An essay is a short piece of writing on a particular subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative or interpretative that gives the author’s own argument. Essays are written composition about anything.
An essay takes discipline, foresight, research, strategy and if done right, ends in total victory. In terms of ‘writing’ you need to create a handful of original sentences for the entire essay; a thesis, a theme, a mini-thesis that begins each paragraph and a concluding sentence that says all. Writing an essay often seems a dreaded task among students. The idea behind is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay. Every essay that you write must contain the following:
Introduction: The introductory paragraph should have an attention-grabbing hook. It should describe your essay topic/question. One can also include good proverb related to the topic of the essay. This should not be more than one paragraph.
Body: Body paragraph supports your introductory paragraph and must include all supporting details. It is advisable to support your explanations on the topic with good examples/Facts/Govt schemes/Data/Statistics/Proverbs. This can be more than one paragraph until you reach your word limit.
Conclusion: The conclusion should rephrase the main topic and subtopics and should carry a call to action. A concluding proverb will always be a good way to end an essay. It will be good to not conclude the essay with providing your personal opinion on the topic unless specified in the question. This should not be more than one paragraph.
With a little planning and a lot of hard work, you can write an essay that’s good enough in a short time. Following pointers will help you to develop an essay framework.
Essay Question: Selecting an essay topic is the most important and critical task. Choose a topic for which you have knowledge of enough content, examples, facts, data and proverbs. Once the right essay is chosen your half work is accomplished.
Develop a plan: Planning helps to figure out how long to spend on each part of the essay and will keep you on task. Develop a thesis- the main idea of your essay. It should be precise and short.
Jotting down pointers: These can include examples for your essay, important facts that support your reasons, data/statistics, proverbs. These pointers will help you develop your essay in a better way.
Write Outline: Outline will guide you through the writing process of an essay. Structure it in the same form as your essay. This helps in identifying the areas that need better development.
Revision: Revision of your outline is as important as a revision of your essay. Revision will help you to analyse any errors/spelling mistakes etc
Following are some tips on how one can improve writing skills.
Read other people’s essay: Reading other people’s essay will help in building your own essay writing style. Read essays on a wide range of subjects, different genres of fiction and nonfiction. The wider you read, more possible techniques will be available to pick up and use in essays of your own. Another good source is reading newspapers, specifically editorials!
Build vocabulary and use it properly: This helps in expressing exactly what one means. A good vocabulary displays intelligence and allows being persuasive in your essay writing. Refer a dictionary, learn prefixes/suffixes. Subscribe to a daily email that sends new words. Add variety to your knowledge of words, collect new words and find their meanings, also write their definitions and frame them in sentences. An economy with words is a characteristic of all good essays.
Grammar: Having a good command of grammar is the most important thing. Building up a sentence which is grammatically correct and right use of words will create an overall good impact of your essay. While writing, it is important to make yourself easy for readers to understand. The sentence structure shows how intelligent you sound. The reader should not read a sentence more than once to understand it. Correct use of punctuation and tone of voice is a must. Do not use passive voice or I/My words, try to be more general and readers will remain hooked on.
The best students enjoy writing essays. For many students, each essay brings with it the challenge of making a little better than last one. When one write essay regularly, chances are less to get stuck and repeating the same thing each time. So, pick a topic each day and prepare an outline of your ideas and then write your thesis and frame up your essay.
Essays are self-generating, self-reinforcing and self-fulfilling. Essays should be balanced, so that one can learn from the best of the writers and be able to pick up techniques to help in shaping up a balanced piece. Essays constitute a formal, academic context, but that does not mean they should be boring. Don’t use big words in an essay just for the sake of it; it may have the opposite effect. Ultimately, the goal should be that the writing is clear and easy to understand, so that it is a pleasure to read.
Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.