Essay Writing - An Overview of Different Types and Styles

The UPSC Civil Service Mains Exam contains a paper on essay writing. Here you will be asked to write two essays each one carrying 125 marks making a total of 250 marks. You will be given two sets of four topics out of which one has to be chosen from each section. Here there is no prescribed syllabus and the topic could be socio-economic in nature. It could also be general. With three hours to finish two essays (each of about 1200 words), you have ample time in this paper, making it a good bet for increasing your score in the UPSC Mains Exam. This article gives details on the 4 types of Essays, 2 different styles of essays and some of the good characteristics of the essay.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Essay – 4 Types

There are 4 types of essays which are listed below.

Narrative Essay

Here the writer narrates an incident or event.

Descriptive Essay

Here the author describes any event, process or conditions.

Informative Essay

Here the purpose of the writer is to provide information including negative and positive sides to a topic.

Persuasive Essay

Here the author tries to convince the reader about any topic.

Basically, in the essay paper, a combination of all the above types is generally required. The writer’s goals define the type of essay used.

Essay – 2 Styles

There are two styles of essay writing namely,

  1. Structured
  2. Spontaneous

In a structured essay, you build a framework on which you write the essay. A spontaneous essay is one in which you make the framework as you write. However, it is important to collect your thoughts and organised the points which you will be covering beforehand. As a writer, you have to figure out which style suits you more. This can be done by practising essays in mock tests.

Good Essay – Characteristics

  1. Clear and concise.
  2. Coherent throughout.
  3. Written in a simple yet good and accurate language.
  4. Contains relevant quotes, examples and statistics.
  5. Written in a good hand.
  6. Relevant to current India.
  7. Multi-dimensional.
  8. Neutral and balanced.
  9. Offer possible solutions to problems.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

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