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Friday, December 3, 2021

UPSC Civil Services: AIR 17 Sarthak Agrawal’s step-by-step strategy for essay paper - The Indian Express

Last updated Tuesday, November 16, 2021 01:49 ET , Source: NewsService

My key advice for the essay paper is to be argumentative and imaginative. An academic essay is a formal piece of writing with a clear structure. This is the one paper for which you will find excellent advice all over the internet — mostly on university websites — so make sure to read them up instead of just relying on the typical UPSC resources.

The following approach worked best for me: start with a story that is relevant to the prompt. Then, state in a few words the “thesis” of your essay – what is the main argument you’re making? Next, support this central thesis with several claims, each one backed by strong evidence or reasoning, and occupying a separate paragraph. As you go along, address the counterclaims. But resist the urge of writing an essay like a mystery novel. This is best practiced when you have devoted some 10-20 minutes to plan and outline what you will write.

Ultimately, the key to putting together a strong response is to make an innovative and strong argument – don’t just provide relevant information around the central topic but take a refined stand and stick to it. For instance, if I wrote an essay on the topic, “Are we entering an era of globalisation”, I wouldn’t just regurgitate data on both sides of the debate. Instead, I would present an incisive and informed opinion defended by evidence and reasoning with an intention to persuade the reader. Remember, variety goes a long way in achieving this aim – avoid repetition and alter your sentence length...



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