Excellence in essays (2/3): Subject specific topics

You can read part 1 of these series here – essay on general topics.

Writing essays on specific specialized subject topics is paradoxical in the sense that it is both harder and easier to develop and write than essays on general topics. This is because the scope of reading required for developing an outline is very less as compared to the reading required for general topics. However, since the material is less, the length of the essay is significantly affected if the writer has only a superficial knowledge of the subject.

Therefore, to avoid these kinds of situations, I am detailing the steps I follow to write a good essay – answer. (These are the steps I have recently learnt and I do wish that someone had told me this in my first year, then I would not have to research so much for four  and half years *insert a face wringing fists at heavens above*)

Find out the requirements of your essay/essay question

The easiest way to know what the examiner requires of you is to underline/highlight key words in your essay question and couple it with the meaning from the essay words – (you can find my blog post on it here) and then by simply putting two and two together you can infer the exact points necessary to put in the core of the answer.

However, a warning, this is not something you can do directly in the exam hall, you need practice it before hand and therefore I would strongly recommend you to get question banks and practice the above mentioned steps.

I often use (for my law subjects) Allahabad Law series, Sujata law series or some of the few text books give a question booklet in the back. Even though the answers are not upto the mark in those books, at least we have access to a lot of different questions to practice.

Read

As introduced in the opening paragraph, the dependence of your knowledge and extensive reading in specific topic is very heavy. It is better not to bluff and go with a in depth knowledge on the subject unless you have crammed the night before. I don’t recommend pulling all nighters, and cramming materials you have never seen before (Been there, done that way too many times.) but if you must, then go and bluff with my blessing (and for the love of God, don’t repeat it again)

Outline! Detail! Write!

By this point, I am sure you would have realized that almost all essays follow the same pattern – Outline. Detail. Write.

You can get a detailed idea on this process in my previous post here but in summary all you have to do is after understanding what you need to write, quickly jot down the points as headings, give subheadings and detail what you want to expound under those headings and finally practice!

Power tips:

  • Since these are subject specific essays, write what your subject demands and include important pieces of information that will give you brownie points like legal maxims and case laws in law field, cite sources and papers in case of medical or psychological field, if you are in the engineering field you can add a few diagrams for that flair of flamboyance!
  • And as always practice! Nothing ever good came without practice!

This is all folks! Until next post, HAPPY HUSTLIN’ HON!

Also, remember to follow me on Instagram (@puralika), where I post daily micro blogs~

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