Now let's come to writing answers in mains.
IN GS you have a huge range of answers to write, from 20 word to 250 word answers. each type of question demands separate treatment.
20 word/ 2markers
try to write as much information in less space.Write in phrases and not full grammatical sentences, punctuate these phrases with ";" , The idea is to write maxmum possible stuff about the topic under question.
These kind of question require writing about 100-120 words. Now you don't have much space to manouver around. Please do not write an introduction in these answers as that takes a lot of words. Start your actual answer with the first word.
20 marks/30 marks
These questions appear in ur optional papers as well.
The word limit is aout 200-275 words. For these questions, write an introduction that is small and sweet. Try to mould the question itself in an answer format giving the examiner an idea that you know what you are talking about.For eg. If there is a question about President being a ceremonial position and noting else, You can start by stating that, Indian constitution has provided for a President as the head of the state, But the real position of importance is that of the PM who is the head of the govt. But while saying this, you should also continue and say that, Calling the institution of President merely a ceremonial one would be wrong because the constitution has provided some discretionary powers to the president. Now your 1st para ends.
Your introduction should be about 25-35 words.
In the next para, start with why president is a nominal head. quote art 74, 42nd amenment act, 44th AA and so on. Then in the next para write why he is not just a ceremonial head.
Do not waste words. every sentence should have relevance to the answer.
Then conclude the answer in about 20-30 words. But do not write a conclusion that is similar to your introduction.
These appear only in optional papers.
For these answers you have no word limit whatsoever. I have written some answers as long as 950 words. But remember you can't do that to every answer. Maybe the 1st and 2nd 60 marker you can write upto this length, but your last 60 marker would somehow suffer. So choose your best 2 60 markers initially and try to wind them in 1:20 to 1:30 hours. Try to treat them the best. After that in something like 1.5 hours you have to finish 6 20 markers and 1 60 marker. That's how I wrote my papers.
In a 60 marker you have a lot of space. Write a good and lengthy introduction, something like 60 to 80 words or so. Then every paragraph should have a theme or idea. Please do not write in points a 60 marker answer. avoid writing in points your optional answer papers, even 20 markers.
Finish with a conclusion about 40-50 words long. Also underline the words or phrases that are instrumental to the answer. The underlining should not be overdone. I think one shoud refrain from using red or green clour pens to underline. I used either the same colour or black/blue combination.
Try to make figures if they are relevant to the answer. If you can, create your own figures.
you can make them even in a 20 marker.
Now, most of the students face this problem. When they first strat writing answers, they can't start the introduction. So please practice introduction writing for as many questions as you can. that will make it easier in the exam to start.
Secondly, your handwriting should be legible if not beautiful. Practice on it if you have a bad one. I had a v bad one. I worked on it.
Thirdly, you should practice answer writing regularly, if possible try to get them evaluated by a good teacher or a good student. Now, when you practice answer writing, write them in the time limit that the exam will offer you. A well written 20 marker in 2 hours won't serve any purpose whatsoever.
Last, try to write grammatical and sensible sentences. Do not go for the myth that flowery language or exotic vocabulary helps score better. write simple and meaningful sentences.
one more thing. before starting to answer a question, understand the demand of the question. Do not presuppose the demand of the question. Often we start writing w/o understanding the question correctly.
Then after understanding the question rightly, you should make a framework of your answer somewhere as to what all you want to write. This will help as in the process of writing you tend to forget points easily.
I hope this will help you in your mains.
I will follow this post with essay post.