UPSC Mains: How to Write Answers for Literature Optionals
For the UPSC main examination, the candidates get to choose their optional subjects as per their convenience and likings. They get to face conventional and essay types questions from the field they have chosen. For the UPSC aspirants, who are fond of literature and go through books regularly, can take up literature as their optional subject.
So, here are some suggested strategies to write answers for literature optional for civil service examination. Try to follow them to score extraordinary marks in your optional paper.
Visual beauty: always maintain the visual beauty of your answer sheet. Do not vary much with your writing style, handwriting and font. There should always be consistency in the answer patterns.
Clarity and neatness: it is difficult to avoid scratches and cuts while writing long answers, still try to minimize such mistakes to maintain the neatness as well as clarity of your answer sheet.
Handwriting: having crystal-clear and neat handwriting makes your answer sheet out-of-the-box and ensures good marks. If you do not have legible handwriting, then you must put yourself into practices so that your handwriting can improve. Add to that, what is the point of writing down a fabulous answer when your handwriting is not readable at all for the examiner?
Originality and uniqueness: While going through an original text, this is obvious for you to develop your own ideas, thoughts and emotions as well regarding the text. Do note them down to include them while writing answers. This would help the answers to be out-of-the-box as you introduce your ideas in them. The Originality and uniqueness in answers are always important for getting into the desired position in such a competitive atmosphere.
To the point answers without any unnecessary blabbering: Develop a habit of practising answer writing while reading as well. Solve the previous years' UPSC questions and get the answers evaluated by your mentors. Introspect the mistakes and rectify them. Always remember that the quality of an answer is most important. So, always maintain it by answering it not only to the point but also without any unnecessary blabbering.
Relevant references: Show your erudition in the language by making relevant references to writers, thinkers, philosophers and poets in your answers. Do mention their name properly. It enriches your answer and fetches some brownie points too.
Follow the text: You must have some guidance while you are preparing for such a big event examination, and they must be supplying you notes and commentaries regarding the original text. Do go through them but consider the original text to be your ultimate reading material while preparing for mains examination. Go through the original text regularly and repeatedly. It would help you in answering the language paper and not getting distracted from the text.
Maintain the word limit: every question that is to be answered requires a certain word limit. Do check it out before you start writing. It is always important to maintain the word limit while answering the questions. So, keep your thought regarding the answer brief and concise so that you can write it down without crossing the word limit.