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Old Monday, January 05, 2015
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Default Essay Tips and Tricks Compiled from JWT

Essay Tips and Tricks Compiled from JWT

I have compiled these strategies from Jahangir's World Times. Most of the strategies are contributed by CSPs; their names and Essay marks are mentioned wherever possible. I am going to divide them in three sections to make it easier for the members to follow. At the beginning of every section, I am picking the most advised suggestions and listing them as 'the gist of the section,' in case one can't go through the entire thread.

===> What should be the strategy for the preparation of English Essay?

Here is the gist of the section:
  • Practice writing as much as you can and have it assessed before moving on
  • Practice making essay outlines
  • Read quality material/newspaper (Dawn)

===> Essay is definitely the most important part of the exam. Take a few sample essays on different topics, read them twice and thrice and then write them on your own. Add valuable and logical material in the prepared essay particularly for essays on current issues. Improve your expression with practice and avoid using one word again and again, use synonyms instead. (CSP Dr. Najam us Sahar Butt)

===> Essay is the only paper to evaluate writing skills and focused approach of the candidate on any topic. Students must have good understanding and enough knowledge about societal issues like poverty, gender discrimination, social inequality, women empowerment; economic issues like tax reforms, budget, national finance commission award; religion like Islam vs West, Islamophobia, Islam and terrorism, pluralism; scientific issues like global warming, pollution; national issues like democracy, military intervention, provincial autonomy, energy crisis, independence of judiciary, media; international issues like global terrorism, credit crunch, new world order etc. The best way to go through this paper is that candidates should write on 10-15 general topics comprehensively and got it checked by a professor. Once you follow this technique, essay writing will no more be a tough task. [Syed Nadeem Abbas (PSP)]

===> As far as English Essay is concerned, the best way is to do its practice. One can get past papers, select any of the topics and write an essay on the topic. Then the essay may be shared with colleagues whose objective assessment may prove beneficial for the improvement of essay writing skills. [Muhammad Usman Mehsud (DMG)]

===> Essay writing is not an ordinary thing to cram; it is a skill in which one has to develop strength by continuous practice. Candidates cannot learn it by just reading some material or book overnight. For perfection, candidates should have proper mentoring and consistent practice. I would say every day if not possible then every other day, candidates must do an assignment of short essay and get it checked from a teacher.

One should write at least one essay in a week. So I think these are appropriate ways to develop your capacity in these areas. I would say practice, practice and more practice. [Ahmad Farooq (FSP)]

===> One should keep this thing in one’s mind that CSS is a game of English and most of the candidates fail in English essay and composition paper. For essay good writing skill and a bright analytical approach is required.

First of all, one should categorize the essay topics as most important and less important. Then give full attention to the most important topics of essay and also make a comprehensive synopsis of these chosen topics. Now go for the collection of material from the relevant and reliable sources. For instance, if one wants to write essay on ‘Terrorism’ or ‘Foreign policy of Pakistan’ then he/she must consult the works of Ahmad Rashid, Noam Chomosky, Shamshad Ahmad and Tariq Fatemi because it would help a lot.

Moreover, try to personify your essay with reasonable and convincing arguments and do take great care of ‘coherence’ in your arguments while writing essay. [Baqa Muhammad Bugti (PSP)]

===> The first step is to start reading a wide range of books on diverse topics. The second step is to write and rewrite your ideas in the best possible way. The third step is to get help from your friends or a qualified teacher. In addition, daily reading of quality newspapers like daily Dawn is very helpful because it provides material for different types of essays on current as well as international issues.

Moreover, candidates must have a good collection of quotations on a wide range of topics that will adorn their written presentation. (CSP Saeed Rehman)

===> The students should really try to improve their English language skills that include grammar, vocabulary and idioms etc. Furthermore they should also read a lot to develop their thought process and strengthen their concepts on all major issues. (CSP Zeeshan Shafique Siddiqui. 8th position overall in Pakistan, CSS 2007)

===> For the preparation of essay, one must seek the guidance of any professor of English for writing essay outlines. Candidates must write one paragraph in English on any topic related to social problems or current affairs and get that thoroughly checked by the qualified and competent teachers. (CSP Dr. Quratul Ain Malik. Essay Marks. 68)

===> English alone is the basic need of the CSS because one has to attempt all papers in English except language paper. Moreover, in Essay, examiner only checks command over language and quality of our written presentation, thus extra attention is required for this paper. There are some ways which can be helpful in this regard. These are:
  1. A candidate must study and solve the exercises given in these two books: Exploring the world of English and mastering the world of English.
  2. Candidates must improve their written and listening skills in English.
  3. Always discuss issues and ideas in English with aspirants of CSS as well as with your mentors.
  4. One must read English newspapers and magazines like Daily Dawn, The News and Jahangir’s World Times.
  5. Listen English news channels such as BBC, CNN and Express24/7.
  6. One must practise making of outlines, writing essays, self-making stories and get it checked properly.

I think these are some steps which a candidate can tackle the essay paper. (CSP Faiz Mohammad Jaffar)

===> For preparation of English essay, daily reading of a quality newspaper like DAWN is very helpful. (CSP Muhammad Bin Ashraf. Essay Marks: 70)

===> For English essay, you must have excellent writing skills. Try to read columns of imminent analysts in order to polish your writing skills. “World Times” has rendered a great service to students by publishing articles of famous columnists. Try to analyse their style.[Dr. Noor-ul-Ain, Topper CE 2008. Essay Marks: 64]

===> For Essay, I will recommend reading, reading and reading of good books on various subjects as well as adoption of author's style of writing, i.e. syntax, sentence structure, diction and punctuation in order to develop one's own writing style. [Habib Munir (FSP)]

===> One needs to improve his expression. Our only input is reading so if he is studying good text books, it will improve his English as well. And he should practise writing frequently. Outline-making is a skill and it can be improved by practice. I used to make outlines for all the topics I studied for my every subject. And I think that helped me scoring 72 marks in English essay paper. (CSP Dr. Waheed Asghar. Essay Marks: 72)

===> The strategy includes:
  1. Master Essentials of CSS Essay Writing
  2. Write Timed Essay Weekly
  3. Get it checked by any good CSS Essay Writer
  4. Study Dawn Regularly
  5. Discuss Issues
(CSP Syed Fida Hussain)

===> To me the only key to success in Essay is “write, write and write”. But, of course, do get your work checked by some good teacher. Once your teacher okays your material, you may keep on practicing the same on your own. Gone are the days when writing 6 or 7 essays in December was sufficient. Nowadays, if you want to be on the safe side start writing under someone's supervision right now and keep it on till the actual papers. (Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Shah—3rd in CSS-2012. Essay Marks: 44)

===> Every aspirant must be an avid reader of Dawn newspaper to improve his/her writing style. The knowledge of technical aspects of Essay like “thesis statement”, “topic sentence”, etc., is also indispensable. The aspirants must know how to develop the outline of an essay.(M. Waseem Ahmad (PAS) 2nd in KP and 27th overall, CSS-2012. Essay Marks: 50)

===> I drew up a simple strategy; write, write and write. I used to write and practice complete essays and it helped me a lot in developing writing skills and rectifying any mistakes. Students usually shun practicing essay or précis which is not the right approach. The more you write, the more you know about your weaknesses and the more you sharpen your writing and analytical skills. [ROSHAN LAL WADWANI (FSP)]

===> Despite being a thesis writer, it was really a tough task, even for me, to tune myself to the requirements of English Essay paper. I would suggest that to get a command over essay, the aspirants should prepare comprehensive outlines covering all the aspects of a particular topic. In addition, they should prepare introductory paragraphs which may be altered as per situation. They should strictly follow the format of essay and their writing should have spontaneity and logical flow. Do misused bombastic vocabulary, spelling mistakes as it is like a crime in competitive exams.(Batool Asadi 1st in Balochistan, 21st in Pakistan CSS-2012. Essay Marks: 40)

===> Write, write and write! Practice writing as much as you can because it is the only panacea to get through these papers. Do prepare essay outlines and study diverse topics in detail. [Ifrah Tariq (FSP) Essay Marks: 55]

===> On Essay writing, I worked really hard. I used to make outlines of important topics and write the introductory as well as concluding paragraphs on alternate days. I think the use of phrasal verbs, idiomatic expression, symbolic comparison, poetic verses and quotes made my essays very impressive. Above all, I always liked writing on unorthodox topics. I wrote on “If the gold rusts, what shall iron do,” and trust me it really worked. [Muhammad Azhar Khan Mughal (PSP) 5th Position, CSS 2013 (1st in PSP). Essay Marks: 52]

===> I think, the Essay paper requires creative writing. So, well-developed thoughts expressed in lucid language do the trick. I used to write essay, at least, once a week with a comprehensive brainstorming on different topics. (Mirza M. Imran, 6th Position CSS 2013. Essay Marks: 55)

===> English Essay is basically to test the students’ knowledge of English language. So to prepare, the students must know the basics of English language (grammar and composition). Once the student gets the command over the language, he can get good marks in English essay. This is because of the fact that one can express his or her views over a topic more specifically if he or she is proficient in the language. (CSP Afshan Salman)

===> I think when you make things easy for the examiner, you are actually making things fruitful for yourself. Make the presentation of your answer prim and proper. Do give headings, use highlighters and write to the point. Just avoid beating about the bush. And, most importantly, do comprehend the questions before answering it.

As regards strategy for essay paper, frankly speaking, I strongly believed that Essay is one question and it has only one correct answer. So, I consistently practiced essay writing while preparing for the exam. I think it's a drill which has to be done regularly. Flaunting vocabulary is not needed at all. (Muhammad Musa Ali Bokhari, 14th Position CSS 2013. Essay Marks: 48)

===> I strongly recommend taking coaching classes from professional senior English teachers who have vast experience in teaching CSS candidates. I don't recommend taking guidelines even from CSP fellows because no one has complete command over English like the English teachers have. Extensive writing and reading can improve your English skills as there is no short-cut to it. (Dr. Zeeshan, PAS, 20th Position CSS-2011. Essay Marks: 40)

===>What should be the strategy for attempting English Essay?

Here is the gist of the section:
  • Introductory paragraph: one should briefly write what he/she is going to discuss in the rest of the essay; must end with a thesis statement; directly hit the topic without going into the irrelevant details.
  • Selection of the right topic is the most important thing. Spend some time on selecting the topic to save yourself from the disaster later on.
  • Stay relevant with the topic
  • Transitioning is important
  • Use simple English; avoid using flowery language
  • Add quotes, preferably literary, verses, examples, facts and figures wherever possible
  • Concluding Paragraph: summarize the whole discussion

===> There are four parts of the essay. Part I should be the summary and gist of the current events. It means one has to write briefly what one is going to discuss in rest of the essay. Part II should be a brief history of the concerned topic, not very long and must be a recent history. Part III is the body of the essay. Here, we have to discuss the current scenario if necessary quote examples and relate the topic with the national and the international level. Its different aspects ought to be debated and discussed. Basically, this part consists of various explanations and aspects of the topic concerned need. In the last part or Part IV, students have to apply their analytical approach and highlight the future and scope of the topic along with the recommendations. (Hammad Haider, Principal Officers Academy)

===> Generally speaking, the topic of an essay describes each and every thing about its importance. One should not be derailed while writing an essay from the beginning to the end. Avoid unnecessary details because it leads to irrelevancy. The students should first grasp the topic and then make an outline. The first paragraph should be about the introduction of the topic and the next paragraph a short summary of your whole essay. In the third paragraph, give a reason and support your answers by providing logic and relevant examples so your point of view can be proved in a right way. Similarly, write the next paragraphs in the light of the third paragraph. After writing a detailed essay, the second last paragraph should be based on suggestion or contradictory opinion. The last paragraph ought to summarize the whole discussion. [Abdur Rasheed (OMG) Deputy Director,Law, Justice and Human Rights,Lahore.]

===> While attempting essay paper, always make an outline of your essay. Try to quote passages from well-reputed newspapers and magazines. There is a trend to write essays on topics relating to the current affairs. Divide your essay into paragraphs and write a good concluding paragraph at the end. Summarise your whole essay in this concluding paragraph. [Dr. Noor-ul-Ain, Topper CE 2008. Essay Marks: 64]

===> As far as the strategy is concerned:
  1. Firstly, there is a need to grasp the topic but many students are unable to follow the topic and write irrelevant.
  2. Secondly, students must understand the key words of an essay. For example, if there is an essay about 'Poverty Alleviation' here the topic is not poverty but alleviation. So, students usually beat about the bush on irrelevant key words.
  3. Thirdly, students don't produce linkage in their ideas. Previous paragraph must be linked to the next paragraph.
  4. Fourthly, there must be an impressive opening which makes an impact.
  5. Fifthly, outline should be outstanding covering the whole topic by using appropriate vocabulary.
  6. Sixthly, student ought to describe in the first paragraph — introductory paragraph — what he is going to discuss in the rest of the essay. This is very vital and helps the examiners to understand the essay. A general essay should consist of 2500 words that is standard and up to the mark. (Dr. Shahid Wazir Khan, Director CSS programme KIPS)

===> The most frequently asked question is that how to start an essay. Before starting an essay, make an effective and comprehensive outline in two or three pages in the form of short sentence and your outline must contain all the information which the candidates are going to discuss in the whole essay. Divide English essay into paragraphs, the first paragraph should be bombastic and explain the topic of an essay in effective way. In the second paragraph, the candidates are advised to give a short summary of the whole essay so that the examiners will be able to know your point of view and all the relevant materials.

Then the next paragraphs will be the thorough introduction of the essay, then give causes and support these causes by giving figures or by quoting events with strong arguments. After discussing the reasons and causes, candidates can disagree with the topic but he should have a good command to support his point of view vividly and candidly. In the second last or third last paragraph, the candidates can give valid suggestions on how to improve the problem or situation. The last paragraphs should be the conclusion by summing up the whole discussion and highlighting the main events brief. Sometimes, the students become pessimist while concluding an essay. This is a negative approach. So the end should be positive in a sense by praying or giving hope. (JWT)

===> It is better to have a sprinkling of literary quotes in your essay. I attempted the essay on Terrorism and wrote 3 relevant poems from English literature and 5 quotes by well known English writers in my essay. (Muhammad Bin Ashraf. Essay Marks: 70)

===> If a paragraph is too long, break it into 2 or 3 short paragraphs and always start the new paragraph with a very convincing idea. Give quotations where possible and appropriate. (CSP Dr. Najam us Sahar Butt)

===> Be your own while writing, never try to imitate anybody. Your expression needs try to be limited yet comprehensive while writing Essay. In Essay paper, your imagination can reach zenith but with a purpose, never divert from the main topic. To ensure, work out the essay into parts, rearrange them if necessary and once you are satisfied with the rough work, elaborate on this outline after wards.

There is no standard word-limit yet. What one can effectively write in 3-hour duration is good enough length. My essay consisted of approx. 2800 words. Conclusion should be drawn only at the end, take a balanced approach and write whatever good comes to your mind at the end at the moment. Devote initial 40-45 minutes on preparing rough outline. Next 2 hours for writing inflow and last 15-20 minuets for review and corrections.[Kashif Ali (DMG)]

===> As far as Essay-writing is concerned, it requires thorough understanding of the topic and one must know how to build a thesis statement of the topic. In addition, argumentative and critical approach of analysis along with appropriate fact & figures is also required for a good essay. Write, write and write as much as you can because in my opinion extensive practice of writing is the best technique for this paper. [Shahla Qureshi (PSP)]

===> English undoubtedly is one amongst the most challenging subjects in CSS, as most candidates fail in English alone. However, it is pertinent to mention here that simple and easy, yet correct and clear English is required in CSS in terms of grammar, composition, expression, vocabulary and spellings. There exists a general concept among the candidates that they have to be affluent in flowery and verbose language so as to impress the examiner, which definitely not is the case and I would rather call it a misconception.

I followed a clear strategy recommended by my teacher of English Prof. Agha Mohsin as:
  1. To make a detailed yet comprehensive outline of the essay encompassing all aspects of the topic from all dimensions and angles.
  2. Start the essay with an opening sentence that must be an explanation or endorsement of the topic of the essay followed by an impressive introductory paragraph that must conclude with a thesis statement.
  3. Divide the essay into small paragraphs of about 8 to 10 lines each.
  4. Use highlighters/ pointers or markers to brighten the important lines, words and quotations and always mention the source of quotation.
  5. Each paragraph must be on a new point/ topic and must be connected with the next paragraph through the last line so as to maintain the continuity of thoughts and sequence.
  6. At the end give a concluding paragraph, summing up the entire essay with some thought provoking sentences or quotations.
  7. Always mention the word count at the end.(Quratulain Malik CSS 2010, PAS. Essay marks= 68)

===> English Essay is the most important paper in CSS. More often than not, it is the only paper which determines your fate in this examination. In essay paper, you are given a choice of around 10 topics and you have to attempt only one of them. If we look at the English essay topics asked in previous exams, relate to only one aspect of the issue that the candidate may have prepared. You have to make a distinction between the issue that you have prepared and the specific aspect of that issue being asked in the paper. Those candidates who reproduce crammed material irrespective of the specificity of the topic asked are likely to annoy the examiner. Thus, relevancy of your essay is the most crucial factor in determining your scores in this paper. Moreover, your essay must contain up-to-date information presented with a logical flow and symmetry as required by the topic. You should also focus on your written skills related to basic English grammar, punctuation and sentence construction. (JWT)

===> English Essay is, no doubt, the most crucial paper. Actually, all the compulsory and optional subjects as well as your knowledge, observations and experiences make the raw material for this paper.

First of all, I would say that the topic must be chosen astutely. Then, as far as presentation is concerned, the outline is very important and brainstorming plays a vital role in writing a broad outline for the essay. In addition, only relevant-to-the-topic and grammatically correct material would yield good score. Logic, coherence and consistency of thought also need to be taken care of. One needs to adopt an analytical approach instead, with facts, quotes, and references as supplementary material for the argument. Well-presented introduction and conclusion and maintenance of basic structure of essay are vital.

The best way to have confidence for English essay is to practice as much as one can. [Usman Ashraf (3rd Position CSS 2013). Essay Marks: 67]

===> Length of the essay is an important aspect. In my view it is quality and not the quantity that matters. Examiner usually sets a limit of 2500-3500 words limit to trap the candidates. But it would not bother him much if you put up a good effort which falls short of the words limit.

My essay contained around 1700 words and with this quantity and a good simple outline, I got 72 in essay. So surely the length of essay does not matter much.

Some more tips on how to attempt it:
  1. Carefully read all essay topics and select those issues which you have prepared the best.
  2. Now select that essay which you can best attempt considering thoughtfully the aspect which is asked.
  3. Now turn your sheet and cross the page No. 25 – the last page – and start doing your rough work on that page.
  4. Thoroughly explore your mind and bring out all relevant points of that issue on paper.
  5. Now pick those points which are most suitable for your outline.
  6. Make a logical outline depending solely upon the statement or topic of essay set by the examiner.
  7. Reconsider each point for its relevancy and order in the outline.
  8. Review your points and see if the used words can be replaced with more catchy or striking words. Remember, outline is like a cover of your essay which clearly depicts what is wrapped inside. So give it due consideration and time before starting your essay.
  9. On rough pages, write an introduction for the essay. Articulate it with best words possible.
  10. Now reconsider your outline and introduction and assess whether it fulfills the demands of the given essay. Only if you are satisfied with that rough draft proceed with the essay, otherwise reject it and attempt your second best essay on similar pattern. This is important because you would not get a second chance before one year if you fail in this paper.

This exercise would certainly take time but do not be panic even if it takes 40-45 minutes because you have done all the hard work. All you have to do is to write that outline and introduction neatly on your answer sheet and then proceed with the essay following the outline that you have already prepared. (CSP Dr. Waheed Asghar. Essay Marks: 72)

===> I think the most important thing is the selection of right topic on which one has sufficient command and has enough material available to write on. One should be to the point and substantiate his opinion with supporting arguments, examples, facts and figures etc. [Muhammad Usman Khalid (PAS) 22nd CSS-2011 Essay Marks: 45]

===> For essay, you should spend 15 to 20 minutes for selecting the topic, it will save you from disaster, once you have selected the right topic, there will be no issue of time at least for managing your essay in 2.5 hours, and this is sufficient time for attempting essay. After selecting the topic, make outline, it should be logical, sequential, well-managed, self-speaking so that examiner don't find any difficulty in understanding it. From your outline, examiner will have an idea that you are able to pass the paper or not so be careful while writing outline, following points should be kept in mind:
  1. Relevance of content with the topic
  2. Language (sentences with correct grammar, so it is always preferred to write short sentences, as there will be a few chances of mistakes.)
  3. Handwriting; should be neat and legible as paper's cosmetic value also has its own importance.
  4. Argumentation
  5. Additional/ Supplementary content including examples, verses, quotes, facts and figures if needed (particularly in factual essays), make your essay unique with these colours.
  6. Introduction should be the best, as the examiner will judge your essay and make an impression in the very beginning, directly hit the topic without going into the irrelevant details.
  7. Essay should be well-arranged, all the content should be presented in a sequence, for example background can't come prior to examples or solutions, coherence in the arrangement of facts is necessary.
  8. In conclusion, don't introduce any new idea, justify the given content in conclusion by explaining in a few sentences.

Try to create a unique impact among thousands of essays. Learning tricks and tips and then practising will give you more benefit, instead of making directionless efforts. (Amna Rafique, PAS, 51st, CSS-2011)

===> Read newspapers as much as you can, instead of using flowery language, make sure you use simple words but excellent sentence structures. Because using flowery language and poor sentence structures is probably the worst mistake especially in these two papers. [Saba Asghar Ali CSS 3rd, 2011 (PAS). Essay Marks: 51]

===> For essay paper, everyone will tell you that try to attempt those ones which pertain to current affairs quite the same as I think. It is because it is always easier to understand what is required from you in topics on current affairs; plus, you are always more knowledgeable about these topics, besides in a better position to give variegated views about such current themes.

But do remember that essay is not just a paper, it’s a test. It is easy to attempt a paper but difficult to pass through a test. For succeeding in a test, you must bring an armoury which is quite different from others. So, here, ‘innovation is the soul of wit’, is precisely what the examiner perceives.

Admittedly, innovation does not mean that you have to put forth the most radical of ideas with having nothing to support such arguments. If you can just jot down plain and sensible ideas, but add spice to them by writing some quotes, verses and allusions, it would do the trick for you. For this, I would recommend you people to learn by heart at least five to eight quotes, allusions or verses which are relevant to some of those topics which you consider ‘hot’ for this year’s essay. I attempted essay on ‘Terrorism’, started it off with quoting W.B.Yeats’. “The second coming” (4 initial verses), then in the middle quoted Dryden’s “Song on St. Cecil’s Day”, then a little latter in my essay wrote Pablo Neruda’s “When Bomb fell” and ended with a related quote by Solzhenitsyn.

The result was getting a whopping score of 70 marks in it. So just surf the web and gulp down some quotes (literary ones always better than verbal sayings) on this year’s important topics. [Muhammad Bin Ashraf (CSP). Essay Marks: 70)

===> English Essay matters a lot! Grammar mistakes in it aren't tolerable at all. The most effective technique to attempt an essay should be that rather than tracing a historical perspective, the topic at hand must be hit right from the beginning. It should have a logical sequencing of arguments as well. Moreover, it should be brief and in simple English and unnecessary jargon should be avoided. Try to cover the topic from a national as well as global aspect. (Dr. Waqar Ali Khan, 1st Position CSS 2013. Essay Marks: 70)

===> Why do the students fail in English Essay?

Here is the gist of the section:

  • The candidates express their thoughts incoherently
  • Their sentence structure formation skills are poor
  • They fail to write grammatically correct essays
  • They don't know the basic structure of essay
  • They fail to transition between paragraphs/The essay isn't a fluent read
  • They lack knowledge on the attempted topic
  • They fail to stay relevant

===> Essay writing is a skill that comes with practice. A person may have thousands ideas in his mind about a given topic, but he is most likely to fail if he does not have the skill of composition and presentation of those ideas with an effective and emphatic expression in the form of a well-knit and coherent essay. (CSP Nawaz Khalid Arbi)

===> The requirement for CSS English Essay paper is to write in the argumentative mode. This is basically an Argumentative Essay that has a universally acknowledged format. Everybody tells the students what to write in an essay but nobody tells them how to write it. When I teach my students, I take great pains to teach them how to plan their essay. Planning is the most important part of the whole exercise. The plan must accommodate fluent and uninterrupted writing and prevent digressions and blank pauses. Secondly, I focus a great deal on the presentation of the essay. Rules have been set in this regard and they must be followed. The pattern itself makes up for the lack of information. Thirdly, I concentrate on reinforcing the analytical abilities of my students. I make sure that they are able to understand, address and analyze issues on their own. People who disregard these requirements can only pass if they possess extraordinary linguistic skills. People usually fail because they do not know and have never been taught the basics of essay writing. (Kashif Rehman Khan, JWT)

===> English essay is built through logical sequencing and organization of the relevant ideas. It is usually compact, each paragraph connected with the previous one, persuasive and rational in the interpretation of things. When these are lost, candidates fail in English Essay. Moreover, good English expression is vital for success in English Essay. One must have the skill of putting comprehensibly ones thoughts into words. (JWT)

===> English Essay make impact on the outcome. Following are the requirements to score high marks in English essay.
  1. Correct language
  2. Quality material
  3. Logical arguments
  4. Well-made introduction and conclusion
  5. Maintenance of the basic structure of the essay
  6. Flow in thought and language
  7. Natural disposition
(CSP Irfan Ali Samo. Essay Marks: 62)

===> The students fail in English essay because they are not focused and do not write the relevant material in the paper. In the English Essay, it is not very important that how lengthy your essay is but it is very important that whatever material is written is grammatically correct and is according to the topic selected by the candidate. (CSP Afshan Salman)

===> Essay paper is considered as the toughest nut to crack. It is believed that this very first paper decides one is going to pass the exam or not. Most of the candidates fail in this paper. A glance at past papers of English essay would reveal that the essay topics on which a candidate is asked to write are generally only one aspect of the issues that the candidate may have prepared.

If the candidate does not make a distinction between the issue and the specific aspect(s) of that issue being asked in the paper, he is likely to annoy the examiner. Here it proves my point when I criticise the commercial aspects of so-called ‘precious notes’ and essay as the candidates cram these answers and write them as such in the paper. (CSP Dr. Waheed Asghar. Essay Marks: 72)

===> Major cause of their failure in English essay is fear attached to this paper because most of the candidates are frightened from English language and secondly, candidates do not understand the difference between an essay and a normal paper.

First of all, the candidates consult too many people for guidance then they try to follow each of them which results in complete confusion and it also breaks the self-confidence of a candidate. Moreover, they just keep reading English books and English essays but they do not practise it. I think essay is a written exercise and practice is the only key to success in essay as well as in composition. [Qasim Ali (PSP)]

===> Reason is quite obvious, as there is no set syllabus and book that could cover these two subjects, so candidates put the preparation of this subject on the back burner. As you can't learn to play cricket just by watching it on TV, similar is the case with English, you can't master this subject just by reading books. Unless you don't improve the English written expression by practising it, you will not be able to master it. At least dedicate two days a week exclusively for the English preparation. Don't cram five or six essays but try to be at home in writing essays on any topic. [Dr. Fahad Mumtaz (DMG)]

===> Unlike the other papers, the paper of essay is the test of knowledge, grammar and expression simultaneously and one thing cannot be ignored at the cost of the other. If you ignore any of these, the obvious result will be failure. So in order to pass the paper, the candidates need to improve their basic grammar and sentence structure, besides having sizeable knowledge to meet the requirements of 3 hrs and 100 marks and ability to arrange the thoughts and ideas in a logical manner. (ASP Mufakhar Adeel 2nd Position, CSS-2006)

===> English Essay is a unique paper among all. It involves a concentrated writing on a topic, selected by the candidates according to his will. Usually the choice of topic determines the quality of attempted essay. The essay writing is not dilly-dallying. It is a structured piece of writing which is based on solid arguments, facts, figures, quotes. It has a proper beginning and denouncement. The candidates need to practice essay writing in routine. It is better to have a full-fledged practice session followed by checking by an experienced teacher on essay paper. The grammatical errors need to be corrected and a better, idiomatic expression has to be adopted to write an essay in CSS examination. Hussain SardarDeputy Secretary (Finance)

===> English essay is considered as the most challenging paper where CSS students generally fail in this particular paper on account of their weakness in basic English grammar, expression, inability of proper sentence structure formation and lack of knowledge on the topic.

I was lucky enough to seek the guidance of Prof. Agah Mohsin Suhail and Dr. Shahid who guided me about the proper way of writing an essay. I wrote on “Power of Media in Modern World” and was able to get 68 marks. The formation of a comprehensive out line encompassing all aspects of the topic is very crucial in getting good score in English essay. (CSP Dr. Quratul Ain Malik. Essay Marks: 68)

===> English Essay is the only paper in which you are to attempt only one topic. Therefore, there is no margin of error. The basic reason behind failure is the reproduction of crammed knowledge obtained from stereotype sources, mostly academy notes. Most candidates couldn't get through because they bank on expired or outdated information without updating it. Besides, poor grammar skills, punctuation and sentence formation are major causes as well. Thus, it is highly advised that the candidates focus more on grammar. The material being written in paper should be relevant and most updated with correct grammar. That's the only way to success. (JWT)

===> What I have learnt is grammatical mistakes, irrelevant material and incoherent expression are the major reasons behind this fact. To pass these papers, aspirants are advised to learn and understand basic grammar rules, consolidate their grip on these rules by actually applying them in writing. In short, write simple but correct English, convey your idea and message effectively with cohesion of thought and language. [Dr. M. Imran Khan (PSP) 20th Position, CSS-2012]

===> The students fail in English Essay due to various reasons but a one common one is weak English. Many students can’t write proper English and it is a draw-back of our education system. So the students should put in some extra effort. Secondly, students sometimes rely too much on the cramming of essays, this method usually leads to failure. You have to be somewhat original in your writing. The students should develop knowledge regarding all the important national and international issues. The knowledge has to be comprehensive. (CSP Zeeshan Shafique Siddiqui. 8th position overall in Pakistan, CSS 2007)

===> English is considered the toughest in CSS, but actually, it's just psychological pressure which makes it so. One should keep in mind that all he needs is simple and lucid English with impressive sentence structure. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors must be avoided. Continuous writing practice under the guidance of a good teacher may help one to improve one's English. Special focus should be on proper use of vocabulary as many aspirants just memorize words without knowing their correct usage.
[Muhammad Jawad Haider Shah (PAS) Topper of Written Exam. Essay Marks: 58]

===> It is so because most candidates don’t know how to write correct English. Writing good English starts with correct and proper usage of words. Next is the sentence structure. Grammar rules aren’t rightly employed. Expression-related flaws are quite common. And last but not least candidates don’t know how introduction, body and conclusion to an essay are written. [Waseem Riaz Khan (PSP)]

===> This is frequently complained by the instructors that the worst student writing is done on essay examination. Of course, the pressure under which examinations are written is not conducive to stylistic finish. But the chief weaknesses of examinations answers is not that they are ungrammatical or awkward but they are not composed at all. The student does not first plan what he wants to say and then develops his intention into an adequate answers, too often he begins to write without any clear purpose and assumes that as long as he is writing he is answering the questions. The result is frequently an answer which is irrelevant, inadequate, unclear and self contradictory.

This is the test of the student’s ability to grasp main idea, from generalisations of his own from the facts, and select and relate details to develop the generalisation. It tests thinking not simply memory. For this reason a grasp of the major points is more useful than memorising the host of isolated facts.

A three-hour essay examination is strenuous intellectual exercise, all things being equal, a student who is fresh and relaxed will do better work than one who is tired and tense.
  1. In their eagerness to start writing, some students ignore thrust of the questions they are to answer. It is wise discipline to survey any task before beginning it.
  2. Make your choice after serious deliberations.
  3. Remember that nothing annoys a grader as a series of unsupported and unexplained generalisations.

This must be very clear that examiner does make selections from everyday problems. Very few times he goes for reflective essays. Anyhow, a student must prepare current problems from national and international arena. (JWT)

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