M.H. Abrams describes an essay as “Any short composition in prose that undertakes to discuss a matter, express a point of view, or persuade us to accept a thesis on any subject.” On the other hand, language is a tool for communication used to efficiently convey messages and thoughts. The importance of an Essay paper in the UPSC CSE is that it checks a candidate’s comprehension, originality of thought, clarity of expression and integrated thinking with the assimilation of ideas on a given topic.
While most aspirants do not understand the need of the exam, others find it difficult to express themselves in the right language. Most of the candidates lack proficiency in the English language, and hence they are afraid that it may be difficult for them to score high in this exam. In this article, we will discuss how important English is to score well in the Essay paper in the UPSC Mains.
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Importance of Language in the Essay Paper- UPSC Exam
Writing ability is a beautiful blend of talent and art; nevertheless, essay writing for the Civil Services Examination needs something more. To write exactly and articulately for three lengthy hours, you must have a command of current knowledge and facts and the ability to write clearly and lucidly. Perhaps the UPSC essay writing seeks to guarantee that the chosen applicants have good writing skills. However, English does not have to be the sole language used to assess a candidate’s writing skills.
Essay Writing Paper was reintroduced in 1993 in the CSE. The Satish Chandra Committee proposed a 200-mark essay paper in either English or one of the ‘Indian Languages’ included in the constitution’s eighth schedule. The reason for including other languages to write an essay in the examination was that the mains examination should bring not only the candidate’s language abilities but also her aptitude for understanding and critical analysis, as well as the level of her integrated thinking, assimilation of ideas, and clarity of expression.
Clarity of thought can only come when you are fluent in a particular language. This holds importance even when writing answers for the UPSC Mains. If you can write a good answer in English, you do not need to worry about the Essay paper as it is intended to serve as the testing case, over and above the academic and subject tests. You do not need to make the Essay ornamental or flowery or use any Shakespeare’s English. A good piece of writing should exhibit analytical and logical skills. It should reveal if you are able to integrate your thoughts or not, and most importantly, it should indicate whether you have enough knowledge, particularly in themes that demand factual inputs.
Hence, you should not worry if you are not proficient in English as the UPSC exam spares the aspirants from hard and fast rules regarding language, other than one compulsory English language qualifying paper. Therefore, an aspirant is not required to ace the English language, they just need to know the basics.
If you are still not confident, you can always choose any other language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution to write your Mains Exam.
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Note- Find out How to develop your reading skills for UPSC IAS exam, by visiting the linked article.
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