Let’s not beat around the bush this time and jump straight to the point. The most effective pill to score high in descriptive is: Grammatically flawless write-ups and Letters with proper format. A combination of this two works best. If I would to tell you that I barely practiced couple of letters and essays’ before the examination and yet managed to score so well, I must say it is a coefficient of the two important pills that I gave you above.
Let’s start with the essay writing first:
The most talked about question is “How to effectively frame an essay?” First of all, this is not an UPSC examination where in your views on India’s China policy would matter or your opinions on Economic losses to India’s exclusion from Silk Road summits would be asked for in detail. The main purpose behind essay writing test is to check how coherently one can put forward his/her points taking into consideration all the aspects of a particular topic. And that is the sole reason why we saw topics like “Should games like Pokemon Go be banned in India?” last year or for that matter, a lot of generalized topics which had been asked in the past.
There are three key pillars to focus on “Framing an effective essay”
- Choosing the right topic.
- Knowledge on the particular topic.
- Ability to convey that knowledge through words.
If you have good grip over English but chosen the wrong topic on which you could write very little, on which you have very narrow source of knowledge, things would go awry. If you have knowledge and chosen the right topic, but doesn’t have the right set of abilities to convey that, marks would be in scarcity. It is like you have the right type of soil but not the right mold for making a soil pot.
With that, introduction and conclusion matters as much as power play matters in a one-day game. How many of you remember how much a team scored in between 16th-40th over? No one, but everyone remembers the runs scored in first 15 and last 10 overs because a good beginning and conclusion is what it takes to make a slight difference and collect few more brownie points. Let’s read some “rules of the game” below:
- Once you have chosen the topic, list all your points and ideas on a rough paper. That would make the framework of your whole essay.
- Power play 1: Introduce the topic by giving some general information about the same. You can write something about its past or recent key developments or about some facts to open the innings. Remember, Introduction should be direct and relevant and should effortlessly take you to the Main body.
- Main body is where a detailed and exhaustive view on the topic is presented. Garnish it with some facts and figure, put forward your own points and bolster them with some recent developments.
- Power play 2: Conclude the topic in sync with the things written in the introduction and main body. Divergence from them would make the whole idea of writing an essay irrelevant. If a problem is given in a topic, conclude it with couple of solutions and if an opinion is asked, conclude with your opinion on the same.
- Don’t use phrases like “I think”, “in my opinion” etc.
- Avoid repetitive content; a lot of singles create boredom in the game. Go for some fours and sixes in between.
- Let me repeat this again; proofread the whole essay to avoid any typing/grammar mistakes.
- Lastly, be to the point and avoid beating around the bush by using examples. Quotes, phrases etc.
How to write effective letters?
Unless it’s a love letter, everybody needs that secret success to writing effective letters. Letter writing’s main purpose is to check a candidate’s written communication skills since this job involves a lot of communication through letters and a word here and there and different meanings of a single sentence could make one’s life difficult. The basic rules are same and would stay the same forever.
As you all know, letters are of two types: Formal Letter & Informal Letter. A letter written to an MLA or a Bank Manager is formal while a letter written to your siblings, parents, relatives, friends etc. is an informal letter. But where the difference lies, it lies in terms of language you choose. Formal Letters demand more formal and respectful language while informal letters usually can be written using informal language since we are writing to our near and dear ones.
Before reading ahead, please cram the formats for formal and informal letters. Why? Because rest of the tips would be highly irrelevant if the formats are screwed up in the exam.
- A letter should begin and end with a proper salutation. The language should be courteous and should not include nicknames or pet names into it.
- Choose the topic on which you are comfortable. There is no such topic which fetches higher marks than others.
- You can use fake name/address/pin code in order to write a letter. Avoid writing XYZ, ABC etc. in a letter in place of name/address etc.
- Keep the tone of the letter very friendly and simple. It should show confidence but not arrogance.
- Write in short paragraphs and take proper breaks in between. Keep the length of the sentences variable too.
- Give a proper heading to the letter which includes address of the writer followed by the date on which it is being written.
- The heading should be followed by a courteous salutation/greeting and will depend upon the type of letter and type of relationship with the person to whom it is addressed. It is written at the left hand of the page and the first alphabet of the words should be in capital. For ex: Dear Sir.
- After this, the main topic of the letter should be described with utmost brevity and without using any adjectives since adjectives are like cherry on the cake and we don’t need cherries, we need a well baked cake only.
- End the letter with last two lines requesting the authority/ wishing the near/dear ones etc.
- The signature name of the writer is the last in the sequence.
- Still not went through the format? Go back and cram the format. It carries more than 50% weightage in the marking.
All the best!!
P.S: In case you clear the exam, do write me a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org