SBI PO: Essay Writing for Descriptive Section

The SBI PO descriptive section for 2016 will test you on two aspects only – Essay Writing & Letter writing – unlike in 2014 wherein Précis, Comprehension and Paragraph writing were also a part. In today’s article we will take a closer look at how to approach Essay Writing.


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What should an Essay comprise of?

An essay is nothing but a short piece of writing on a particular topic. What sets an essay apart is not just being error free in terms of grammar and spelling but also the structure and flow of ideas in the essay. A basic but ideal structure to follow is:-

1) Introduction:- This should contain a brief introduction of the topic with an explain the background of the topic. Use this section also to briefly mention your view on the topic before elaborating on that in the body paragraphs.

2) Body Paragraphs:- The body paragraphs (or the middle paragraphs) are used to present one’s point of view on the subject in a detailed manner.  You should restrict the number of paragraphs here to 2 or 3. The purpose of the body is to list out in detail the examples that support your view. It is always advised to put forth your strongest argument first followed by the second strongest one and so on.  Each paragraph should contain one idea and sentences supporting it.

3) Conclusion:- The conclusion is place to restate the main argument/view you made by showing the connections made between the different points in your essay. However, one should not use the same words to do so.
The conclusion should also not be a place to introduce any new idea or thought but just a summarizing of your main argument using some of the strongest evidence supporting it.

 Plan Before You Type:-

Although it may seem like a waste of time, it is important to spend a few minutes to first plan and think about what you are writing instead of immediately writing. If you have 15 minutes for one essay, spending about 5 minutes on planning your essay can save a lot of time on thinking while you type. Most people who dont plan before writing tend to get stuck in the middle or run out of ideas and are forced to think after writing a portion of the essay. This will hamper the flow and structure of your essay if one tries to generate ideas while typing.

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Spend a few minutes on outlining the points you want to make. Make rough points on the introduction, the stance you are taking along with supporting arguments. Make sure you have your sequence with the strongest arguments first and then the remaining arguments.

DOs and DONTs:-

  1. Make a time strategy while you practice. For eg: If it’s 15 minutes for one essay, then have 5 -7- 3 plan where you spend 5 minutes planning, 8 minutes typing and then 2 minutes to read through the final essay to eliminate any grammatical or spelling errors. Make sure you do get the time to read and check for any errors. You can tweak the time-break up and choose one that works for you.
  2. Stick to the word limit provided. If no word limit is provided, try to limit your essay to around 250-300 words.
  3. Avoid using colloquial, slang, SMS ‘lingo’ while you type. No using of “I’m”, “wat”, “thx”,”ASAP”, “gr8” etc. or use informal language such as ‘veggies’ instead of vegetables, ‘Kids’ instead of Children, ‘Anyways’ instead of Nevertheless etc.
  4. Use simple language. Even if your vocabulary is very strong, use words and sentences that you believe most of the readers will understand. No extra points are given for using difficult words that very few understand. In fact, it can be detrimental. For eg: “The deleterious effects of smoking…. ” vs ” The harmful effects of smoking… “
  5. Do NOT use “I think…”, “I feel… ” , “In my opinion” etc. Avoid the use of first person and second person pronouns throughout the essay.
  6. Do NOT make broad generalizations such as “Everyone knows that Narendra Modi is a good Prime Minister”. Instead one could say  that “Several people believe that Narendra Modi is a good Prime Minister” and this statement can be supported by text in the essay.
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Sample Topics for practice:

  1. Consequences of Brexit
  2. Merger of SBI with its associates
  3. Resentment over 7th Pay Commission
  4. MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) formation
  5. Rising NPAs of Indian Banks
  6. India’s NSG Debacle
  7. What to expect from the new RBI Governor
  8. 7% Growth in Indian Economy : Figures and Realities
  9. Make In India : Where we have reached
  10. 2 Years of Modi Government : Achievements and Challenges
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