In my previous attempt , i got around 68 marks in my essay..However this time my score is 142.I will discuss my strategy here.Hope it clarifies the doubts of many aspirants who have been messaging me for the same
#1 CHOOSING THE TOPIC:
My advice would be to choose a topic that is not very philosophical.(However this depends on your personal choice).Reason being , this eliminates the chance that your viewpoint will be in contradiction with the examiner (though , i believe that the examiner is wise enough to appreciate a different view point)
STEP 1 :When you see the question paper, at the first glance chose the the topics that seem a bit comfortable.
STEP 2:Now from the topics that you have shortlisted from step 1,try to think how many dimensions can you write in each topic.Chose the topic for which you can write the most dimensions(i will clarify what i mean by dimensions)
Thus now you have chosen the topic .Give at least 10 minutes to chose the topics.I would advice that one should chose a topic from one part first ,write it and then chose the topic from the other part.(i.e. first complete one essay and then after 1.5 hours ,repeat step 1 and 2 to chose the second essay)
#2:INTRODUCING THE ESSAY:
1:Try to be simple and straight forward in introduction.Writing fancy stories or anecdotes might work but might also backfire (unless you are a very good writer).
PS:There are many candidates who have scored good marks by starting with short stories,conversations,cross questions or other creative ways.My only advice is having a simple start is not bad and is safe.Just think as if you are writing an article from the paper “The Hindu”.:Simple and crisp.
2:Try to explain or define what does the words used in the essay mean to you.For example
a)if there is an essay on “empowerment of women“,you can start as simply as by defining what is empowerment.For example one can write that empowerment is availability of opportunites in political,economic,cultural and societal fields.
b)in the essay is “Is tourism the next big thing for India“,define what is the next big thing for India?The next big thing will be a field which will help us in improving our economy,international relations,cultural ties,employment generation etc.(i am just giving you an example ,there are various other domains apart from the above mentioned ones)
3:Give a brief idea about the essay:Introduction is just a brief summary of the essay
#3 : DEVELOPING THE ESSAY(temporal plus sectoral scale)
1 :After the introduction ,write at least one-two pages on temporal scale(giving an overview of topic from the prism of history)
example 1:For example in the topic “Character of an institution is reflected in its leader“,i wrote how in the mauryan age (institution),when the leader was Ashoka(leader),the entire character of the institution(mauryan empire) became peaceful and non violent.Then i came to the mughals,how the institution’s(i.e. mughal empire’s) character was very different under reigns of different rulers (example under Akbar vs under Aurangzeb).Then i came to freedom movement(institution) and how its character changed ,when it found a leader in Mahatma Gandhi (leader).Thus this is just a brief idea about how to develop your 2-3 pages on temporal scale
example 2: On the topic on empowerment of women, one can write how women were empowered in Rig vedic age (the concept of sadharamcharini) and then on time scale , give various examples till the present time..
2:Sectoral scale:Now your next few pages will be exanding the essay on various dimension
example 1 :For the essay “Dreams that should not let India sleep”,we will write what are our dreams in myriad fields ,namely economic,social sector(women,tribal,child,old age),employement ,international relations,cultural,administrative,global power etc .Thus on each of these fields we write a paragraph
example2 : On the topic empowerment of women after writing the temporal scale that i mentioned ,write on sectoral scale ,that is empowerment in various fields -family life,cultural,societal,education,positions of authority,empolyenment,sports etc
1:The conclusion can again be very simple.U just have to wrap up the essay.Dont introduce any new idea.Just give a summary of whatever we have written till now in the essay.
2:Try to have a balance conclusion.Further your conclusion must be optimistic.
LET US NOW SEE SOME OF THE TIPS THAT I HAVE LEARNT SO FAR FOR GETTING GOOD MARKS IN ESSAY
1:TIME MANAGEMENT:1:Give 10 minutes atleast to chose the topic
2:Brain storm on the topic for 15 minutes.
3:Rough work can take as much as 40 minutes.It is very important
4:Finish the first essay in 1 hour 20 minutes at max
2:ADVICE FROM GOOD SCORERS IN ESSAY:Memorize the topic of the essay by heart and repeat the topic many times in the essay.For example if the topic is “is competition good for youth “,after every paragraph write the topic .Example after a paragragh we write “So we analysed that yes (or no),competition is good for youth”.This will create a feeling in the mind of the examiner that you are sticking to the central theme of the essay
3:WRITE THE ESSAY AS A GENERALIST NOT AS A SPECIALIST:So,an economic optional guy might as well not write an essay on economics .Seems very difficult to digest ,but yes dont choose a topic that lies entirely in your professional expertise area
b)Appropriate underligning of key words
c)Subheadings can be used
5:WRITE MANY DIMENSIONS: Essay should be holistic and include following components:
b)LEVELS:Individual,to humanity, local to global, nation, state,district
c)SECTIONS – men,women,LGBT,rich,poor, linguistic groups, caste,religion, ages, rural-urban,differently abled,tribals,schedule castes
d)ANGLES– Social,political,environmental,cultural,spiritual,economic,family life,international relations,security.
PS:Do not be confused about how to include so many things in essay.Not everything that i mentioned can be included.Just keep these dimensions in mind