Tips on how to tackle the CSS English essay. Let’s Learn how to prepare CSS Essay, instructed by CSS topper Ms. Shanza Faiq.
Ask the examiner for a second answer booklet:
First tip on how to tackle essay! Ask the examiner for a second answer booklet and open its last page. Take a pencil, and write ‘rough work’ on top of the last page and do your brainstorming over here. Make a rough outline here, and it’s completely okay to take 2-3 pages for rough work. After you’re done, cross the pages with a line, to let the examiner know that this was simply your rough work. When you do your rough work, keep asking yourself how each point connects to the topic; one of the biggest mistakes that kids make is that they mention points that are not connected to the topic.
Outline should not be longer than 2.5 pages:
Your outline should not be longer than 2.5 pages, and can ideally be 2 pages long. Please refrain from long outlines – the whole point of an outline is to make it easy for the examiner to understand what you’ve included in your essay. Please do not make long, extremely detailed outlines that end up being a headache for the examiner to understand.
Include all the main examples in your outline:
Make sure you include all the main examples that you will be using in your essay in your outline. So, whatever example you’re using to substantiate your points – include them in your outline. Show the examiner that you aren’t just randomly writing points, but that you have the knowledge and facts to back up your points. Show the examiner that you’re well read and well prepared.
Back up each argument:
Back up each argument of yours with 1-2 examples, not more, otherwise you’ll end up with some arguments that are too heavily substantiated and some that aren’t as adequately substantiated. Maintain a balance.
Each argument in a separate paragraph:
Write each argument in a separate paragraph, but only ONE argument per paragraph. I would recommend a length of not more than half a page, or three-quarters of a page for one paragraph.
Paragraph as a mini essay:
Think of each paragraph as a mini essay; each paragraph MUST have an intro sentence, which contains the main point that you will be explaining in your essay. Then it should have a body where you elaborate your main point and back it up with an example or two. And then it should have a concluding sentence, which should ideally begin with words like ‘Thus’ or ‘Therefore’ or ‘In conclusion’ – in order to quickly let the examiner know that you’re wrapping up your point here and concluding your paragraph. Try to connect your paragraph’s main point with the topic in your conclusion; it would help to include a few words of the topic in your conclusion to let the examiner know that you haven’t gone off topic and that everything you’re writing is tied to the topic.
Connect each paragraph:
Connect each paragraph with the other by using transition words. So, for instance – if you have 6-7 arguments to support one side of the topic, you will be writing 6-7 separate paragraphs (one of each argument). Start each paragraph with ‘firstly’, ‘secondly’, ‘thirdly’ etc. When you transition to the other side of the argument, or to a separate point, start off the new paragraph with an intro sentence like ‘Having expounded upon the prospects of social media in Pakistan, it is now imperative to shed a light upon its problems. Firstly…” and then so on and so forth.
Intro paragraph is EXTREMELY important:
Your intro paragraph in your essay is EXTREMELY important. Make sure that the intro paragraph’s first sentence contains your understanding of the meaning of the topic, but in your own words. Then you expand upon the topic by writing about a few of the examples that you will be using in your essay. And then the last sentence of the intro paragraph should contain your ‘thesis statement’ or your stance – the main viewpoint that you will be adopting or defending throughout your essay.
A conclusion is a summary:
Make sure your conclusion ONLY mentions/summarizes the points you have already written in your essay. Do not add any extra or new points here. A conclusion is a summary of what you have already mentioned in your essay.
Do not use headings or sub-headings:
Do not use headings or sub-headings in the CSS essay. Those should only be used in answers for other subjects, NOT in the essay.
An extra paragraph:
An extra paragraph before the concluding paragraph is always helpful – my tip would be to make it the ‘recommendations’ or ‘going forward’ paragraph where you give 3-4 recommendations based on the topic, on how the issue can be better resolved/tackled in the future.
No need to rote learn quotations:
There is no need to rote learn quotations or give historical backgrounds of issues in your essays – please realize that FPSC is no longer looking for people with the best rote learning abilities.
How to tackle essay!
My sample Essay Outline:
Topic: Emergence of Social Media in Pakistan: Problems and Prospects
Thesis Statement: Social media usage has increased manifold in Pakistan; though it comes with a range of issues, its prospects need to be harnessed so that its benefits can be fully utilized.
1) Ability to crowd source constitutions; Iceland’s constitution
2) Potential to hold governments accountable