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About Introduction and Conclusion

While writing an answer to an essay type question, giving a good introduction and conclusion are necessary and important. Many candidates start their answers with the ‘body’ of the answer thinking they are  actually giving an introduction.

Below, I am trying to illustrate how to write an answer through a hypothetical scene.

Miss Candy Date, a bright young woman, is looking for a professional advice to start a new career.A mentor suggests her to meet Mr. Egza Minor, a retired Major and a headhunter.

upsc answer writing illustration, upsc

A meeting is arranged. Ms. Candy Date goes to meet Mr Egza Minor.

(I will cut short their formal exchanges)

Mr. Egza Minor: Hello Candy. Introduce yourself.

Ms Candy Date: I am Candy and I am from MukNag. I graduated from IIM-A. Worked for two years at Morgan Chase. Recently they chased me away. I am now looking for alternatives. 

Mr. Egza Minor: That’s interesting Candy. So tell me about MukNag, IIM-A, about Morgan Chase and why they chased you away.

Ms.Candy Date: MukNag is a prominent manufacturing hub in the heart of Delhi. Apart from mass scale copyright infringements, false intellectuals are manufactured in hoards. Some manufacture steel too, for framing the country. 

IIM-A, a premier B-school, exports B-bots to USA that make USA economy resilient at the cost of world economy.

Morgan Chase excels in making small banks bankrupt and eating away government money. It also exports viral derivatives to the rest of the world. Not to mention it imports B-bots from India.

I was chased away because I lost interest in banking (because of spurt of interest in saving India) So I am here, looking for alternatives.

Mr. Egza Minor (Mightily impressed): That was interesting candy. I will get in touch with you. Any concluding remarks?

Ms. Candy Date: Yes Sir. I want to get into  public service. My experience has taught me some important lessons. I want to put into use my experience and knowledge for the welfare of the public. Please advice me.

Late, Mr Egza Minor assesses her credentials and that is a different story.

Important points:

  • In the introduction, you create a context, give indication about your flow of thoughts and create an interest in the mind of the reader
  • the body of the answer flows from the introduction in an orderly way leading towards a logical conclusion
  • in the body, make sure to write small sentences with more meaning
  • introduction and conclusion are entirely different
  • in the conclusion, Candy won’t tell, ‘I am Miss Candy and recently I was chased away‘ – many repeat the introduction in the conclusion. Both are different.

To write a good introduction, you must know what will be your answer. In the heat of the exam, it is difficult to gather all the thoughts together and give a cogent introduction, but if you go to exam with enough practice, the task will be easier.

Whatever you are writing—an essay, a report, an article, a thesis, a journal, a literature review, or any other piece of academic writing—the introduction will be the first thing the reader sees. If an introduction is poorly written or constructed, if it is boring, if it does not tell readers what they need to know, if it does not help readers to orient themselves to your paper—then you have lost your readers’ goodwill right from the beginning, and can be sure of losing marks, no matter how well the rest of the assignment is constructed.” (University of Canberra site)