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Writing the competitive essay

Read widely, reflect and write regularly to deliver your best

education Updated: Apr 07, 2010 09:42 IST
HT Horizons Corresponden

Essay writing is gaining importance in our country and proof of that is an announcement by IIM Bangalore to do away with the group discussion round and adopt essay writing to select students for the 2010-12 batch. XLRI Jamshedpur and IIM Lucknow have traditionally used essay writing for MBA selections.
In this article, we will share techniques to ace essay writing for MBA selections.

Read a lot on the topic
Keep the range of subject matter wide — from economics, business and the economy to politics, sociology, psychology and philosophy. The sources can comprise editorials, magazines of general and business-related issues, free resources or even excerpts from the Internet, international media and books by renowned authors, thinkers and analysts.

Nothing should be considered taboo or boring. You must read both fiction and non-fiction. The beauty of non-fiction is you can read independent chapters/articles /write-ups, unlike fiction where plot can be understood only through sequential reading.

After you read something, you must spend time developing a perspective on it. Look for contrarian views on the topic, learn more about its key elements; chew the cud. This helps you write effectively. Mere reading will not help you write.

Writing regularly helps the brain ideate easily. It is as simple as that. You will realise what you are good at, where you falter, what mistakes occur with respect to usage etc. This will not only make you confident for the D-day but also help you write effortlessly.

Read the topic carefully and determine what you have been asked to write.

Are you expected to present the pros and cons of a particular issue? Are you expected to present an analytical piece? Are you required to write an argumentative essay or come up with different perspectives vis-à-vis` an abstract topic?

Now, reorganise thoughts into a three-section format:

A remarkable introduction
The introduction to an essay will decide the fate of the piece. If the introduction cannot impress the panellists, it might matter little what follows. Use a relevant quote, or a generic observation pertaining to the topic.

Connect the paragraphs
The body of the essay is generally fleshed out over two or three small paragraphs. You can move from one paragraph to another using connectives, such as ‘furthermore’, or ‘moreover’. If you wish to present a deviation or state an exception, you can use words such as ‘however’, ‘but’ etc.

Wrap up the piece with a fitting finale, using connectives such as ‘in conclusion’, ‘hence’ or ‘thus’. Otherwise, no matter how well written the essay is, it will have an unfinished feel to it.

Pre-submission checklist
. Cogency and coherence -The essay should have a smooth flow of thought and maintain relevance at all times. Moving back and forth will have a stilted effect.
. Sentence structure - The word choice and construction of sentences should be apt and concise. Principles of grammar and usage must be adhered to.
. Proofreading - Spelling and grammatical errors should be strictly avoided. Proof read your essay, if you have sufficient time.

Article courtesy MBAUniverse.com