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xat essay writing - topics and tips

xat essay writing - topics and tips

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Published by Mayank Sharma

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Published by: Mayank Sharma on Aug 13, 2009
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02/01/2013

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Previous year\u2019s XAT essay topics
Year
Essay Topic
1999

\u201cTelevision really is, another eye so you can see anywhere, another part of your heart so you can feel and care about things you never felt and cared about before, another ear to hear strange music....The first and only International language.\u201d

2000
Ships are safer in the harbour. But they are not meant for the same.
2001
\u201cEconomic Growth without distributive justice can only lead to violence
2002
\u201cIndian Economy in the Post WTO Era.\u201d
2003
To give real service, one needs to add something that cannot be bought or
measured, like sincerity and integrity.
2004
Asked at the age of 83, as to which of his project would he choose as his
master piece, Frank Lloyd wright, the architect answered, \u201cThe next one\u201d
2005
More than one billion Indians: A gigantic problem or a sea of opportunities.
2006
India has one of the largest pool of talented manpower, but few innovations
and patented products.
2007
\u201cEconomic growth without environmental damage \u2013 a mirage or a reality.\u201d
Some tips on Essay Writing:
1. A good essay should have the following structure.
a. An introduction
b. A body
c. A conclusion
Always introduce the topic before launching into an analysis of the same. The introduction
could be a brief analysis of the topic, your interpretation of the same etc.
The Body contains the main points either \u2018For\u2019 or \u2018Against\u2019 or \u2018Both For and Against\u2019. There
is no hard and fast rule as to what stand is correct and what is not. Ideally, try and not
introduce too many points into the body as in that case you would not be in a position to do
justice to them all. Stick to the more important points and develop them properly.
If you want to speak \u2018For\u2019 a topic, it always helps to introduce an opposite view-point, so that
you can effectively counter it. For instance, let us suppose that, the topic for the essay is:
Reservations are required in India for the equitable growth of the Nation
You are \u2018for\u2019 the topic (say), and you have given three points in support of the same. It would
make a lot of sense to now introduce a counter-point in this manner:

Some opponents of reservation would say that it does not promote merit, but I would like to counter that by saying that even if there were no reservations, we still are left with institutes charging capitation fees and taking students under the management quota. Do these promote merit? And so on\u2026..

The whole idea is that by accepting an opposing point of view, you show that you have an open mind and also by opposing it successfully, you prove your point. This strategy always creates a favorable opinion in the mind of the reader.

Finally, in conclusion, it is always recommended to summarize all that you have written and (if required) to once again present your personal points of view on the matter being discusses. Do not leave the essay hanging, incomplete so that the reader is left with a feeling of emptiness!

Analysis of past year questions and tips to approach them
The short essays that appear in XAT can be classified into the following two types:
1. Short essays on contemporary topics related to economy/polity/society of India. It
could be a burning international issue as well.
E.g. The US Presidential Election provides better entertainment than many Bollywood
blockbusters! Or serious ones like the impact of 9/11 on India.

The student should not worry much about these, if he/ she has been merely glancing through headlines or even half-heartedly listening to news. He can safely attempt most of these, with reasonable confidence.

The most important thing to be kept in mind is that students are not supposed to write
research papers on such topics. If they can approximately, capture the few major points
related to the topic, the job is done for them. Even if they miss a few points, it should not
bother them too much.
The only suggestion is that out of the allotted time, spend at least 5 minutes to recall,
plan and organize what you intend to write. Use the remaining time to write 150-200
words in a cogent and coherent manner using grammatically correct English. Avoid
flowery, bombastic language.
To elaborate, the 2002 essay is discussed below
Indian economy in the post WTO era
The answer should elaborate on the following key points (which the student must identify
in the first 5 minutes):
a. What is WTO? What is its role? (25-30 words)

b. First, the student should identify what all should come in Indian economy, and then discuss the impact on each of these one by one. Following sectors/areas are important in this context

\u2022
The three sectors viz. manufacturing, agriculture and service sector.
\u2022

Divide the three sectors into industries for example manufacturing into pharmaceutical, automobile, steel, textile etc., service sector into IT, education entertainment, tourism, etc.

\u2022
Now discuss impact on each of these. For example in case of pharmaceutical
sector, Indian companies will have to shift to product patenting from
process patenting, under the TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property
Rights) obligations of WTO
c. After impact, also briefly discuss, what is the Indian government and industry
doing to adjust to new realities.
d. Lastly, conclude with your suggestions what should be done to rise to the
challenges and to make best use of emerging opportunities.

2.Abstract topics like those, which appeared in 2003 and 2004 (discussed in detail later). The major problem with them is that students get in awe of the flowery and twisted language used in them, and cannot figure out what should he write in them.

Following guidelines may be helpful:
a. Once again spend some time to interpret and understand what the author implies?
Are there any subtle nuances intended?

b. It is very important to understand that there may be more than one interpretation possible for the given topic. But all interpretations are equally valid provided the student rationally explains it, and logically takes it forward.

c. Thus the student should clarify how he understands/ interprets the given topic, clearly stating his reasons for doing so, right in the very beginning. The student may also disagree with the given statement.

d. Next the student should build his case in support of his interpretation. The use of
anecdotes, daily life examples, fables etc., can prove very helpful in this regard.
e.Lastly, the student should conclude, and end on a definite and concrete note.
To elaborate, the 2003 and 2004 topics are discussed below.

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