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My Strategy to hit CSS Essay Paper By: Zara Chaudhry (Assistant Commissioner)

My Strategy to hit CSS Essay Paper
Written by Zara Chaudhry

My Strategy to hit CSS Essay Paper

Mostly people view that take notes from some far famed academy or join some teacher who is CSP(either he knows ABC of English or not but if he is CSP then do join) I am not declining that CSPs are not cognisant of essay techniques or ABC of English rather my point of view is something else.

First of all the teacher you are going to join must have quality time for your essay preparation, if he is of the view that I will take class once in a week rest is up to you then I would decline this joining .your teacher must need to give you proper time if not then don’t join.

Secondly mostly people think that joining CSP will be beneficial as he will give us his written essays and for this they spend a large amount I don’t second it because in case if those topics won’t come in paper what will you do???

So I would suggest that you people must adopt following strategy to escape any sort of worry in examination hall.

Let me begin with two caveats:

Essay is a subjective thing. It is completely possible that with a different examiner, I might have got very low marks. So if you differ strongly with something I tell you, please feel free to pay heed to your own opinions of things. Inner voices are important.

There are no shortcuts to anything, and the least of all for writing. When I say that I did not prepare for Essay, it only means that I did not really buy a book on “How to write an Essay” and read it or didn’t join any teacher but I was consciously thinking about what to write about many things. The thinking part is the most essential part, always remember that. What you are doing when you don’t have the book in front of you is an important component of your preparation.

Before I go any further, it will be easier if you read this:

Now, for many or at least few people out there, Essay will be an exercise that makes no sense. Why does FPSC want you to write an Essay at all? It is subjective, open to different interpretations, requires a good writing skill, a flowery language, has no co-relation to you being an administrator and is unnecessarily long.

Well, debates aside, it will be wonderful if we understand the importance of Essay first. The fact is that the whole world rests on sound communication. Not in terms of language but in terms of content. All of us have a favourite opinion-writer in far famed newspapers ,magazines and we read books written by so many people. So, if you think about it in an unbiased manner, writing, or communication – no matter what point in it you stand at right now – is an integral part of being good at any job. The FPSC examiner doesn’t know you as a person; your paper is what she/he has, to know who you are. If you are compassionate, honest, truthful, prove it on paper – as of now, that is the only way. Believe me, if you are all of that – it will definitely come on paper too, which is why I emphasise so much on thinking right.

Essay paper is subjective – yes – but remember that what ultimately matters is the complete/overall impression you leave in the mind of the reader. In Psychology, the recency effect dictates that a normal human being tends to remember the beginnings and ends most of all. So, your introductions and conclusions must be eventful, impactful and something the reader can connect with.

Check Also: Countries and Currencies, Religions & Languages

Let me explain this with an example. I wrote the essay on “Water Disputes between Provinces in Pakistan .This is how I began:

“I have learnt a new word today. It’s called paradox.

Meena says the water in her house is muddy,

But they put up a new fountain in my building last week.

Meena says there is no water to take bath on some days,

I sometimes bathe three times a day.

My mother says there might be wars on water,

Wars – now that is a word I learnt long time back.”

——-The “water world” of a 9-year old.

Check also: English Grammar MCQs

I understand that this is too philosophical for many. But the point that I am trying to drive across is that you don’t need flowery language or difficult words – what I wrote could be modified as an incident or a story – after all, we all come across it every day.

In my second essay – “Internet as bane or boon” – I remember the topic only loosely, I wrote a story about a great educator who has influenced me and I mentioned how internet can bridge distances in education.

The bottom-line is that when you begin, you must connect to the topic as a human being. Don’t become a robot and write mechanically. In my opinion – if I become the examiner – it would make me happy if you begin the essay being compassionate and empathetic – you can choose which segment a problem affects most. It can be farmers, children, depending on the topic. Think empathetically – think what would you do if you were in a situation and then break it down on paper.

Conclusions must be optimistic, and forward looking. You can choose to give solutions in conclusions or finish with a futuristic vision. That would be sufficient.

Always make a flowchart on the rough page behind before you attempt an essay. I have tried writing an essay with and without a flowchart, and I can tell by at least my experience that the latter would give you a much more structured, and nonrandom piece of writing. A lot of times I was too lazy to make a flowchart, but when I would be done writing about social and economic aspects, I would suddenly remember another point – it would be too late by then. Even if you are practicing, make sure you make the last page a rough page and draw the flowchart. In fact, take feedback not only on the essay, but the flowchart as well. If you don’t have the time, practice just the flowcharts instead of the whole essay.

You don’t need difficult words. Simple English will do. But your grammar cannot be wrong. As it forms the fundamental component of your language, wrong grammar or wrong spellings can lead to wrong meanings. The last thing you need is to be misunderstood! If your grammar needs improvement, make sure you face your insecurities and put efforts to improve it. If you are trying to improve yourself in any form, you are only exhibiting courage and determination. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel otherwise.

No, it’s not necessary to have balanced opinions. You are allowed to have a strong opinion on something, but don’t be opinionated alone, be informed also. Present the situation, lay down the facts and then explain with logic why you hold a certain point of view. I, for one, have always been skeptical of the privacy rights and I did present my disagreement every time I wrote or spoke about it. But you have to understand that you are not allowed to be a spectator if you are coming over to other side. Do you have solutions in mind or are you only a cribber? Only cribbing is allowed if you accept the short term benefits someone else’s solution provides. You must be open minded and unbiased to accept that.

I did not use any quotes written by anyone, so they aren’t necessary. But if you plan on putting a quote in double quote (like this :“…”), make sure you know the quote exactly – there is nothing worse than a wrong attribution when it comes to quote. If you are not sure about the exact quote, you can mention that you are paraphrasing or that “As___ said,..” followed by the quote. Then, changes in quotes are acceptable.

Paragraph is fine. Don’t worry about all these issues a lot. You can draw something in the essay only if it is really relevant. For example, if you are writing an essay on tourism, drawing a map will be highly relevant and desirable. But generally, too many diagrams are not really required or wanted in an essay.

When you practice essay writing, after initial writings, start practicing brevity. Use less words to say what you want to say – try being concise so that you can touch on multiple dimensions and there is no repetition of topics or themes. Beating around the bush does not drive the point home any further, clear articulation of words does.

That is all I have to contribute to this topic of Essay writing. In case you have more doubts, please feel free to ask in comments, so that it can help everyone.

My best wishes to all of you to find the greatest meaning in whatever you do in your lives. Please be gentle with yourselves and remember that you are larger than FPSC. And that you as a human being have so much to contribute to this country and the world in different forms. Life is about excellence much more than ambition. Chase the right things, and right things will come to you.

Good luck, everyone!

About the author

Zara Chaudhry

Zara Chaudhry, civil servant in secretariat, a far famed name in the fray of CSS Mentors. She has earned a high regard for worth and relevance, she is known for structured way and innovation in teaching method to make study more interesting. She is the one who build students’ base and conceptual framework that students can answer questions.

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  • Yaar you have made it easier for us. I have been considering essay as achilles’ heel but now I think , with sheer devotion and dedication , one can crack it easily