IAS4Sure Essay Tips 05 June 2016

How to start an essay ?

It is one of the most basic question that comes to the mind of any serious aspirant. In an essay, starting is important as it sets the tone for entire essay and it decides whether an examiner will read your entire essay or just skip through the content.

There can be many ways, but in this post, we will be discussing a method which is very innovative, attractive and interesting. Best part is, you can use it in almost all type of essays, whether it is on Education, Drought, Moral Values, International Relations etc. All you need is your imagination, lots of practice and a little bit of knowledge.

In this method, you start by INTRODUCING A SHORT STORY. You introduce the context, its characters, along with the direction in which you want to take your essay. When examiner reads it, he finds it interesting as your essay then just becomes a story. A very good (one of the best in my view) application of this method can be seen in this NCERT chapter. (12th Political Science -> 3rd chapter).

This chapter is on “US Hegemony”. In this chapter, author beautifully introduces three characters Ayesha (from Iran), Jabu (from S. Africa) and Andrei (from Australia). All the three had different aspirations and different economic conditions. Author explains “US Hegemony” in all the three contexts. And these characters are used through out the story. All this narration becomes really interesting and one read the chapter just like a story. No doubt every reader would like an interesting read.

Similarly, while writing an essay you can weave an imaginative story and build your essay around that. I would give few examples which I have used in my essays.

(1).  Essay topic : Some thing related to Agriculture or Drought 

I introduced 2 cousins, one in Bihar and other one in Australia. Both of them are involved in farming. My essay was built around comparing the life of these two. How they work? How Australian one is better placed even when it rains less there. How government infrastructure is of help there etc. etc. Before conclusion I had written some suggestion and in conclusion I ended with an imaginative quote (I don’t remember exactly, it was something like this. Pawan and Peter were the names of cousins :P)

Lets arise awake and stop not

Until all Pawans can talk proudly with Peters

(2). Essay topic : Is Indian government doing enough for its citizens? (something like that)

I started with big “3D”. In next line, I introduced the context which was, 2 children were listening to “Mann Ki Baat” on radio when they hear our PM saying 3D (Democracy, Demography, Demand). This term generates curiosity among children and they ask their father its meaning. Father didn’t know the answer and he said “Do Roti, Do Sabji, Dono Time” (2 Meals, 2 vegs, 2 times)

So, it introduces the context, that we have enough of schemes, slogan, missions, committees etc. but the basic needs of people are still not met. So, basically, I started on a negative note (which many don’t suggest), but then on wards my essay was built around what government in doing, why it is failing, why it is a success and what can be done.

(3). Essay topic: Water crisis

I introduced a short story in which A Delhi child was given bath by her mother at 5 AM because water supply will stop at 6AM and child was asking questions to her mother like:

Why can’t we save rain water in inverted umbrellas?

Why can’e we grow crops in terraced farms where water from top terrace will falls on lower one?

Why does a road side vendor sell water bottle at Rs 20 when Rs 15 is printed on it?

So, the context depicts the helplessness of the child and real crisis that we are facing today.

This method is good because you can apply it in almost any context. You don’t need a good deal of knowledge about the topic. You don’t need any quote. And the best part is, examiner is bound to read at least next few paragraphs of your essay.

But, and it is a big BUT, you need to practice this method a lot, if you choose to go with it. What you can do is pick Essay topics from past year UPSC papers and try to think what would you write in introduction. Write 4-5 lines and read them after few days. If you do this regularly than you will yourself see an improvement in your thinking.

See, in my view, there are 2 types of people for Essay paper.

(1). Well read and those who are natural writer : Even if they blabber, they are better than category 2. They get > 50% without any preparation.But, if they work a little on essay, they can easily score up to 60% marks.

(2). Average guys like me. Who are not confident in English. Who does not possess super awesome vocab. Who are not natural writers. They need to work a bit more to touch 55% level so that at least essay paper does not ruin there chances.

In any case, one should prepare for essay as it is one of the most easy part of this exam.

Best of Luck!

Edit: Adding pics of essays I wrote in test series :

(1). Should India nationalize its water resources?

(2). Some topic related to corruption

7 thoughts on “IAS4Sure Essay Tips 05 June 2016”

  1. This request might sound stupid, but I’ll take my chances – can you come up with one-just one-exact example of a story based introduction (the way you’d write your final intro draft). I ask this because I wish to see what tone/tenses/persons you are using. You may take any example you’ve discussed above. Thanks in advance.

        1. Thanks @IAS4Sure. The NCERT example was quite relevant. Also the two samples you shared – thank you for them, too. Seems like you are a fan of asking questions via a child’s mind in your introduction. 🙂

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