The essay section in the UPSC CSE is a compulsory and important one in the exam. 

Here, candidates are required to write two essays, choosing one from among four topics.

IAS officer T Prateek Rao has secured the highest score of 147 in the section so far. 

He shares tips on how aspirants can improve their essay writing skills.

1. In order to write well, extensive reading is important. 

2. Stay away from self-correction and refer to a third party for the same.

3. “As far as possible, include anecdotes and real-life incidents in your essay,” he says. This will keep the reader interested throughout.

4. Read ‘Yojana’ magazine to get a sense of how government essays are written.

Meanwhile, Anudeep Durishetty, who grabbed an AIR of 1 in the 2017 exam, says:

1. An engaging introduction is key to a well-written essay. “It’s like the opening scene of a movie.”

2. A good essay is concise, relevant to the question, and generates interest in the reader.

3. Showcase your knowledge in statistics and facts while writing an essay.

If your essay is fluid, with each argument flowing into the next effortlessly, then there is no need to write a thesis statement,” he says.

Krishna Tupe, founding member of an online UPSC training portal, shares five frameworks to expand UPSC essays.

It is called PESTEL - EC – Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal, Ethical, Cultural Health, Education and Employment.

He suggests including all perspectives in an argument — women, weaker sections, children, disabled, old aged, and LGBTQ.