How to write an impressive essay - How to write an...

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How to write an impressive essay Over the past couple of years, various b-schools have included 'essay- writing' in their post-entrance exam selection process. Different IIMs have different names for the Essay (writing skills) task. (IIM Bangalore calls it 'Note'; IIM Indore, IIM Lucknow and IIM Kashipur call it 'Written Ability Test'; IIM Trichy calls it 'Written Analysis Test'; IIM Raipur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Udaipur and IIM Ranchi call it 'Written Analysis'; IIM Calcutta calls it 'Writing Ability Test'; and IIM Kozhikode calls it 'Writing Task'). For the sake of the students' understanding and convenience, we have simply referred to it as 'Essay' throughout the GWPI Briefcase. You could be presented with essay tasks to be carried out in periods ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. As such, the number of words in a typical essay could be in the range of 300-700 words (one side to two sides of an A4 sheet). This note is designed to provide you with essential inputs on writing an effective essay. It deals with how to: (a) generate relevant content, (b) come up with the right structure, and (c) write effectively. Remember the basic elements of communication that have relevance here, namely, clarity of thought, empathy, and effective expression. Also keep in mind that a step-by-step method, with a check list, would ensure efficient use of time spent on an essay. We would suggest steps, and a check list, such as represented by the acronym CODER. C - Collect ideas O – Organise them D – Develop them E – Express them R – Review C – Collect ideas Content – the topic itself – What are the key words? What is it about? What information does one have? How does one gather further information? What ideas or views does one have (or what views does one develop) on the basis of this information? You would recall the ‘approaches’ we’ve suggested for idea-generation in GDs - such as the Key Word Approach (KWA), Viewpoint of Affected
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Parties (VAP), and SPELT. These could be used when you are writing an essay too, to generate ideas on the basis of information that you have. Remember to make quick, concise notes (just words and phrases) as you brainstorm, to ensure that you recall important ideas. O – Organise them Organisation of ideas - put random thoughts and ideas into coherent groups. What would be the purpose or theme of the essay? What would be the appropriate ideas to start with (or to use for introductory statement)? What are the further ideas that one could continue with, and what would these ideas lead to? What ideas would be the right ones to end with? Effective notes and careful thought on these aspects would help you put together properly organised content. D – Develop them Explanation and elaboration – What sort of readership is the essay intended for (education, age, gender, knowledge of the topic, attitude to the topic)? What sort of information would hold their attention best?
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