RAS IAS notes

Descriptive for SBI and UIIC: Essay writing Pattern and tips

1) Essay ( 20 marks)- On any topic be it economic, social, political, etc

2) Letter ( 10 marks)- Business letter or informal letter

  1. What is the aim of having this section in exams?
    Well the banks want to know how well versed you are with English language and how well can you put across your thoughts on a topic in writing. Well it even tests your typing speed and your comfort level with computers.
  1. How to improve our English?
    Well English is like any other language, the more you expose yourself to it, the better you will get at it. So make sure you read a lot on a daily basis. Along with this just add one more exercise to this, i.e. to copy down one editorial section in a notebook on a daily basis, while copying down give special attention to the language, the way grammar is used, the way words come together to form sentences. This exercise will not only help improve your English but will also improve your writing skills.
  1. How to improve our writing skills and skills to express on a given topic?
    Well for that make a list of topics that you feel that can come in exam, and then on read about them. Once you have an idea about the topic, try writing it down in your own words. Slowly and steadily you will be able to express yourself in any given topic.

How to write an essay?

  1. Analyse the prompt.

Note exactly what  is asked in the question.

Write down the prompt on the rough page.

Underline the key words in the prompt. Look for words like “explain,” “identify,” “analyze” or “define.”

Break down the prompt into components. If you are to “identify” something and then “analyze” it, then write 1 paragraph identifying what’s requested and a second paragraph analyzing what you identified.

  1. List all of your ideas.

Write short sentence fragments or keywords of all of the facts that you can remember. These should be facts that will support the arguments or statements that you will make in your essay.

  1. Write a thesis statement for the entire essay.

This statement should identify the point that you will make in your essay.

Avoid writing statements about yourself. For instance, don’t write “I think” or “The point I will make today is…”

Make the thesis statement specific.When writing about an interpretation,use neutral language to state your opinion.Write “Jawahar Lal Nehru will always be remembered as a great Indian Prime Minister because he arguably ended the slavery in India.” Avoid writing “Everyone thinks Jawahar Lal Nehru is the best Prime Minister in history.”

Make every paragraph in your essay after carefully considering the thesis statement.

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  1. Divide the facts that you listed earlier into 2 to 4 groups.

Note the common characteristics of the points in each group. The common characteristics will become the topic sentences for your body paragraphs.

Discard ideas that don’t support your main points. Adding additional ideas will make your writing unfocused.

Rank each group in order of importance. Start with the least important point in your first body paragraph and conclude with your strongest point in your last body paragraph.

  1. Write the topic sentences for your body paragraphs.

Use 1 or 2 sentences for each supporting point in your paragraphs. Make sure the sentences directly relate to the paragraph’s topic sentence.

State the supporting point. Then, state why the point is important. Never write something down without explaining its significance.

  1. Write the concluding statements for each paragraph.

Restate the argument that you made in your topic sentence.

  1. Create a short introduction for your essay.

For example, use a fact, quote or statistic that relates to your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction.

  1. Write a conclusion.The conclusion should restate the thesis statement, briefly summarize the arguments that you made and finish by stating the ultimate point of your essay.

Few points to remember while writing essay:( 35 marks)

  1. Choose the title very carefully in which you are perfectly at home. Never choose a title about which you have only hazy and ambiguous ideas.
  1. You must jot down your points or ideas before you start writing the essay.
  1. Do not go against the title generally.
  1. The introduction should be direct and relevant . Do not beat about the bush and

deviate from the title too much.

  1. Avoid your essay with redundant quotations which might can show lack of expression.
  1. Do not use stale idioms and clichés too much like ‘leaving no stone unturned’ or Rome was not built in a day’.
  1. Put each main idea in to a separate paragraph.
  1. You must not give numbers to paragraphs nor is there any need of giving sub-headings.
  1. Avoid the use of slang and colloquial terms and try to develop a graceful, dignified and literary style.
  1. The essay should be written in a simple language. Sentences should be terse and short.
  1. Let the tone of the essay be informative and suggestive.
  1. Always remember that the beginning and the ending of an essay are very important, so give them the maximum attention.

  1. Never give a categorical or one-sided conclusion. The conclusion should always be balanced one.
  1. Write in a beautiful and legible handwriting. A pleasing handwriting is always an asset

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