How to Write a Powerful Essay for Civil Services Exam ?

If you have the knack of expressing the most candid thoughts of your mind in the most beautiful way on paper, you can credit yourself with writing a good essay 🙂

By beautiful , I mean – simple, accurate and methodical.

Speaking of hacks, here are some points , I feel , make a difference in writing a good essay –

  • Understand the essay topic completely and make sure you don’t beat around the bush.
  • Once you choose a topic, begin the process of stringing your thoughts together in a methodical way.
  • A good essay should always have an interesting introduction, a simple but coherent body and a conclusive ending.
  • Avoid being biased towards/against a point of view. Always create a balance.
  • Even if you feel a certain of point of view to be true – try explaining the strengths of your argument rather than the weaknesses of the other side.
  • Give headings. It helps in creating a methodical essay.
  • Avoid too may idealistic quotes. How about creating your own relevant to the topic.
  • Have an intriguing beginning and be spot on – to the point. For instance , an essay on ‘Demonetization’ should not begin on the lines of , “Since times immemorial, Indian economy has…….” Instead, start with something like , “Demonetization is one of the most powerful measures against black money …”
  • Never have an open ended conclusion. It’s not a movie by Christoper Nolan.
  • Stay original at all times.

If you want to master the craft of essay writing, you have got to have an excellent grip over two things –

  1. Language
  2. Subject Matter

The best possible content expressed in the simplest words will fetch you excellent marks in the Essay Paper.

Essay writing isn’t about mugging up facts and then spouting them out on your answer sheet. It’s about making the best use of your knowledge and writing it creatively.

For having a good grip over language, here is what you need to do –

  • Become a voracious reader of books, magazines, newspapers, research papers, websites
  • Converse in the language more often. Until you master speaking fluently , you’ll not be able to write well
  • Keep a Dictionary in hand and refer to it as many times you feel the need. Once you’re able to make proper sentences (at least 3) , you’ll remember the word and it’s meaning.

For having a good grip over the subject matter, you’ll have to pursue the following things

  • Daily reading of  Newspapers (especially extra features and editorials)
  • Weekly reading of Yojana and Kurukshetra
  • Remaining aware of the latest news stories via social media.
  • Having a damn good grip over the general studies syllabus (it’ll be easier to relate)

Now there are certain things you should absolutely avoid –

  • Rote Learning of Essays from books
  • Mugging up quotations and using them randomly in your essay
  • Digressing from the core topic.

Akriti Mattu


  1. One question if you don’t mind answering. ‘successful ex aspirant’ means you cracked the exam already or stopped preparing for it?
    Liked the part where you said that speaking well will make you write well.

    • I never mind answering questions Alok.

      I cracked both the written stages of the exam in 2014 , which was my first attempt. I started preparing for the Interview. However, an opportunity from abroad came along which was too good to ignore. Also, suited my personality way more than Government service. So I took the leap of faith and preferred the job abroad to CSE PI. Returned back a year later. Attempted the exam again in 2015. Cracked it again. But didn’t join service. I had made an informed decision to change the course of my career entirely. Now when I look back, I feel happy because it worked out just fine. Having said that, I have utmost respect for sincere aspirants who want to enter Government service. I received a lot of questions from aspirants across exams , especially CSE for doubt solving. Hence I converted my blog entirely into a free platform for CSE aspirants. That’s my story 🙂

      I wish you my best. Make your attempt count.

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