How to Prepare for SSC CGL Descriptive Paper: Essay Writing Tips

Dear Students, Although SSC hasn’t specified what type of questions will be asked in Tier-III, but there are 3 possibilities – Essay Writing, Precis Writing and Letter Writing. Out of these essay writing is the real game changer.
According to official SSC notification: “Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi (writing of Essay/Precise /Letter /Application etc.) Which is of 100 marks/60 minutes”.

The word essay is defined in “The Concise Oxford Dictionary” as “a literary composition on any subject.” It is a written composition giving expression to one’s own personal ideas or opinions on some topics. 
If you are not good in essay writing, you have to practice a lot. And you have to focus not only on the essay but letter/precise/application also.

ESSAY Writing 

To prepare for Essay, Start with reading the newspaper (Hindu only for this- editorial section). Focus on how the paragraphs are connected to each other, what is the structure of Essay. Then read some good essays. You can refer any good book or read the essay of previous years UPSC toppers. You may get them on the internet very easily.
Start writing in between. It doesn’t matter how bad you are at writing, but you have to do it anyway. Don’t be afraid of bad handwriting. Start early, fail early and try to improve yourself. Write an essay and give it to your friends or any person who has a good command over essays for checking. Analyze what you are lacking. Are you not able to make the structure of Essay or you are not able to connect the paragraphs, your introduction is not eye catching or you are not able to give a good conclusion, see what is lacking in now and focus on those areas to make you stronger.

To tackle essay, keep these things in mind
  • Note down the broad topics from which an essay can appear, like climate change, terrorism, patriotism, science and tech, demonetisation etc.
  • For all these topics, prepare 3 quotes. You can refer internet for this exercise. Writing a catchy quote at the beginning and at the end of your essay will make your essay stand out and will eventually earn you some extra brownie points.
  • Divide your essay into sub-headings. It provides a good framework to the essay and lets the examiner know that you are thinking in multiple dimensions. For e.g. in case an essay comes on “Unemployment in India”, you can have the following sub-headings: Post-independence scenario of unemployment, Current situation, Causes, Steps taken by government, Way forward/suggestions, etc.
  • Keep yourself updated with current affairs – any new government scheme, recent natural calamity, etc. These will give you the highest hit ratio.
“An essay should reveal the personal feelings and opinions of the writer. It should have his individuality in it. Strictly speaking, as has been already said, an essay is a written composition giving expression to one’s personal ideas or opinions on a subject;  and this personal touch should not be lost, or the essay will be colourless and devoid of individuality. So do not be afraid to express in your essays your own views, and do not be content with repeating the opinions of others. Let there be a note of sincerity in all that you write.
To sum up:- An essay must be a unity, treating in an orderly manner of one subject; it should be concisely written and not long, and the style should by simple, direct and clear; and it should have an individuality, or show the personal touch of the writer.


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