The same applies for a good answer in UPSC MAINS. It is a tough nut to crack until and unless practiced on a daily basic. There are many aspirants who complete their syllabus very efficiently but still they face problem in answer writing. The only reason behind it is lack of confidence. Which can only come from daily answer writing practice and daily based evaluation with a proper mentorship to resolve all possible flaws.
First introduce the topic (short & sweet), followed by a body which carries information and major idea of the question asked and finally conclude it in form of summary of major idea supported by tonality and way forward.
Understanding the demands of the question asked…
The best way to address the demands of question is break it!!
Most of the times you can find questions having more than two parts, you just need to sense which part is dominating around which you can frame your answer and use the rest other sections to support the main part. (This is how you can save your content to deviate from the central idea of the question.)
Keywords in questions like… Elaborate, Elucidate, Discuss, comment, define, critically analyse, examine, etc…are major troublesome areas for many aspirants!!
But trust me, these are the major help for you if tackled nicely. They let your examiner understand your understanding of the topic. Which I am going to explain at the end of the article…
Structure and the flow of answer…
Answer for General Studies in UPSC IAS Mains demands a descriptive approach, every aspirant is aware of the basic idea of presenting the answer in form of “Intro-Body-Conc.”, but the magic is in setting them in a logical fashion, highlighting the important and relevant points, highlighting your own USP (A feature or characteristic of a product, service, etc. that distinguishes it from others of a similar nature and makes it more appealing.)
The flow of the content is logical only if connects the dots in your answer. This helps you to draw the conclusion easily.
Presentation is of your answer through good/ legible handwriting, Flow charts, Pie charts, Stats., data, reports, surveys and findings, diagrams (Drawn with Pencil) well labelled with pen & distinguished with a box, into margins and keeping Word limit in mind can fetch you brownie points.
Keep these in centre or gather some information to use in your answer as per the need arises…
Dates, Timelines, make your own flow charts, maps, diagrams, Supreme court verdicts, Cite articles, Policies, Schemes, Global and National Index, Quotes by famous personalities, Statistics from budget and survey, famous doctrines, Name of thinkers, philosophers, etc…
How to start and where to start???
There are many platforms for answer writing practice, like there used to be a trend of Test series for Mains (Sectional & Mock Tests).
But there is a big issue with this, The Evaluation!!!
Test series are there to check your knowledge, that how much do you remember or how many questions in GS Mains out of 20 can you write in 3 hrs?? and late evaluation can kill your spirit of writing as after sometimes you forget what have you written in your paper.
So, the idea of writing daily and getting it evaluated daily is the demand of PRACTICE.
Daily answer writing platform like STEPS- A Daily mains answer writing practice program by EDEN IAS is helping aspirants to write daily and also to cover the syllabus on time with proper mentoring and evaluation.