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Tips on Essay Writing for UPSC Mains Exam

Tips on Essay Writing

Tips on Essay Writing Made Easy for UPSC Mains Examination” is a comprehensive and enlightening resource designed to enhance your proficiency in crafting essays. The UPSC Mains Exam encompasses a rigorous evaluation spanning 9 papers, including an essay paper. This essay segment carries substantial importance, contributing 250 marks (125 marks per section) to the candidate’s final score. This underscores its pivotal role in selection and ranking. Differing from optional subjects that demand extensive study, the essay paper requires a distinct approach. Within this guide, we delve into the traditional essay structure and offer invaluable insights to excel in the Essay Paper of the UPSC Mains Examination.

How to Prepare for the Essay Paper in UPSC Civil Service Exam


Preparing for the Essay Paper in the UPSC Civil Service Exam is crucial for aspirants aiming to crack this prestigious examination. The essay paper holds significant weightage and is an excellent opportunity for candidates to showcase their analytical and writing skills. This article will provide you with 7 easy steps to master essay writing for the UPSC Mains Exam, helping you effectively structure and present your ideas.

Step 1: Understand the Essay Topics

The first step in excelling at essay writing for the UPSC Exam is to thoroughly understand the essay topics. UPSC often presents broad and contemporary themes, and candidates are expected to address them comprehensively. Analyze the given topics, break them down into sub-themes, and brainstorm ideas to form a well-rounded perspective.

Step 2: Extensive Research

A well-researched essay reflects depth and insight. Utilize both primary and secondary sources to gather relevant information. Rely on authentic and credible sources such as government publications, research papers, and reputable websites. Remember to make notes, highlighting essential points and quotes for future reference.

Step 3: Develop a Cohesive Outline

Creating a clear and cohesive outline is the backbone of a well-structured essay. Divide your essay into logical sections – introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Ensure that each section flows logically and supports the central argument of your essay. Your outline should act as a roadmap to guide you through the writing process.

Step 4: Craft a Powerful Introduction

An impactful introduction sets the tone for your essay and grabs the reader’s attention. Start with a compelling hook, pose a thought-provoking question, or share a relevant anecdote. Clearly state your thesis or main argument and provide a brief overview of how you plan to address the topic.

Step 5: Master the Art of Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are where you elaborate on your ideas, arguments, and examples. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that introduces the main point, followed by supporting evidence and analysis. Ensure that your arguments are coherent and well-articulated, with a smooth transition from one paragraph to the next.

Step 6: Address Counterarguments

Addressing counterarguments showcases your ability to consider different perspectives. Acknowledge potential opposing viewpoints and skillfully refute them with sound reasoning and evidence. This strengthens your essay and displays a balanced approach to the topic.

Step 7: Craft an Impactful Conclusion

A strong conclusion leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Summarize your key points and restate your thesis in a new light. Avoid introducing new information at this stage. Instead, leave the reader with a thought-provoking insight or a call to action related to the essay topic.


Mastering the art of essay writing for the UPSC Mains Exam is a gradual process that requires practice, dedication, and continuous improvement. By following the 7 easy steps outlined in this article, you can confidently approach the essay paper, showcasing your analytical abilities and writing prowess. Remember, practice is the key to success, so write regularly and seek feedback to refine your skills further. Best of luck in your UPSC journey!

Some important points you can follow while write essay in UPSC examination

1. Understand the Format

The essay paper consists of two sections, A and B, each containing four topics. Candidates must choose one topic from each section and compose an essay within the allotted time of three hours. The word limit for the essay should range between 1,000 to 2,000 words.

2. Emphasise Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

While the standard essay structure comprises an introduction, body, and conclusion, it is important to understand how this structure applies specifically to the UPSC Paper. The essay should be topical, easily comprehensible, and logically organised. Ensure that your introduction clearly states your stance on the topic, the main points you will address, and an engaging hook to captivate the reader’s attention. In the body paragraphs, present coherent arguments, supporting evidence, and relevant examples to strengthen your position. Conclude the essay by summarising your key arguments and offering a concise resolution.

3. Be Brief and Informative

Keep your essay brief and minimise extraneous details or tangents. Every paragraph in the essay should have a distinct purpose and add to its overall cohesion. Be enlightening by including pertinent information, figures, and illustrations to back up your claims. However, keep in mind to keep a balanced perspective and offer a thorough analysis of the subject.

4. Keep Your Essay Clear and Coherent

Ensure that your essay keeps a logical flow and is simple to understand. Use transitional language to move ideas and paragraphs forward smoothly. This will make your essay easier to read and will aid the examiner in comprehending your thought process.

5. Practice Time Management

Given the limited time of three hours, it is crucial to manage your time effectively. Allocate sufficient time for brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revising. Prioritise the topics you feel most confident about, but don’t neglect the other topics entirely.

6. Revise and Proofread

Allocate some time at the end of the exam to review your essay. Check for any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or unclear sentences. Make necessary revisions and ensure that your essay is well-polished and cohesive.

The UPSC Mains Exam’s essay paper structure requires practice and writing skill development to master. Candidates can improve their chances of passing this important section of the test by using these techniques to help them convey their ideas in a clear, succinct, and convincing way.

Tips you should follow for essay writing in UPSC examination

1. Understand the Question

Carefully read and analyse the essay question to grasp its essence. Identify the key themes, arguments, or perspectives that need to be addressed in your essay.

2. Plan and Outline

Take some time to brainstorm ideas, jot down relevant points, and create a logical outline for your essay. This will provide a clear structure and ensure that you cover all necessary aspects of the topic.

3. Maintain a Balanced Approach

While expressing your opinion is important, maintain a balanced viewpoint by considering multiple perspectives. Present a well-rounded argument, discussing both sides of the issue and providing evidence and examples to support your claims.

4. Use Relevant Examples and Evidence

Incorporate real-life examples, case studies, or historical events to support your arguments. This demonstrates a deep understanding of the topic and adds credibility to your essay.

5. Put an emphasis on coherence and clarity

Write in a clear, succinct, and structured way. To effectively communicate your views, use basic language. Make sure your essay is coherent throughout and that each paragraph transitions properly into the next.

6. Develop a Strong Introduction

Grab the reader’s attention with a compelling introduction. State your thesis or main argument clearly, providing a roadmap for the essay. Engage the reader from the beginning to make a lasting impression.

7. Structured Body Paragraphs

Give each paragraph in the body of your essay a specific topic or theme. The topic phrase that introduces the primary idea should be first in each paragraph, then the supporting details and analysis should come next. Ensure that your ideas flow logically.

8. Effective Conclusion

Summarize your main points in the conclusion, reiterating your thesis or main argument. Provide a concise summary of the key ideas discussed in the essay. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.

9. Time Management

Allocate time wisely during the examination. Divide your time according to the weightage of each section and topic. Priorities topics you are confident about and allocate sufficient time for writing, revising, and editing.

10. Revise and Edit

Reserve time to review your essay for any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or unclear sentences. Ensure that your essay is well-structured and free from any inconsistencies or ambiguity. Make necessary revisions to improve the clarity and coherence of your writing.

By following these tips, you can enhance your essay writing skills and effectively tackle the essay paper in the UPSC examination. Practice regularly, seek feedback, and refine your approach to master the a

Moreover, the essay paper provides an opportunity for candidates to display their creativity, originality, and ability to think outside the box. It requires them to explore diverse perspectives, provide logical reasoning, and substantiate their viewpoints with relevant examples and evidence.

Additionally, the essay paper assesses the candidate’s proficiency in written communication. Clarity, coherence, grammar, vocabulary, and structure play vital roles in effectively conveying ideas and maintaining reader engagement.

Overall, the essay paper is a significant component of the UPSC Exam, as it provides valuable insights into a candidate’s intellectual capacity, personal attributes, and overall suitability for the administrative services. Aspirants should approach this paper with thorough preparation, critical thinking, and a well-structured approach to leave a lasting impression on the evaluators.

Read Also: Mock Interviews for Civil Services Exam

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