UPSC Exam: IFS officer shares strategy for essay writing


Essay writing is one of the most important sections of the UPSC’s Civil Services main exam and it carries a maximum of 250 marks. In this paper, candidates are required to write essays on multiple topics. The Civil Services main exam is held for those who qualify the preliminary exam.

“They will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely. Credit will be given for effective and exact expression,” the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) says.

Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer Ankit Kumar, who in the past has also shared relevant tips and suggestions on UPSC exams, has given a detailed strategy on how to write essays in the Civil Services exam.


Ankit Kumar is a 2019 batch AGMUT cadre officer. He mostly tweets on Forest Conservation, Wildlife Protection, and Climate Change.

The basic structure of an essay comprises an introduction, a body and a conclusion, he begins with. Before writing an essay, prepare its blueprint first on a rough sheet, he recommends UPSC aspirants. “Have a fair glance at the blueprint and replicate the points on main essay,” he says.

The introduction part, he says, should have 10% of the total word limit. “Start with a quote or a related story or an incident related to current affairs and break it in 3-4 paragraphs,” Kumar says.


The body constitutes 80% of the essay, he says and adds that the scope of a body is huge and involves dimensions like economy, polity, governance, history, geography, international relations among others.

Emphasizing on paragraph building within the body of an essay, he suggests to keep each paragraph within 6-7 lines and maintain a continuity between the paragraphs.

Coming to the conclusion, he suggests UPSC aspirants to keep it within 3 paragraphs. “In the first paragraph, keep initiatives taken by the NGO or civil society; in the second write about the initiatives taken by the government, and in the third paragraph mention about any innovative measures suggested in context of the subject matter of the essay,” he says.


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