Essay Writing tips for UPSC :An insight into essay writing for UPSC


Writing is the best form of portrayal of your knowledge. And our UPSC loves  this form of intellect expression. So, every Civil Services aspirant must know how to write properly. Writing includes two parts: Answer writing and Essay writing. Answer writing demands a proper written presentation of your information on the given question. And henceforth, answer writing is not a tedious job as such. If you have prepared well, you can write your answers properly. But, essay writing can be tricky. Even though you  might have enough information on the given topic, but still  you can face difficulty in this, if you don’t know what to include and what to not. Time constraint and word limit, are the two key factors to be kept in mind.

The question is, how to write a somewhat perfect essay? That too in stipulated time. Well, it is simple. The only thing which you need to do is practice and write as many essays as many you can. You need to follow a basic format, which would include an introduction, a main body and an effective conclusion. Usually the introduction part should begin with an appropriate anecdote or quote, along with the author’s name. The quote should be relevant to your given topic. You can even use a short story or an abstract. Facts  and figures can also be included in this. But these facts must be accurate. Entail clearly what your essay is going to be all about. You can also involve current events or include the background literature related to the topic. The main body should be coherent and logical. You can include historical events or facts, in this too. Laws and administrative policies related to the topic should also be incorporated. If you are presenting arguments or debates, then support it with proper    examples. Cover all the social, political, geographical, economical and  scientific aspects or dimensions of the topic. The main body should be elaborative and should clearly portray what you want to express. In conclusion part, include your ideas, opinions, suggestions or reforms into this section of essay. Summarise the topic. In a nutshell, show a way ahead for development, reforms or positive future. End on a positive note.

This was how to write an essay. Now, let us have a look at the DO’s and DON’Ts of essay writing.


  1. After reading the essay question, sketch out a rough draft.
  2. Frame out what to include in the essay and how.
  3. Fit your information into  the essay format, keeping all the points in mind.
  4. Take care of your hand-writing and the alignment of writing.
  5. Write essay in such a way, that you don’t run out of time.
  6. Your conclusion should related with the introductory part.
  7. Transition from one section to another of an essay, should be smooth. Use connectors like moreover, maybe, but, and, now, henceforth etc.
  8. Take care of your vocabulary, tenses and grammar, while writing essay.
  9. Revise your essay at least once or twice, as time allows you.


  1. Do not be judgemental regarding government, political parties or any institution like religion, marriage, caste etc. Do not pin point any one and hold them guilty.
  2. Do not show bias attitude in your essay. Try to neutralize.
  3. Avoid use of words like must/should as you cannot be authoritative to the government. Instead use words like can or could.
  4. Avoid use of abbreviations, jargons or slangs. If you are using abbreviations, then mention their full-forms also.
  5. Avoid repetition of ideas, thoughts and words.


You can follow a time-slot for each important step of essay writing. This would provide you with an effective time-management. For example,

Topic selection: 10 minutes, Recalling: 10-15 minutes, Formulating structure : 10 minutes, Essay- writing: 1 hour and Revision: 5 minutes.

Essay writing is a skill which you can improve only by more and more practice. Follow the above steps judiciously and you will notice the difference.

Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) has kept a separate paper for Essay with a motive to test the intellect, creativity and view point of the candidate. Do read a lot of editorial columns of newspapers or from online platforms. This will provide you multiple viewpoints to a topic.

All the best for your exam! Hope you crack this prestigious examination and  become an IAS officer.

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