IAS Gyan


How to Write a Good Essay

25th October, 2020 Mains

How to Write a Good Essay


If you search over the internet, you will find thousands of articles on “How to Write a Good Essay”. However, in exam hall, the scenario is completely different and far from the ideal scenario for you to deliver in most of the steps you may find in those articles. A Tensed situation, along with the demand of the examination create a situation beyond your most frightening nightmare.

Here , we are going to give you a strategy which is a result of feedback of the candidates who had been there and done that.

About the Essay Paper

During the UPSC CIVIL SERVICES Mains examination, an aspirant need to write 2 essays of 1000 to 1200 words for each. Each of them carries 125 Marks.

In short it is a paper that carries 250 marks and 3 hours is allotted for writing those 2 essays.

How should we approach an Esssay

Step 1 : Think

Before you start putting pen on the paper for the actual essay writing, think of the gist based on which you will write your essay. This will help you to stay on track and not to miss something very relevant to the topic asked in the paper.

If you just hurriedly commit yourself into writing, you may end up writing something not very compact.

Always remember, the examiner have all the points jotted down in front of him to judge your essay in a more comfortable and less challenging scenario than yours.

You may put 30 minutes to make sure you think in right and positive way.

A good essay should have the following features 

Step 2 : Follow the Middle Path

From choosing the topic from the given options to writing the essay, one should maintain a middle path i.e Don't choose the extreme topics and don't give the extreme opinion.

Other than some proven scientific truths, the extreme things are often proved to be non-exclusive and incomplete when tested against reality.

Aspirants should refrain themselves from Excess criticism, excess optimism, justifying extreme political ideologies etc.

One should remember that the Essay you are writing is neither your personal problem nor the reflection of your only view. Rather, it is an outlook that you are giving on a certain subject matter. So Be Calm and constructive.

Beware of the Religious, Political, Linguistic, Casteism issues.

Step 3 : Don't forget to give the right data and quote

If you choose to give famous and relevant quotes and data regarding the topic. Be very sure that you are giving the right one.


To write a good essay you need to inculcate discipline and good habits in your daily life and thought process. Reading good books and articles, writing practice are some important part of the process. To fill up 20+ pages with relevant and efficient words, you need to be spot on right from word go.

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