Task 7:​​ What preparations you can do for the essay

Read: You need to read some good essays and learn how beautifully people put up their arguments. These essay don’t have diversity but depth.​​ So,​​ reading some good essays can tell you how to begin an essay, write arguments, and conclude. Most Important is how to create a structure of essay.


  • In your daily newspaper reading if you find some good lines or examples then keep noting them. Especially editorials.

  • Take up some common/general topics like women, education, healthcare,​​ 

  • internet, science (look at last 20 years essay) and prepare some fodder on it. Like quotes, imp case studies, examples, factual info, government initiatives etc.

  • Have a repository of good opening and closing lines. You will find this through reading newspapers, good essays of others etc.

Write and evaluate: One should write at least 5-6 essays. When you write try to apply the points​​ as​​ explained above in this article. And most importantly get your essays evaluated by​​ Civil Service Gurukul Faculty. This will​​ imrpve your answer writing skill.

Task 8: Allocation of​​ Time​​ 

There is no hard and fast rule​​ for allocation of time,​​ but Time management is required.

  • Topic​​ Selection:​​ 5​​ minutes

  • Brain storming/creating outline/structure of​​ essay:​​ 15 minutes

  • Essay​​ Writing:​​ 1hr to 1hr 5 minutes

  • Revising Essay: 5 minutes

 Make​​ Reading Books as a Hobby

To increase your idea and ‘fodder-material’ for brain storming, you can read some books outside studies, related to Indian culture, democracy and Development

Important​​ points should be keep in mind​​ while writing essay:

  • Never get personal in your essay.​​ Be Neutral in approach.

  • Don’t​​ give​​ extreme views. The Buddha’s middle path can help you here!​​ Balancing view is required.

  • Present problems​​ with​​ possible reforms/solutions.

  • Don’t criticise the government​​ policy​​ /administration excessively.

  • Avoid writing utopian solutions.

  • Keep in mind you are a future officer, not a journalist!


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