Essay Writing for CSS and PMS - Guidelines

This article is genuinely for candidates appearing in CSS Exam.  It focuses on all aspects of ‘Essay Writing’ which is one of the compulsory papers of CSS Exam. This paper is a key determiner of your overall score in CSS Exam. Most of the candidates score less in this paper. Apart from having literary and scholarly writing skills, the candidate must also learn various dimensions of producing an impressive and appealing essay. This article encompasses all the essentials of essay writing in detail.

Essay paper has ten topics for writing an essay. The candidate has to choose one out these ten topics. The candidate has to make an OUTLINE as well as write a COMPREHENSIVE ESSAY of 2500 to 3500 words on the topic. 

   Essentials of Essay Writing

Learning the following essentials of writing an essay to ensure your high scores.

  1. Structure of an Essay
  2. Expression of Ideas – Principles of a standard essay
  3. Making an Outline for the essay
  4. Grammatical Accuracy and wide-range of Vocabulary – English Proficiency

  Structure of Essay

An essay is not simply a combination of paragraphs written haphazardly.  A standard essay has three parts: 1. Introduction or Background, 2. Body, 3. Conclusion or Summary.

Introduction: This first paragraph should introduce your topic. It serves as a background to the topic. Remember! Your first sentence should be a very attractive one. It should appeal to the reader. It should be a composite line enclosing the major idea (or theme) of the topic. The introductory part can be one, two or more paragraphs depending upon the topic. It should have forewords, meaning, definitions or background information to introduce the topic to the reader. It should be written in a way that should compel the reader to continue reading further about the topic.

Body: It constitutes the major part of your essay comprising of many paragraphs. It starts right after introduction part. This part explores various dimensions of the topic. All the paragraphs should be written in a proper sequence. Writing the body of the essay purely depends upon the nature of the topic.
Some topics require explaining its various dimensions including both the supporting ideas as the well as opposing ideas. Some topics are plain and simply require explaining its uni-directional aspects. Whatever the topic is, but try your level best to explore its aspects as many as possible. The more aspects you write, the more mark you receive for them.

Each paragraph should be written according to the rules. Within each paragraph, the first line is an introductory line. The next lines of the same paragraph elaborate the (first) introductory line. Better use one paragraph to write about only one aspect of the topic. Do not put all ideas in a single paragraph. It will help you elongate your essay as well as follow the correct structure of an essay.

Conclusion: The last part of your essay should conclude your essay. The last one or two paragraph(s) summarize(s) your whole essay in few lines highlighting the major aspects of your essay.

  Expression of Ideas –Principles of Essay

An essay is a reflection of the writer’s ideas. It should be a prolific piece of writing. It should be meaningful, rational, logical, thoughtful, convincing and appealing to a reader. It depends upon the power of you creativity, your knowledge about the topic and the way you express your ideas. Even if you do not have much prior knowledge about the topic, if you have the power creativity of ideas and presentational skills, you can do well in essay writing.

As you prepare yourself for CSS exam, you should read good books of essay. Apart from giving you extensive knowledge about a specific topic, reading books help you in an unconscious way to build the power of creativity for writing on any topic. Moreover, choose a random topic and write an essay on it atleast once a week. It triggers and enables your mind to acquire the ability to come up with ideas easily on any topic.

At the time of writing the essay in exam, you should first think about its different aspects. Let your mind generate these different aspects of the topic, as many as possible. These aspects will serve as an outline for writing your essay. If you think critically, you will grasp many ideas. Add quotations of renowned writers, facts and figures from authentic reports and organizations in your essay to make it look more meaningful. Write down all the supporting and opposing ideas in a convincing manner. Follow proper sequence for presenting your ideas. Avoid repetition of ideas. Avoid informal language for expressing your ideas.

Apart from the above points, here are some basic principles of writing a standard essay:

  • Unity: Your entire essay should be a composite reflection of the topic. There should be uniformity in the whole essay. All the ideas and views should strictly relate to the topic. Each paragraph should have one idea explained in it. Avoid mixing up ideas in the same paragraph.
  • Coherence and Order: The ideas should be presented in a sequence having logical continuity.
  • Avoid repetition of an idea: Repetition of same idea affects your marks adversely. Avoid it.
  • Avoid unnecessary explanation: Writing irrelevant things just to elongate the essay will have a bad impact on your marks.

  Making an Outline for the Essay

Outline refers to a sketch or a skeleton of aspects, which you will discuss in the essay. For making an outline for your essay, start thinking to explore various aspect of your topic. Once you come up with all the aspects, write down each idea in the form of a short line, in a correct sequence. You can give a number to each line.

Making an Outline is essential, as it is also a part of the essay question. But even if you are not asked to make an outline for the essay, better you make an outline for your essay before starting your essay. It helps you a lot in writing your essay. It provides you with a wide range of aspects to discuss. It keeps you on track for writing your essay. Following its sequence, you can give an attractive shape to your essay.

  Grammatical Accuracy and wide-range of Vocabulary

The major factor in writing an essay, which contributes to your high score, is undoubtedly your competence and proficiency in written English. You should acquire scholarly and literary writing skills. The simple rule is that you should be able to write a sentence having grammatically correct structure. Grammatical accuracy refers to the correct usage of words (i.e. verbs, nouns, adjectives, phrasal verbs etc) to make a correct sentence. Hence, you should study the basics of grammar in order to express your ideas in Standard English. Besides that, idiomatic usage in writing makes your essay look attractive. You should use a wide range of vocabulary. If possible, avoid the informal words or very common words; rather use formal words and appealing words.

To learn more about the essentials of writing in relation to CSS Exam, watch the following video. This will help you become a good writer for all the subjects of CSS Exam.