You need to write in a style that is good, neat, systematic, error-free, aesthetic, and one that shows your erudition. This article gives you insights on how to improve writing skills for UPSC mains exam.
Put on your reading glasses
You can improve your writing by reading a lot. Sure, you have to read a lot for your IAS preparation, but the next time when you read a newspaper or magazine, do focus on the written content style also. Reading more familiarises you with good writing practices subconsciously and this will be reflected in your writing as well. So, reading more is the first step in knowing how to improve answer writing in UPSC mains exam.
Keep your writing outline right
The outline refers to the basic structure of your written piece, in your case, answers. You should have an introduction, body and conclusion to your piece.
Eliminate jargon, clichs and unnecessary words
While writing answers in the UPSC mains, restrict the use of unnecessarily technical words and clichs. Dont write just to fill up the word count. Remember that quality is better appreciated than quantity. The examiner will most likely be put off by a paper that comes across as written by a person trying to show off his knowledge.
In any writing, generalizations are best avoided. Always give material that you can substantiate.
Dont go overboard on the embellishments
You must definitely give quotes in your answer. They certainly show your erudition. But avoid giving too many quotes. Also, you can give a few metaphors and similes in your answers. But only very rarely and when you think they are absolutely essential to the point being told. Otherwise, save the embellishments for the English literature optional paper!
This point is self-explanatory. Dont just reproduce what you read as it is onto the answer paper. Write in your own words. Dont invent stuff up. But dont curtail your creativity in writing.
Practice makes perfect
Nothing can be perfected or at least improved without practice. Practice answer writing for the UPSC exam as it can make the difference between winning and losing in this high-competition exam.
Take care to make your writing error-free
Always make sure that your answers are free from grammatical and spelling errors.
Inculcate all the above-mentioned tips in your writing practice daily and you will see yourself becoming more adept at this art. Mere knowledge is not enough to pass the IAS exam. You need to convince the examiner correcting your answer booklet that you have good knowledge and ideas to become a first-class civil servant. This is possible by writing simple yet effective answers that not only give the required information but also is a pleasure to read as well.