Strategies for mastering the essay paper in the IAS Mains

Strategies for mastering the essay paper in the IAS Mains February 28,2024

On most occasions, the IAS Mains Exam will begin with the essay paper in the initial session. Therefore, an essay will be the first paper that will be handled by you in the Mains. As a result, the aspirant can become stressed before the commencement of the exam. However, there is no need to worry. Here, we have enumerated some surefire strategies to master the essay paper in the IAS Mains.

Things to remember while writing the essay paper

  • A fantastic introduction
  • An outstanding conclusion
  • Use of personal anecdotes
  • Implementation of everyday examples
  • Quoting renowned personalities
  • A tidy handwriting
  • Small paragraphs
  • Use of current affairs
  • Use of sub-sections

Approximately 50% of your work will be done if you succeed in getting the attention of the reader in the introduction. The introduction matters a lot when an examiner is correcting lots of copies. It will create a good impression, and he will be in your favor while going through the remaining part of the essay paper.

How to write the introduction properly?

You may present:

  • An intriguing fact
  • A surprising piece of knowledge
  • A brief personal anecdote
  • An extremely interesting quote
  • Mention a paradoxical situation
  • Make use of the question to promote the reader

On most occasions, your introduction and conclusion will be read by the examiner fully. On the contrary, he will just skim through the body of your essay. It will not be a disadvantage in the long run. You need to make use of it to your advantage.

How to write a good conclusion?

The conclusion will appear to be flat in case you simply mention the ideas that are already mentioned in the essay’s body. A reader will appreciate a lasting and memorable conclusion. Therefore, you ought to write something that will linger in the mind of the reader for a long time. Try to go for a graceful exit. For this, it would be a sensible idea to do the following:

  • Make an attempt to create a powerful image in the reader’s mind
  • Conclude with a thought-provoking quote
  • Discuss what action can be taken
  • Conclude with an intriguing twist of logic

It will be a sensible idea to quote India’s nationalist leaders according to your personal preferences. However, it is important for the quote to keep with the essay’s theme. You should not write something that has been twisted into the context of your essay. Moreover, write the exact words of the quote. Never produce the quote in your own words. In this way, you might lose credibility in the examiner’s eyes.

Bear this in mind while writing the essay’s body

  • Evaluate the topic from different perspectives such as geographical, historical, geopolitical, economic, as well as ethical viewpoints. You should make it a multi-pronged essay without fail. You are trying to become a generalist ambassador while your essay must not show you as one. Try not to delve profoundly into any esoteric topic of the essay, and you ought to handle different types of topics as well.
  • Write the essay in a simple manner. Make sure that the essay is depicting your analytical side. However, it must not be so analytical that it is imperative for the examiner to go through an “Introduction to Psychology” handbook prior to correcting the essay. You will not get good marks in case the examiner cannot comprehend your writing.
  • Never use any advanced term that you have learned while graduating from college. For example, never use any terms within the essay that will be difficult to understand for the common man. Moreover, you must not make the essay too much history-oriented in case you have done history in your graduation. You must not try to use complicated terms that will be meaningful to only a historian.
  • Have a comprehensive thesis statement before beginning to write the essay’s body. Moreover, it should be mentioned in the introduction of the essay. It will be imperative for the essay to have consistency in continuity in presentation as well as thoughts. The arguments presented by you in the essay’s body must have only one objective. This will help to convince the reader of the essential thesis of the essay.
  • Do not use any long sentences. This is because they will be difficult to read as well as comprehend. Make sure to use short sentences.
  • Use only short paragraphs. This is because nobody prefers to read long paragraphs having lots of difficult words. You may use paragraphs consisting of only one line as well from time to time.
  • Never implement any unnecessarily negative tone regarding any particular topic. Try to suggest some avenues to overcome the issue in case you are pessimistic regarding any problem. At the same time, you must not criticize the government too. However, if you have to criticize, then it should be something constructive in the long run. Nevertheless, try not to do so generally speaking.
  • Provide real-life case studies as well as everyday examples to present your thoughts while writing the essay.


The most effective way to write an essay for the IAS Mains will be to write mock essays. It will be a sensible idea to invest precisely three hours to write the essay. After writing, evaluate the essay from any trusted friend or teacher. Perseverance and practice will be the keys to cracking the essay paper for the IAS Mains exam. In a nutshell, this will be a logical flow of movement while writing the essay. It must not be blunt and abrupt. It is important for every paragraph to remain connected to one another. Your objective should be to maintain the interest of the reader while he is going through the essay.