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How to Write an Essay for CSS?

structure of essay for css

Writing an essay is obliviously a difficult part of the CSS exam. Most candidates fail in the composition part of the CSS exam because they don’t understand the requirement of the essay. FPSC syllabus provides a detailed understanding of what an examiner wants you to write. Therefore, aspirants have to analyze the given topics and write upon them critically. Writing an essay will be an art if you are able to solve the problems asked by the examiner. Before explaining the mechanics of an essay, let’s have to understand the definition of an essay.

According to Wikipedia, “The word  essay  derives from the French infinitive  essayer , “to try” or “to attempt”. In English  essay  first meant “a trial” or “an attempt”, and this is still an alternative meaning. The Frenchman Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) was the first author to describe his work as essays; he used the term to characterize these as “attempts” to put his thoughts into writing.”

This means that an essay is a writer’s attempt to solve a problem or issue he is asked for. Or, an essay can be the name of expressing your thoughts on a topic based on a single subject matter. It often gives a personal opinion of the author.

To write an excellent essay, you have to focus on the four components mentioned and explained below. Let us explore and understand them one by one.

This is an essential part of an essay. You can understand the structure, learn grammar and use it accurately, but you would never be able to write an outstanding essay if you lack useful content. A writer without content is like a soldier without a gun. As mentioned earlier, the essay explains the problem and its solution. For this, you have to make your ideas broader, and you have to think out of the box. Then and only then, you would critically analyze a problem and jot it down on a piece of paper.

Read books that you find subject-oriented to your topics. Read magazines, newspapers, and research papers. These sources will help you build the content which is required for an essay later. 

Remember! Do not read books only. Those who read and accept are called consumeristic mindsets. They never come out of the box; rather, they acknowledge what they have read or seen. Instead, be a critical and keen observer while reading. It will make you competitive, critical, and creative enough that you would see unseen as well.


The second essential component of writing an essay is its structure. An essay cannot be written randomly without any structure; instead, it needs to be fixed in a frame that gives a systematic view to a reader. The structure of an essay has three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion, and let us understand each one individually.

Introduction (10% of an essay)

This is the first paragraph of an essay. The introduction of an essay introduces the topic that has to be explained later; it has two jobs to do. First, it tells the reader or examiner what the essay is all about. Second, it grabs the reader’s or examiner’s attention at the very beginning of an essay so that he stays till last.

There are three additional elements to be focused on in the introduction: the motivator/hook, bridge, and thesis statement.

A motivator or hook  is a statement that a writer uses to attract his reader or examiner. He uses quotations, famous sayings, questions, proverbs, facts, or short stories that win the reader’s interest.

The element in an introduction is called  a bridge . It helps the writer to connect his motivator or hook to the main idea. He brings the reader to the point where he is going to explain his opinion. In short, it brings the reader towards the exact topic.

The last element in the introduction of an essay is called  Thesis Statement . This statement offers the purpose and concise summary of an overall essay, and it shows a road map to the reader that he will go through in the body of an essay. Briefly explain in one or two statements what your essay is all about and the purpose of your essay.

Remember! A good introduction will always give you a good essay. 

Body (80% of an essay)

After you have written a wonderful introduction, now is the time to expand your introduction into greater detail. The body is composed of paragraphs that support the main idea you have introduced at the start of your essay.

Each paragraph should have a  clincher statement  at the end, and it resolves whatever questions or claims were previously put forth. It should not end the topic ultimately; rather, it should connect the upcoming paragraph in a way that the reader thinks that the previous paragraph was a prerequisite of the next one.

You can support your main idea with facts and figures, reasons, references, case studies, etc. there is another formula used for supporting the main idea, which is called  FRIES.  Here, “F” stands for the facts that you can provide to your topic, “R” stands for reasons, “I” stands for incidence, “E” stands for examples, and “S” stands for statistics. All these elements or some of them can help you strengthen your reasoning in an essay. Use them gently and be authentic.

Indeed, the primary goal of solving a problem or issue given in the topic should not be forgotten.

Conclusion (10% of an essay)

Last but not least is the conclusion of an essay. Your conclusion should do two jobs. First, it should provide a summarized view of the essay. In other words, it should reflect what you have introduced in the beginning. Second, it should predict the future aspects. If your essay didn’t solve a problem or express a topic with the writer’s opinion, it should not be called an essay. The conclusion of an essay should briefly show the prediction of the topic.


The third essential component of an essay is grammar. You should have sound grammar to use in your writing. If you don know good grammar, you would be unable to write an excellent essay. You would never know what you have written correctly and what you have written wrong. There are some grammar topics that we recommend you improve one by one.

Tenses:  This is the first area of grammar that provides you with an understanding of the time perspective of a sentence. Learn them first of all as they are heavily used in the best part of the grammar.

Parts of Speech:   Many aspirants take them easy. Some of them just read them and cram the definition of parts of speech. Remember! There is a difference between one who knows the definition and one who knows the actual use. Be the latter one so that you use them conceptually.

Narrations:  Writing heavily deals with narration. You should have a great command of direct and indirect narration, and it will help you to use them whenever required in writing correctly.

Conditionals:  Most people get confused when they are using conditionals. Remember that each conditional has syntax semantics and pragmatics, and use them correctly when writing.

Types of sentences:  You should improve the types of sentences. For example, affirmative, optative, imperative, interrogative, and explanatory sentences will help you have a better understanding of them while writing.

Forms of the sentence:  There are four primary forms of a sentence: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex. This is the most essential part of written communication. Sometimes, aspirants think that they have written an outstanding essay without any grammatical mistakes, but they are unable to rectify structural mistakes.

Phrases:  Phrases are important to be studied. They are used as different parts of speech, and learning them will prevent you from committing mistakes in big units.

Clauses:  Clauses provide a real understanding of a sentence. If you have a great command of clauses, you will use them correctly without any structural mistakes.

Punctuations:  Punctuations can give a great sense or can completely destroy the meanings. Knowing punctuation for writing an essay is very necessary, and you can inspire your examiner or reader if you know the great use of punctuation.

These areas of grammar must be good enough for writing a brilliant essay. If you know them yourself, you can easily take out your mistakes.

Instructions to be followed while writing an essay

The fourth essential component of an essay is the instructions that serve as necessary principles in an essay. Below are some principles or instructions that should be understood while writing an essay.

Objective approach

When you start writing an essay, you first deal with the title of an essay. Capturing the exact meanings in the beginning is very important. Have an objective approach so that you stay on track.


This refers to the oneness. All paragraphs in an essay should be related, and it must show that the paragraphs written in an essay come from one family.


Chaining between sentences is called coherence. Each sentence should be accurately connected with one another in a meaningful manner, and every previous sentence should look like it was a pre-requisite for the next one. To gain coherence, use transitional words.


Write all ideas in a logical order. Your reader should see the most important points in the beginning and the weaker ones later. You should have a chronological order of ideas in your essay.


Variety refers to the change of words, examples, and thoughts for one topic. It often bores the readers when you repeatedly use the exact words, ideas, or examples for one topic again and again.

Writing three thousand words in the CSS exam would never mean that you should exaggerate unnecessary words. In other words, it refers to the addition of adverbs and adjectives that are unnecessarily coming in your writing. Be brief. You can add a variety of examples but not too many adjectives and adverbs. The more you write a brief, the clearer it will be to the readers.

All these are the tips and tricks that can help you write an excellent essay. Read books because they will always broaden your ideas. Look at sample essays or books of essays that provide a better understanding of the expert’s work. If you need CSS books , or even past papers and FPSC Syllabus that can build your content for the CSS exam, contact us now , and we will deliver them free of cost.

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It’s very helpful 👍 thanks alot. I need css books and syllabus and past papers please help me.

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How to write an Essay for CSS / PCS / PMS or any Competitive Exams

How to write an Essay for CSS / PCS / PMS or any Competitive Exams

Table of Contents

How to write an Essay for CSS

Css essay writing tips, what is an essay.

A good essay is a comprehensive composition on a particular topic; beneficial, convincing and easily comprehensible for a reader. Essay writing is a skill of formulating your ideas about a topic in an adequate manner with the aid of rational arguments which convince the reader about what is discoursed in the essay.

The essay is a particularly academic form of writing and is a standard method of developing and demonstrating a student’s intellectual abilities at almost all levels of a humanities degree programme. Developing skills in essay-writing is, therefore, crucial to success in your studies.

QUESTION FORMAT (CSS Exam): Make an outline and write a COMPREHENSIVE ESSAY ( 2500 – 3500 words) on any one on the given topics. Make sure you use different forms of discourse e.g. description, narration, illustration etc.

How to write an Essay

In essay writing, the most important starting point is to listen carefully to what the essay title is telling you.

Choice of topic

Choice of topic should be clearly based on your holistic understanding of the subject matter. So choose a topic with which you are most comfortable. At times we think that the topic is so common that most of the people will choose it, so let me choose some unconventional topic. This is a totally wrong thinking, many people end up scoring poor marks due to this. So fight with your best weapons on.  

Interpretation of the essay topic

Do not be in a hurry to write an essay. Many people see the broader title and start writing the essay without even understanding the theme of the topic.

Eg- With greater power comes greater responsibility Now the moment people see power they somehow relate it to politics and bureaucracy and start building their essay around it, writing all theories, quotes and examples they know related to it. Here the theme of this topic is philosophical which talks of power present in any institutional system (family, religion, community, politics, administration etc ), throughout society power is banked from people to a leader so that he can use that power for a common good. So with greater power comes greater responsibility. In this context we need to critically analyze the theme of the essay.

Essay writing can be divided into following four parts on the basis of marking in CSS Exam.

  • Discourse/ideas and thoughts presented in an essay
  • Structure of essay
  • Making Outline
  • Principles and Qualities of a good essay

What is Paragraph in CSS Essay

  • In essay begin with a general point about the central issue
  • thesis statement ( what you are trying to prove ) should be included in essay writing
  • Essay should have mapping statement or statements ( what and how you will argue )
  • Topic sentences ( sentences that introduce your topics ) should be included in the essay.
  • In essay show your understanding of the topic that has been set ( given ).
  • Show how you plan to address the title in your Essay structure
  • Our advice would be to use simple language. As Anton Chekov once said ‘Brevity is the sister of talent’.
  • The idea of using ornamental language to showcase your English vocabulary may backfire at times.
  • There should be a logical continuation from beginning to end.
  • The essay should be organized in well-structured paragraphs coherent with the flow of the essay.
  • Don’t be too aggressive or pessimistic in your tone.
  • Come up with good points and express new viewpoints.
  • Go through well written essays by experts in newspapers and magazines, and understand how they frame the ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’ paragraphs.
  • The conclusion should be there in essay writing.

A powerful introduction is invaluable ( extremely useful ) in an essay. It can engage your readers, and can give them confidence that you have thought carefully about the title, and about how you are going to address it. It may be possible to use only one paragraph for your introduction, but it may fall more easily into two or more. You will need to adapt and extend this basic structure to fit with your own discipline and the precise task set. Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay. Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.

Essentially, this is what you are doing within the essay process, breaking ideas down, and then building them up again. Writing essays, You just need to break down the essay title into its component parts, and consider possible ways of addressing them work with these component parts, as you select your reading and make relevant notes, build up the essay using the material you have collected ordering it, presenting and discussing it, and forming it into a coherent argument.

Supporting Paragraphs (Body of Essay)

In writing essay supporting paragraphs make up the main body of your essay. List the points that develop the main idea of your essay. Place each supporting point in its own paragraph Develop each supporting point with facts, details, and examples. To connect your supporting paragraphs, you should use special transition words. Transition words link your paragraphs together and make your essay easier to read. Use them at the beginning and end of your paragraphs. Transitions are words and phrases that provide a connection between ideas, sentences and paragraphs”. Transitions help to make a piece of writing flow better.

What should a paragraph do?

At the risk of being silly, consider this. What you look for in a partner, a reader looks for in a paragraph. You want a partner who is supportive, strong, and considerate to others. Similarly, a good paragraph will:

Be Supportive

Even in the most trying of times a good paragraph will find away to support the essay. It will declare its relationship to the essay clearly, so that the whole world knows what the paragraph intends to do. In other words, a supportive paragraph’s main idea clearly develops the argument of the essay.

A good paragraph isn’t bloated with irrelevant evidence or redundant sentences. Nor is it a scrawny thing, begging to be fed. It’s strong and buffed. You know that it’s been worked on. In other words, a strong paragraph develops its main idea, using sufficient evidence.

Be Considerate

Good paragraphs consider their relationship to other paragraphs. A good paragraph never interrupts its fellow paragraphs to babble on about its own, irrelevant problems. A good paragraph waits its turn. It shows up when and where it’s supposed to. It doesn’t make a mess for other paragraphs to clean up. In other words, a considerate paragraph is a coherent paragraph. It makes sense within the text as a whole.

When you’ve written a paragraph, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have enough evidence to support this paragraph’s idea?
  • Do I have too much evidence? (In other words, will the reader be lost in a morass of details, unable to see the argument as a whole?)
  • Does this evidence clearly support the assertion I am making in this paragraph, or am I stretching it?
  • If I am stretching it, what can I do to persuade the reader that this stretch is worth making?
  • Am I repeating myself in this paragraph?
  • Have I defined all of the paragraph’s important terms?
  • Can I say, in a nutshell, what the purpose of this paragraph is?
  • Has the paragraph fulfilled that purpose?

The body of the essay will take each of these main points and develop them with examples and illustrations, using clearly defined paragraphs. This is where you will need to think about the structure of your essay and make sure you follow a clear path through to your conclusion. This section is where most writers go wrong, but if you plan carefully you should have a direction for your essay before you start writing.

Critical Analysis

Avoid unnecessary description

In an essay only include general background details and history when they add to your argument, e.g . to show a crucial cause and effect. Practice distinguishing between description ( telling what happened ) and analysis ( judging why something happened ).

Interpret your evidence

While writing essay explain how and why your evidence supports your point. Interpretation is an important part of critical analysis, and you should not just rely on the evidence “speaking for itself”.

Be specific

In essay avoid making sweeping generalizations or points that are difficult to support with specific evidence. It is better to be more measured and tie your argument to precise examples or case studies.

Use counter-arguments to your advantage

In writing an essay if you find viewpoints that go against your own argument, don’t ignore them. It strengthens an argument to include an opposing viewpoint and explain why it is not as convincing as your own line of reasoning.

A powerful conclusion is a valuable tool. So in essay writing the aim is to leave your reader feeling that you have done a good job. Having done all of that, the final element – and final sentence in your essay – should be a “global statement” or “call to action” that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end. A generic structure that you may find useful is

  • Brief recap of what you have covered in relation to the essay title
  • Reference to the larger issue and Evaluation of the main arguments
  • Highlighting the most important aspects in the essay.

Watch Video: 25 Preparation Tips on How to Study for CSS at home

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structure of essay for css

Shahzad Faisal Malik is the administrator of CSSTimes.pk and is responsible for managing the content, design, and overall direction of the blog. He has a strong background in Competitive Exams and is passionate and sharing information with others. Shahzad Faisal Malik has worked as a Graphic Designer/Content Creator at CSSTimes in the past. In his free time, Shahzad Faisal Malik enjoys watching Cricket, writing blogs for different websites and is always on the lookout for new and interesting content to share with the readers of this website. As the website administrator, Shahzad Faisal Malik is dedicated to providing high-quality content and fostering a welcoming and engaging community for readers. He looks forward to connecting with readers and hearing their thoughts and feedback on the website.

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How to write a high scoring Essay in CSS Exam?

Historically, the highest fail ratio is for English Essay, so an aspirant should focus on this subject. Regardless of how good your English is, there is a particular pattern and structure for writing high scoring CSS essays that FPSC looks for. An essay is not an English test; instead, an aspirant is judged upon how well an argument is structured or presented.

Starting with preparation for CSS Essay

  • Start by jotting down outlines of Essays along with the thesis statement. Get them checked by a dedicated mentor.
  • Practice writing short introductions based on the outlines and get them checked by your mentor again
  • Once you have practiced writing brief introductions, jump towards writing one complete Essay every week—this is from where you can start collecting material and making notes . Decide your chosen topic, gather all the relevant material, including references, examples, quotes, statistical data, and combine them to complete your Essay.
  • After you have practiced writing 3-5 essays, test your writing speed. Start writing the essays in the given time frame that is 3 hours.
  • Get all your essays reviewed and checked by a mentor. Work on the feedback given by them.

Tips for writing a good, lengthy, and content-rich Essay for the CSS exam

  • Crucial understanding of the topic is essential. One might have a problem clearing the exam if there is no substantial understanding of the topic. An aspirant must ensure that whatever topic is chosen, he/she should be able to write a minimum of 15-16 pages. Also, for writing extensively, one must have sufficient knowledge and background to support the argument.
  • For the Essay, nothing is as essential as its structure. The overall structure of an essay is even more important than vocabulary. It would be best if you focused on vocabulary for the precis and composition part; however, the structure is the king for the Essay.
  • Lastly, one should judge if he/she can write a fair and coherent paragraph. For coherent paragraphs, one must be able to write well-structured sentences and connect them. Once the paragraphs are coherent, a good introduction and conclusion must be written keeping in view the outline.

If all these things are done, and the language is not played with grammatical errors, an aspirant can write high scoring CSS essays and clear the exam

Books for CSS English Essay

Which books are best for CSS English Essay? Here is a list of highly recommended books by CSS-top qualifiers

  • CSS English Essay with online Learning Module

CSS English Essay with Online Learning Module is a complete package that includes a guidebook and online learning module of Tabir . The online module will help with CSS online preparation as it includes a comprehensive video series, assignment submission and evaluation, feedback from CSS top-qualifiers, and the latest articles once the CSS exams are near. Whereas, the guidebook by Dogar Books consists of a step by step guide for writing a perfect CSS English Essay, high scoring samples essays from CSS past papers, and suggested readings to enhance understanding of the topic.

CSS English Essay Online Preparation Series by Dogar Books

  • High Scoring CSS Essays by Dogar Books

High Scoring CSS Essays by Dogar Books is a guidebook that includes a step-by-step guide for writing a perfect essay, has key takeaways with everyday Essay, and has high scoring CSS essays solved samples from past papers. The guidebook's suggested readings section also helps students enhance and have a sound understanding of CSS essay topics. CSS mentors highly recommend this guidebook in guiding aspirants to write winning essays for CSS 2021

CSS English Essays High Scoring Guide by Dogar Books

  • CSS Solved Past Papers 2016-2020 by Dogar Books

CSS Solved Past Papers 2016-2020 by Dogar Books is a comprehensive guidebook with updated information, a brief introduction to CSS and the exam strategies, tips for attempting and solving CSS questions, and writing better English sidebars for additional information, definitions, explanations, and references. This CSS solved papers book has papers from 2016-2020 to write high scoring CSS essays.

CSS Solved Past Papers 2016-2020

  • Better Writing Now by Francine D. Galko

Better Writing Now by Francine D. Galko is a complete guidebook for helping students write timed essay exams, research papers, resumes, covers, general business letters, memos, emails, reports, etc. This book enhances writing concise papers with useful tips and formats that students can use to write with confidence.

Better Writing Now by Francine D. Galko

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How CSS is structured

  • Overview: First steps

Now that you are beginning to understand the purpose and use of CSS, let's examine the structure of CSS.

Applying CSS to HTML

First, let's examine three methods of applying CSS to a document: with an external stylesheet, with an internal stylesheet, and with inline styles.

External stylesheet

An external stylesheet contains CSS in a separate file with a .css extension. This is the most common and useful method of bringing CSS to a document. You can link a single CSS file to multiple web pages, styling all of them with the same CSS stylesheet. In the Getting started with CSS , we linked an external stylesheet to our web page.

You reference an external CSS stylesheet from an HTML <link> element:

The CSS stylesheet file might look like this:

The href attribute of the <link> element needs to reference a file on your file system. In the example above, the CSS file is in the same folder as the HTML document, but you could place it somewhere else and adjust the path. Here are three examples:

Internal stylesheet

An internal stylesheet resides within an HTML document. To create an internal stylesheet, you place CSS inside a <style> element contained inside the HTML <head> .

The HTML for an internal stylesheet might look like this:

In some circumstances, internal stylesheets can be useful. For example, perhaps you're working with a content management system where you are blocked from modifying external CSS files.

But for sites with more than one page, an internal stylesheet becomes a less efficient way of working. To apply uniform CSS styling to multiple pages using internal stylesheets, you must have an internal stylesheet in every web page that will use the styling. The efficiency penalty carries over to site maintenance too. With CSS in internal stylesheets, there is the risk that even one simple styling change may require edits to multiple web pages.

Inline styles

Inline styles are CSS declarations that affect a single HTML element, contained within a style attribute. The implementation of an inline style in an HTML document might look like this:

Avoid using CSS in this way, when possible. It is the opposite of a best practice. First, it is the least efficient implementation of CSS for maintenance. One styling change might require multiple edits within a single web page. Second, inline CSS also mixes (CSS) presentational code with HTML and content, making everything more difficult to read and understand. Separating code and content makes maintenance easier for all who work on the website.

There are a few circumstances where inline styles are more common. You might have to resort to using inline styles if your working environment is very restrictive. For example, perhaps your CMS only allows you to edit the HTML body. You may also see a lot of inline styles in HTML email to achieve compatibility with as many email clients as possible.

Playing with the CSS in this article

For the exercise that follows, create a folder on your computer. You can name the folder whatever you want. Inside the folder, copy the text below to create two files:



When you find CSS that you want to experiment with, replace the HTML <body> contents with some HTML to style, and then add your test CSS code to your CSS file.

As an alternative, you can also use the interactive editor below.

Read on and have fun!

A selector targets HTML to apply styles to content. We have already discovered a variety of selectors in the Getting started with CSS tutorial. If CSS is not applying to content as expected, your selector may not match the way you think it should match.

Each CSS rule starts with a selector — or a list of selectors — in order to tell the browser which element or elements the rules should apply to. All the examples below are valid selectors or lists of selectors.

Try creating some CSS rules that use the selectors above. Add HTML to be styled by the selectors. If any of the syntax above is not familiar, try searching MDN.

Note: You will learn more about selectors in the next module: CSS selectors .


You may encounter scenarios where two selectors select the same HTML element. Consider the stylesheet below, with a p selector that sets paragraph text to blue. However, there is also a class that sets the text of selected elements to red.

Suppose that in our HTML document, we have a paragraph with a class of special . Both rules apply. Which selector prevails? Do you expect to see blue or red paragraph text?

The CSS language has rules to control which selector is stronger in the event of a conflict. These rules are called cascade and specificity . In the code block below, we define two rules for the p selector, but the paragraph text will be blue. This is because the declaration that sets the paragraph text to blue appears later in the stylesheet. Later styles replace conflicting styles that appear earlier in the stylesheet. This is the cascade rule.

However, in the case of our earlier example with the conflict between the class selector and the element selector, the class prevails, rendering the paragraph text red. How can this happen even though a conflicting style appears later in the stylesheet? A class is rated as being more specific, as in having more specificity than the element selector, so it cancels the other conflicting style declaration.

Try this experiment for yourself! Add HTML, then add the two p { } rules to your stylesheet. Next, change the first p selector to .special to see how it changes the styling.

The rules of specificity and the cascade can seem complicated at first. These rules are easier to understand as you become more familiar with CSS. The Cascade and inheritance section in the next module explains this in detail, including how to calculate specificity.

For now, remember that specificity exists. Sometimes, CSS might not apply as you expected because something else in the stylesheet has more specificity. Recognizing that more than one rule could apply to an element is the first step in fixing these kinds of issues.

Properties and values

At its most basic level, CSS consists of two components:

  • Properties : These are human-readable identifiers that indicate which stylistic features you want to modify. For example, font-size , width , background-color .
  • Values : Each property is assigned a value. This value indicates how to style the property.

The example below highlights a single property and value. The property name is color and the value is blue .

A declaration highlighted in the CSS

When a property is paired with a value, this pairing is called a CSS declaration . CSS declarations are found within CSS Declaration Blocks . In the example below, highlighting identifies the CSS declaration block.

A highlighted declaration block

Finally, CSS declaration blocks are paired with selectors to produce CSS rulesets (or CSS rules ). The example below contains two rules: one for the h1 selector and one for the p selector. The colored highlighting identifies the h1 rule.

The rule for h1 highlighted

Setting CSS properties to specific values is the primary way of defining layout and styling for a document. The CSS engine calculates which declarations apply to every single element of a page.

CSS properties and values are case-insensitive. The property and value in a property-value pair are separated by a colon ( : ).

Look up different values of properties listed below. Write CSS rules that apply styling to different HTML elements:

  • background-color

Warning: If a property is unknown, or if a value is not valid for a given property, the declaration is processed as invalid . It is completely ignored by the browser's CSS engine.

Warning: In CSS (and other web standards), it has been agreed that US spelling is the standard where there is language variation or uncertainty. For example, colour should be spelled color , as colour will not work.

While most values are relatively simple keywords or numeric values, there are some values that take the form of a function.

The calc() function

An example would be the calc() function, which can do simple math within CSS:

This renders as:

A function consists of the function name, and parentheses to enclose the values for the function. In the case of the calc() example above, the values define the width of this box to be 90% of the containing block width, minus 30 pixels. The result of the calculation isn't something that can be computed in advance and entered as a static value.

Transform functions

Another example would be the various values for transform , such as rotate() .

The output from the above code looks like this:

  • background-image , in particular gradient values
  • color , in particular rgb and hsl values

CSS @rules (pronounced "at-rules") provide instruction for what CSS should perform or how it should behave. Some @rules are simple with just a keyword and a value. For example, @import imports a stylesheet into another CSS stylesheet:

One common @rule that you are likely to encounter is @media , which is used to create media queries . Media queries use conditional logic for applying CSS styling.

In the example below, the stylesheet defines a default pink background for the <body> element. However, a media query follows that defines a blue background if the browser viewport is wider than 30em.

You will encounter other @rules throughout these tutorials.

See if you can add a media query that changes styles based on the viewport width. Change the width of your browser window to see the result.

Some properties like font , background , padding , border , and margin are called shorthand properties. This is because shorthand properties set several values in a single line.

For example, this one line of code:

is equivalent to these four lines of code:

This one line:

is equivalent to these five lines:

Later in the course, you will encounter many other examples of shorthand properties. MDN's CSS reference is a good resource for more information about any shorthand property.

Try using the declarations (above) in your own CSS exercise to become more familiar with how it works. You can also experiment with different values.

Warning: One less obvious aspect of using CSS shorthand is how omitted values reset. A value not specified in CSS shorthand reverts to its initial value. This means an omission in CSS shorthand can override previously set values .

As with any coding work, it is best practice to write comments along with CSS. This helps you to remember how the code works as you come back later for fixes or enhancement. It also helps others understand the code.

CSS comments begin with /* and end with */ . In the example below, comments mark the start of distinct sections of code. This helps to navigate the codebase as it gets larger. With this kind of commenting in place, searching for comments in your code editor becomes a way to efficiently find a section of code.

"Commenting out" code is also useful for temporarily disabling sections of code for testing. In the example below, the rules for .special are disabled by "commenting out" the code.

Add comments to your CSS.

White space

White space means actual spaces, tabs and new lines. Just as browsers ignore white space in HTML, browsers ignore white space inside CSS. The value of white space is how it can improve readability.

In the example below, each declaration (and rule start/end) has its own line. This is arguably a good way to write CSS. It makes it easier to maintain and understand CSS.

The next example shows the equivalent CSS in a more compressed format. Although the two examples work the same, the one below is more difficult to read.

For your own projects, you will format your code according to personal preference. For team projects, you may find that a team or project has its own style guide.

Warning: Though white space separates values in CSS declarations, property names never have white space .

For example, these declarations are valid CSS:

But these declarations are invalid:

Do you see the spacing errors? First, 0auto is not recognized as a valid value for the margin property. The entry 0auto is meant to be two separate values: 0 and auto . Second, the browser does not recognize padding- as a valid property. The correct property name ( padding-left ) is separated by an errant space.

You should always make sure to separate distinct values from one another by at least one space. Keep property names and property values together as single unbroken strings.

To find out how spacing can break CSS, try playing with spacing inside your test CSS.

At this point, you should have a better idea about how CSS is structured. It's also useful to understand how the browser uses HTML and CSS to display a webpage. The next article, How CSS works , explains the process.

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  • 1.1 How Many Essay Topics are Given in the CSS Essay Question Paper?
  • 1.2 What type of topics come in the Essay paper?
  • 1.3 What is the Marking Criteria in Essay Paper?

ESSAY Syllabus Suggested by FPSC

CSS Essay is comprised of 100 Marks. It is usually the first and arguably the toughest paper for aspirants appearing in the CSS exams. The syllabus for CSS Essay is vague and extensive. However, FPSC has given basic guidelines as to how this paper is designed by the examiner and what factors should be carefully considered while attempting this paper. Below is the content of the FPSC Essay paper syllabus provided by FPSC.

“Candidates will be required to write one or more Essay in English. A wide choice of topics will be given. Candidates are expected to reflect comprehensive and research based knowledge on a selected topic. Candidate’s articulation, expression and technical treatment of the style of English Essay writing will be examined.” FPSC Syllabus guideline

How Many Essay Topics are Given in the CSS Essay Question Paper?

in CSS Essay paper, there are 10 topics in general out of which you must select one topic to write on it.

What type of topics come in the Essay paper?

Although the variety of topics that are asked in the essay paper is diverse, it is still possible that you can discern the pattern and prepare certain broad categories through which you can easily tackle 1 or 2 essay topics every year. Here is certain broad categories list for the ease of CSS aspirants.

  • Issue-based argumentative essays
  • issue-based descriptive essays
  • general argumentative essays
  • philosophical essays
  • literary essays

What is the Marking Criteria in Essay Paper?

To crack CSS essay paper is really a tough job, but the right strategy and knowledge of how examiner’s gives weightage to each section of essay paper gives a proper sense as to what areas need to be focused and what strategy should be adopted to ace this particular subject.

So, as per CSS examiner’s reports and credible sources, the marking criteria of Essay paper can be broken down as follows:

  • Evidence / justification part of paragraph (10)
  • Statistics, figures and data (10)
  • Validity and reliability of data (10)
  • Relevance (10)
  • Sentence structure  (5)
  • Vocabulary (5)
  • Clarity (5)
  • Command of language (5)
  • Expression (5)
  • Outline (5)
  • Introduction (5)
  • Paragraph structure (5)
  • Conclusion (5)
  • Logical sequence and progress of the essay (5)
  • Paragraph transitions (5)

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How to Make an outline of a CSS Essay?

CSS Essay is one of the compulsory subjects of competitive examinations. To ace this subject, one must have a complete grip on all parts of a perfect essay. One of its essential parts is an outline. Out of ten topics when you choose one topic while sitting in the examination hall, the first step you take is brainstorming relevant to that chosen topic. Brainstorming helps you to make an outline of the essay. If you can make a captivating outline you can pass this subject without any further hard work. So, are you ready to know how to make an outline? To get familiar with this topic you must know what is an outline. Why is it important?

What is an Outline? Why is it important?

An outline of the essay is actually a framework for presenting ideas. First, you have to write central ideas, then you write supporting ideas in a coherent manner. In other words, you divide the body of the essay into significant parts. Then, subparts and somewhat required detail of those parts. Making an outline for an essay helps you to develop a coherent and logical structure of the essay. Once it is complete you can easily translate your ideas into sentences and words.

An outline represents the whole picture of your essay in the examiner’s eyes. You should follow the same in your essay also. Often students don’t follow this. They make a lengthy outline but very little relevant data in the essay. Furthermore, often they don’t make a well-organized outline. These are the mistakes you should be careful about while writing essays in CSS/PMS exams.

Also Read: How to Structure Paragraphs? Paragraph Writing tips for CSS/PMS Essay

What are the types of Outline?

There are two types of outlines.

  • Topic Outline
  • Sentence Outline

Topic Outline for CSS Essay

The topic outline consists of headings . These headings include universal, primary, and secondary headings. Every heading is further described in the form of arguments and points. Furthermore, headings should consist of short phrases. These phrases represent the main or central idea for the topic sentence of a paragraph. FPSC examiners also recommend this type of structure of an outline.

Sentence Outline for CSS Essay

The sentence outline summarizes each idea of a paragraph in one sentence. That one sentence includes everything which may become the topic of the paragraph.

Features of an ideal Outline

  • First of all, your outline must present a detailed image and consist of all paragraphs.
  • It should be very comprehensive that provide the whole overview of your discussion.

CSS essay outline

How to make an Outline of Descriptive Essay?

To make a perfect outline for a descriptive essay it should be divided into universal, primary, and secondary headings.

a. Universal Heading : There are two universal headings i.e. introduction and conclusion. They are repeated in every essay.

b. Primary Heading : This is the main portion that is asked by the examiner. You can never compromise on it. For instance , if an examiner gives you the topic “ Global Warming: Causes and Consequences “, your primary headings should be causes and consequences. However, you can miss the solutions because it is not required by examiners.

c. Secondary Heading : This is the portion of the essay which examiners don’t ask categorically. However, if you add them you can write a comprehensive essay. These details may give you benefits to completing the length of an essay. The total required number of words in an essay is 2500-3000 words. For instance , in the topic “ Global Warming: Causes and Consequences “, if you write solutions also, it can make an essay comprehensive.

Also Read: An Essay on Democracy in Pakistan

How to Make an Outline of an Argumentative Essay?

The structure of an outline of an argumentative essay is somewhat different from a descriptive essay. There are the following components of an argumentative essay.

a. Universal Heading : There again comes the heading which is repeated in every essay, the universal heading. The first one is the introduction and the second one is the conclusion.

b. Your Perspective : This is the portion that includes your stance or point of view. Here, you put all arguments summarized under one heading.

c. Stance of Opponents : This portion of the outline includes the stances or perspectives of opponents. In other words, you can say it includes counterarguments and responses to them. These are the objections that would raise arguments against your arguments. You should address those arguments also to make them persuasive. Everything should be responded to why they are invalid. It will strengthen your arguments.

Also Read: Climate Crisis of South Asia

Some Guidelines for CSS Essay

  • You should use the keywords of your essay in headings. It will complete you to remain focused and relevant on your topic of the essay.
  • All headings should be self-explanatory.
  • Capitalize every keyword of the headings in the essay. However, conjunctions, helping verbs, prepositions, articles, and pronouns should not be capitalized.
  • You must illustrate the headings in the form of phrases.
  • Points should be divided into sub-points to elaborate the paragraph content. For explaining sub-points a new paragraph is not required.
  • Furthermore, your outline cannot afford even a single mistake. It should be flawless.

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A Simple Guide to Prepare for English Essay in CSS

How to Prepare English Essay for CSS

  • Posted on December 21, 2023
  • No Comments

How to Prepare English Essay for CSS

The CSS examination, conducted by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), is a significant milestone for individuals aspiring to serve in various government departments of Pakistan. Among the diverse subjects tested, English Essay holds a prominent place, demanding candidates to showcase their writing skills and critical thinking. This article aims to provide a simple and natural guide on how to prepare effectively for the English Essay section in the CSS examination.

Understanding the Exam Structure:

Before delving into the preparation strategies, it’s crucial to understand the structure of the English Essay paper. The exam typically consists of one essay, which needs to be completed within a specified time frame. Candidates are evaluated based on their ability to articulate thoughts, organize ideas coherently, and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the given topic.

CSS Preparation

Developing Reading Habits:

A well-rounded essay requires a broad understanding of various topics. To enhance your knowledge base, cultivate a habit of regular reading. Newspapers, magazines, and reputable online sources can serve as valuable resources. Focus on diverse subjects such as current affairs, politics, economics, and social issues to prepare for the unpredictability of essay topics in the CSS examination.

Practicing Essay Writing:

Practice is the cornerstone of effective preparation. Set aside dedicated time for writing practice essays on different topics. This not only improves your writing skills but also helps in developing a structured approach to essay composition. Pay attention to grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure during practice sessions.

Building Vocabulary:

A rich and varied vocabulary is a powerful tool for essay writing. Make a habit of learning new words daily and understand their usage in different contexts. Avoid using complex words without a clear understanding of their meanings, as clarity and precision are essential in conveying your ideas effectively.

Staying Informed about Current Affairs:

The CSS English Essay often involves topics related to current affairs and contemporary issues. Stay informed about national and international events, government policies, and socio-economic developments. This knowledge will not only enhance the depth of your essays but also demonstrate your awareness of the world around you.

Time Management:

Effective time management is crucial in the CSS examination. Practice writing essays within the allocated time to develop a sense of pacing. Divide your time wisely between brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revising. Prioritize the key points to ensure a well-structured and coherent essay.

Seeking Feedback:

Feedback is an invaluable tool for improvement. Share your practice essays with mentors, teachers, or peers who can provide constructive criticism. Consider their suggestions and work on areas that need enhancement. Continuous refinement is key to achieving excellence in essay writing.


Preparing for the English Essay in the CSS examination requires a holistic approach that combines reading, writing practice, vocabulary building, and staying informed about current affairs. By adopting these strategies, candidates can enhance their writing skills and confidently tackle the challenges posed by the English Essay section. Remember, consistency and dedication are the keys to success in any examination, and the CSS is no exception.

Author: Ace Bureaucrat Academy

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structure of essay for css

How To Write an Evidence in the CSS and PMS Essay Body Paragraphs


  • December 15, 2022
  • Sir Syed Kazim Ali Notes , Writing Aid

How To Write an Evidence in an Essay Body Paragraphs | CSS and PMS Essay Guide | How To Write an Evidence in the CSS and PMS Essay Body Paragraphs | How to Write CSS Essays? | How to Write PMS Essays? | CSS and PMS Essay Guide by Sir Syed Kazim Ali

As a lawyer in a jury trial persuades the judge to agree with his claims, the CSS and PMS aspirants must have to convince their examiners of the validity of their arguments. And this can only be done by writing relevant evidence that supports your arguments. Since the examiner has started asking for argumentative essays, easy yet tricky to crack, it is undoubtedly of great importance to learn how to write evidence to qualify for the essay paper, especially in the CSS examination. What is a piece of evidence and how and where to write it is a question hundreds of aspirants ask me through messages and emails. Unfortunately, I hardly have time to write the lectures here because it takes me around five lectures, 3 to 4 hours a class, to clear my students on the concept of evidence and how to write it effectively. Yet I have given the glimpse and crux of my lectures related to evidence. All my students must read this article to revise the concept briefly again and get almost 20 to 30 body paragraphs evaluated by me within the next five days. 

In the CSS and PMS essays, you can write evidence in a number of ways. It could be data from a relevant subject, quotes from a book, saying from an expert, or even testimony from a historical book. No matter what form you use in your essays, the only thing you need to focus on is they must support your thesis statement in the essay’s introductory paragraph or arguments in the essay’s body paragraphs.

structure of essay for css

Why is evidence necessary in the CSS and PMS essays?

In the CSS and PMS essays’ papers, relevant, clear, and well-supported arguments are the key to success. To do this, you have to use evidence to support and back up your claims (known as arguments) to persuade the examiner to agree with your point of view. If you effectively make the essay checker agree with your viewpoints, you can easily crack the essay paper. 

Types of evidence

Many different types of evidence can be used in essays. Some common examples include:

1- Analogy-Based Evidence

Analogy-based evidence is a comparison you write to support your arguments in an essay. You need to be sure about the relevancy of the analogy whether there exist similarities between the two things you are comparing or not.

✓ Like a car’s engine, a state’s institutes require regular reforms to function effectively. ✓ Like cancer, corruption can gobble up all kinds of development a country makes.

Important Points

  • ✓ It is the weakest way to support your arguments.
  • ✓ It can be written in the essays’ introductory paragraphs to support any of your arguments coming after the hook and context.
  • ✓ It can be written in the essays’ body paragraphs to support your arguments, usually known as topic sentences.
  • ✓ I recommend you avoid using this type of evidence.

2- Anecdotal Evidence

Anecdotal evidence is your personal story or experience, research, or example that you use to try to illustrate your point of view. Remember, it is often considered less reliable than other types of evidence, so I recommend my students avoid using it, especially in essays’ body paragraphs. However, an anecdote as a hook can only be used in narrative essays, which are hardly asked in the CSS and PMS examinations. Therefore, if you use this hook to start your descriptive, expository, or fact-based essay, you hardly qualify for the essay paper, especially the CSS essay paper. Sadly, most high-school teachers and B.S.-level English lecturers and professors in Pakistan make their students use an anecdote to start essays. As a result, they hardly score above 20 and fail their essay paper.

“I know an aspirant who didn’t qualify for the CSS essay paper three times because he always used anecdotal evidence in his essay’s body paragraphs or anecdotes to start his essays.”
  • ✓ Less reliable and doesn’t support your argument effectively.
  • ✓ This type of evidence can only be used in narrative essays.
  • ✓ Never use anecdotes as a hook to start an argumentative essay.
  • ✓ Never write this type of evidence in argumentative essays’ body paragraphs.

3- Hypothetical Evidence

Hypothetical evidence is a situation that your write to support your argument. To persuade your examiner about your point of view, you can use this type of evidence. However, you have to make sure that the hypothetical situation is realistic. Otherwise, it will undermine your argument.

“If the world’s leaders do not take immediate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth’s surface average temperature will continue to rise.”

Important Point

  • ✓ It is not much strong, but good enough to support your arguments.
  • ✓ It can be written in the essays’ introductory paragraphs to support any of your arguments while suggesting ideas.
  • ✓ I recommend you use it. 

4- Logical or Analytical Evidence

Logical or analytical evidence is your reasoning and logic that you use to support your arguments.

“The capital punishment, the death penalty, is a deterrent to immoral crimes because it removes the possibility of rehabilitation.”

5- Statistical Evidence

Statistical evidence is data from research papers or surveys that you use to support your arguments. This type of evidence is the most persuasive because it is based on factual data. However, it is important to make sure that the data is from a reliable source.

“According to a study by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), corruption, if not tackled timely, can rob millions of people of a bright future.”
  • ✓ It is strong enough to support your arguments.
  • ✓ It can be written in the essays’ introductory paragraphs to support any of your arguments.
  • ✓ I recommend you use it frequently.

6- Testimonial Evidence

Testimonial evidence is a quote from an expert or someone you use to support your argument. This type of evidence is the most persuasive because it uses the authority of an expert to support your argument. However, it is important to make sure that the expert is credible and that their opinion is relevant to your argument.

“According to Dr. Nimra Fawad, a leading expert on the health effects of smoking, “Smoking is injurious to health and a major contributor to heart disease and lung cancer.”
  • ✓ I recommend you use it.  

7- Textual Evidence

Textual evidence is a quote or sentence from a literary work or historical document that you use to support your argument. This type of evidence is also the most persuasive. However, it is important to make sure that the source is credible and relevant to your argument.

“In his book ‘Corruption and Accountability,’ Dr. Hafiz Pasha says, ‘You never really understand what corruption can cause to the state unless you understand how much accountability is important for economic sustainability.’”

How to introduce evidence in the essays’ body paragraphs?

Along with knowing what type of evidence you can use; it is also crucial to know and practice how to use it in the most effective way while writing an essay’s body paragraph. I have written some steps that you can take to incorporate evidence in your CSS and PMS English essay paper.

Essay’s Body Paragraph Structure

My students, you are advised to revise the essay lectures in which we learn and practice outlines, introductory paragraphs, and body paragraphs in detail. So, you know how to write argumentative, descriptive, expository, and fact-based essay body paragraphs. I have written the essay’s body paragraph structure again for your convenience.

  • ✓ Argument/Thesis statement/Topic Sentence/Claim
  • ✓ Support the topic sentence
  • ✓ Write your evidence
  • ✓ Explain or comment on your evidence
  • ✓ Add another evidence and explain (if required)
  • ✓ Link back to your topic sentence

Essays’ Body Paragraphs Examples

Here are examples of full essays’ body paragraphs with all steps applied. The topic sentence is bold; the supporting sentence is underlined; the evidence is bold and underlined; the explanation or comment on the evidence has no formatting. 

Social media also negatively impacts the preparation of thousands of competitive aspirants. Maximum failure in the CSS and PMS examinations has been a glaring example. According to Miss Nirmal Hassni, Deputy Director NAB , “Aspirants who are over-exposed to social media are more likely to display credulous behaviour and hardly prepare themselves for the exams than those who do not believe in social networks websites.” Moreover, as every fresh qualifier and officer has started providing essay and precis coaching by displaying their videos, DMCs, and tips and tricks on social media, thousands of new CSS and PMS aspirants become easy prey to their coaching. That results in further complexities among those fresh aspirants because tips and tricks never let them know the nature of the English essay paper and how to outline their arguments and start and end essays. As a result, the failure ratio has increased by leaps and bounds each year. Thus, social media, without any doubt, has psychologically impacted CSS and PMS aspirants and negatively affected their preparation .

structure of essay for css

The span between equality and its actuality in Pakistan has become even more expansive. Over the years, the country has shown its commitment to reaffirming the dream of equality for its citizens. However, it is one of the countries with the highest levels of inequality today. Various studies have dismissed the myth of Pakistan as “the land of pure and opportunity”. In contrast, many of its citizens may disagree on how to implement equality. In fact, inequality experienced all over is undesirable. Years back, Pakistan may have been true in claiming that the country offers equality to all, but many of those promising stories about the country today are a hoax.   Dr Hafeez Pasha’s argument is well-supported by evidence that a deficiency of opportunity and poverty are highly associated with inequality.  And undoubtedly, these two factors are the determinants of economic inequality in many countries. Consequently, the few people who have had the chance to access resources are more likely to tend to grab more wealth than those who remain without it. This situation leads to the economic gap between people and, therefore, economic inequality.

structure of essay for css

One of the main hurdles to reaching a global consensus on countering global warming is the debate over which countries should accept the responsibilities . Since developed economies have historically been responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions, it has been argued that they should prioritize technological development to counter environmental concerns. Article 3.1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC – 1992) explicitly states that the developed country parties should take the lead in combating climate change and its adverse effects. Nevertheless, because UNFCCC outlines merely a principle, not an actionable plan, it has remained problematic to decide to what extent developed and developing countries can be allowed emissions. Moreover, it has also not formulated any straightforward financial and technological plan for developed nations to combat the impacts of global warming. As a result, fighting global warming and climate change impacts has been a point of contention among the international comity. In summary, equal responsibility should be pursued in reaching a global agreement on global warming; however, developing an actionable strategy will be problematic unless the world’s leaders show seriousness regarding this environmental issue .

structure of essay for css

University, for sure, is a place where students become leaders and employers who lead the world politically and economically in the bigger picture of their lives. But along with the focus on learning skills, the most significant benefit of going to universities is not necessarily what students learn but the other students they meet and the connections they create there.   Sir Syed Kazim Ali’s argument beautifully explains the abovementioned fact: “Whenever students are asked to give reasons for joining the university, they always write down discipline-oriented motives. Practically, a significant number of grads go on to professions unrelated to their degrees.”  So, not knowledge alone but skills and students’ connections at university always help students have a useful professional contact for their bright future. Hence, knowledge, connections and skills are highly important elements for a university grad to have a successful future.

structure of essay for css

Bad governance has made Pakistan fail to produce equal employment opportunities. The crisis has made it almost impossible to equip the country’s youth with equal employment opportunities. That results in 8% of unemployed youth, and consequently, poverty has started causing more social, economic, and political chaos across the country.   According to the Asian Development Bank’s Poverty Report on Pakistan, nearly 23% of the country’s graduates have to live below the poverty line because they barely earn $1.15 a day .  Moreover, it has been an undeniable fact that poverty-ridden citizens and unemployed youth can quickly become prey to terrorist organizations, thus, becoming a threat to the country’s peace, prosperity, and stability. Although bad governance has jolted Pakistan’s social, political, and economic fabric, through good governance, the malice of unemployment and poverty could easily be countered.  

structure of essay for css

Without proper check and balance mechanisms and good governance, corruption has become the norm in Pakistan, impacting everyone’s life equally. F or example, a person who has never been to any police station and has never done any wrongdoing can still be found in a police station because his opponent has greased the palms of a police officer. Moreover ,  according to the World Bank’s latest report, corruption has been the leading cause of low Foreign Direct Investment and doing business in Pakistan.  A country experiencing corruption of nearly 14 billion a day can never incite the international community to invest. Unfortunately, Pakistan has become a country where none can get his legitimate work done without bribing government officials. Ironically, this situation impacted government machinery and jolted the general public’s faith in the state.  

structure of essay for css

Today’s Pakistani society has sadly become adversely unequal. Citizens are different for various factors and reasons: cities, education, and culture. Even this inequality has started affecting children psychologically.   For example, a child from a low-income family hardly gets a quality education and, therefore, always ends up in the same income level class. In contrast, children from wealthy families always have the chance to acquire quality education and end up in the middle or upper middle class.   This sad situation promotes an environment of discrimination, resulting in frustration and antagonism among the various classes of society. Therefore, the prospects of children’s future in Pakistan greatly depend upon what class and family they belong to rather than what qualities and skills they possess. 

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CSS (C ascading S tyle S heets) is a simply designed language intended to simplify the process of making web pages presentable. CSS allows you to apply styles to HTML documents. It describes how a webpage should look. It prescribes colors, fonts, spacing, etc. In short, you can make your website look however you want. CSS lets developers and designers define how it behaves, including how elements are positioned in the browser.

HTML uses tags and CSS uses rulesets. CSS styles are applied to the HTML element using selectors. CSS is easy to learn and understand, but it provides powerful control over the presentation of an HTML document.

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  • CSS saves time: You can write CSS once and reuse the same sheet in multiple HTML pages.
  • Easy Maintenance: To make a global change simply change the style, and all elements in all the webpages will be updated automatically.
  • Search Engines: CSS is considered a clean coding technique, which means search engines won’t have to struggle to “read” its content.
  • Superior styles to HTML: CSS has a much wider array of attributes than HTML, so you can give a far better look to your HTML page in comparison to HTML attributes.
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CSS comprises style rules that are interpreted by the browser and then applied to the corresponding elements in your document. A style rule set consists of a selector and declaration block.

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CSS declaration always ends with a semicolon, and declaration blocks are surrounded by curly braces. In this example, all paragraph element (<p> tag) will be centre-aligned, with a blue text color.

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How I Structure My CSS (for Now)

structure of essay for css

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

  • # architecture
  • # methodologies

When it comes to structuring CSS, there is no shortage of different naming conventions, methodologies, and architectures. Be it BEM , OOCSS , SMACSS , ITCSS , or CUBE CSS – over the last years, many different approaches to managing modular CSS have emerged. Some are offering strategies on how to split CSS into smaller, more manageable pieces, while others focus more on naming conventions for classes. Sometimes, it can be hard to grasp where the differences or advantages of certain methodologies lie, yet in the end, they all aim at the same: Providing structure and consistency, also known as “avoiding a mess”, when you are working in a team or with your present and future self.

No wonder there isn’t a new project where I don’t start to think about the structure of my CSS a bit and, over time, the way I organize and write CSS has changed a lot. The biggest change came when we all started to write CSS for components. But also preprocessors like Sass have clearly left their mark.

In this post, I will share my current take on CSS structure. It does not religiously follow any particular methodology, although people familiar with Harry Roberts’ ITCSS (“Inverted Triangle CSS”) will definitely recognize parts of his methodology. If you haven’t yet looked at ITCSS, I highly recommend it. What I like most, is the pragmatic, real-life approach and the principle of structuring your CSS in a way that gets ever more specific and explicit the farther down you go in the structure. This allows you to focus on the high-level styles first and makes it easier to deal with the cascade, inheritance, and selector specificity while keeping the number of classes – and the specificity! – as low as possible. There are, however, a few differences, and this is also what I’d suggest to anyone setting up their own structure: Take any methodology with a grain of salt and freely adjust it to your needs and the way you work.

The Folder Structure

This is how my folder structure currently looks like:

Let’s break it down a bit.

The first folder, 1-settings , is for all general project settings, so for the most basic high-level configuration. This might be a collection of global variables – either as Sass variables or custom properties.

Design Tokens

The second folder is for all styles regarding the visual vocabulary of the site. At this level, we are still not generating any CSS output. It is where we define variables for the typography, colors, spacing, media-queries, or any other attributes which you will use throughout the design. For these visual design attributes, the term design tokens has taken hold. Those design tokens could even be coming from your design system as a single source of truth.

The tools folder is where your global Sass mixins and functions live. Maybe you want to manipulate colors with blend modes or set the aspect ratio for a video container? Or clear your float, for example. I am not a heavy user of mixins myself, but I know many people who love them, so this is where to put them.

Just like in ITCSS, the generic folder is the first one that actually produces CSS. It contains global box-sizing rules, CSS resets, or print styles – anything that should be set right at the beginning of your CSS but isn’t yet project-specific.

Now that the most basic things are set up, we can start to style the building blocks of our front-end: Raw HTML Elements. Mostly without classes, we are now redefining the basic browser styles of headlines, buttons, links, lists, etc. and can make sure that all components in our design are using the same consistent base.

Any modern web project that is built with components also comes with the need for a higher-level structure in which all the components can live: Wrappers, containers, grids, and all kinds of reusable objects that provide layout patterns. This is the skeleton of your site.

The beating heart of the project. This is where we design the components of the UI. In a few recent projects, I sometimes distinguished between larger modules and smaller components, but you can also nest components into each other and do without the additional distinction. Use prefixes, if you like, and also a naming convention like BEM can make a lot of sense. I have recently settled on a BEM-like but more simplified naming convention: Just use the simplest but most descriptive class name possible and separate elements within other elements with a simple dash, like .card and .card-content . Sometimes – for example, when I work with Fractal – the CSS for individual components might also live in another folder, together with the HTML and JavaScript code. In this case, the components folder might be empty, or contain references via @import .

Another folder? Yes, but this is definitely the last one. The utilities folder contains utility and helper classes and, most importantly, states and modifiers like .is-active or .visually-hidden . Those styles override the styles in the previous layers and are often set via JavaScript. I really like the suggestion by Andy Bell in his CUBE CSS methodology to use data-attributes to change the state of components, which is also useful in terms of the higher specificity.


This file, which is another idea by Harry Roberts , is a place for all the shameful CSS solutions like quick fixes and hacky things that might solve a problem for the time being but should be solved properly later. Make sure to document all those nasty hacks with comments, though: Why did you solve it this way? Do you already have an idea on how to solve it better? What is needed to solve it? And so on…

Putting it all together

Finally, the main.scss file is where all the individual files are combined. I prefer to explicitly import each file in a new line instead of importing whole folders because I have more control over the source order. But this is only my personal preference, of course.

And that’s it. A structure like this has served me well in recent projects because it keeps everything tidy. The resulting CSS is also much cleaner and it is easier to find the right piece of code when you have to make changes or do bugfixes.

I asked on Twitter the other day which CSS methodology you all prefer and the results were, as was to be expected, mixed:

Web developers and designers of the interwebs! What is your favorite… ✨CSS methodology✨? —and why? — Matthias Ott (@m_ott) August 10, 2020

People all like to use their own flavor of CSS, which is great. If you use a methodology or folder structure that you would like to share, write a post about it and I’ll happily link to it here. It would be interesting to see how you structure your CSS.

For future reference, here’s the whole folder structure again:

This is the 51st post of my 100 days of writing series. You can find a list of all posts here .

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How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates

Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.

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Table of contents

The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay structure.

There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.

Parts of an essay

The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.

Order of information

You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.

The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.

For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.

The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.

The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.

The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.

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The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.

A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.

Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.

  • Thesis statement
  • Discussion of event/period
  • Consequences
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement
  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages
  • Background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press
  • Thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation
  • High levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe
  • Literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites
  • Consequence: this discouraged political and religious change
  • Invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg
  • Implications of the new technology for book production
  • Consequence: Rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible
  • Trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention
  • Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation
  • Consequence: The large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics
  • Summarize the history described
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period

Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.

There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.


In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.

The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.

  • Synthesis of arguments
  • Topical relevance of distance learning in lockdown
  • Increasing prevalence of distance learning over the last decade
  • Thesis statement: While distance learning has certain advantages, it introduces multiple new accessibility issues that must be addressed for it to be as effective as classroom learning
  • Classroom learning: Ease of identifying difficulties and privately discussing them
  • Distance learning: Difficulty of noticing and unobtrusively helping
  • Classroom learning: Difficulties accessing the classroom (disability, distance travelled from home)
  • Distance learning: Difficulties with online work (lack of tech literacy, unreliable connection, distractions)
  • Classroom learning: Tends to encourage personal engagement among students and with teacher, more relaxed social environment
  • Distance learning: Greater ability to reach out to teacher privately
  • Sum up, emphasize that distance learning introduces more difficulties than it solves
  • Stress the importance of addressing issues with distance learning as it becomes increasingly common
  • Distance learning may prove to be the future, but it still has a long way to go

In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.

The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.

  • Point 1 (compare)
  • Point 2 (compare)
  • Point 3 (compare)
  • Point 4 (compare)
  • Advantages: Flexibility, accessibility
  • Disadvantages: Discomfort, challenges for those with poor internet or tech literacy
  • Advantages: Potential for teacher to discuss issues with a student in a separate private call
  • Disadvantages: Difficulty of identifying struggling students and aiding them unobtrusively, lack of personal interaction among students
  • Advantages: More accessible to those with low tech literacy, equality of all sharing one learning environment
  • Disadvantages: Students must live close enough to attend, commutes may vary, classrooms not always accessible for disabled students
  • Advantages: Ease of picking up on signs a student is struggling, more personal interaction among students
  • Disadvantages: May be harder for students to approach teacher privately in person to raise issues

An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.

This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.

The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.

  • Introduce the problem
  • Provide background
  • Describe your approach to solving it
  • Define the problem precisely
  • Describe why it’s important
  • Indicate previous approaches to the problem
  • Present your new approach, and why it’s better
  • Apply the new method or theory to the problem
  • Indicate the solution you arrive at by doing so
  • Assess (potential or actual) effectiveness of solution
  • Describe the implications
  • Problem: The growth of “fake news” online
  • Prevalence of polarized/conspiracy-focused news sources online
  • Thesis statement: Rather than attempting to stamp out online fake news through social media moderation, an effective approach to combating it must work with educational institutions to improve media literacy
  • Definition: Deliberate disinformation designed to spread virally online
  • Popularization of the term, growth of the phenomenon
  • Previous approaches: Labeling and moderation on social media platforms
  • Critique: This approach feeds conspiracies; the real solution is to improve media literacy so users can better identify fake news
  • Greater emphasis should be placed on media literacy education in schools
  • This allows people to assess news sources independently, rather than just being told which ones to trust
  • This is a long-term solution but could be highly effective
  • It would require significant organization and investment, but would equip people to judge news sources more effectively
  • Rather than trying to contain the spread of fake news, we must teach the next generation not to fall for it

Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows.  It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.

The essay overview

In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.

The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what  comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .


Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.

Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.

Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.

Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.

… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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Make Your Essay Structure Rock-Solid with These Tips

Lindsay Kramer

So you’ve been assigned an essay. Or, probably more realistically, two, three, or four essays  . . . and they’re all due the same week. 

We’ve all been there: overwhelmed, staring down that blank screen, and not sure which essay to start with or how to get it started. 

In high school and college, it’s not enough to just write strong essays. One of the most important skills to develop is writing strong essays efficiently . And the foundation of that skill is knowing how to structure an essay. With a template for the basic essay structure in hand, you can focus on what really matters when you’re writing essays: your arguments and the evidence you’re using to support them. Take a look at the basic essay structure below and see how the parts of an essay work together to present a coherent, well-reasoned position, no matter what topic you’re writing about. 

Make your essays shine. Polish your writing with Grammarly Write with Grammarly

Basic essay structure: the 3 main parts of an essay

Almost every single essay that’s ever been written follows the same basic structure: 


Body paragraphs.

This structure has stood the test of time for one simple reason: It works. It clearly presents the writer’s position, supports that position with relevant examples, and neatly ties their supporting arguments together in a way that makes their position evident. 

It all starts here. This is where you introduce the topic you’re discussing in your essay and briefly summarize the points you’ll make in the paragraphs that follow. 

This is also where you state your thesis. Your thesis is the most important part of your essay because it’s the point you’re making . It needs to take a clear stance and shouldn’t include hedging language that undermines that stance like “seems to” or “possibly could.”

Here are a few examples of thesis statements:

  • In the final scene of The Awakening , Edna Pontellier’s decision demonstrates that it was impossible for her to have the lifestyle she truly wanted in the society in which she lived.
  • Due to its volatility and lack of government regulation, Bitcoin cannot become a viable currency for everyday purchases.
  • While the habitability of Mars has not yet been proven, evidence suggests that it was once possible due to bacteria samples found on the Red Planet.

An easy way to write your thesis statement is to think of it as a summary of your essay. Your thesis makes and supports your essay’s point in one concise sentence. 

When you proofread your finished essay, make sure your thesis is clearly stated in your introduction paragraph. If it’s not clear, go back and write a definitive thesis statement. 

>>Read More: How to Write a Persuasive Essay

Your essay’s body paragraphs are where you support your thesis statement with facts and evidence. Each body paragraph should focus on one supporting argument for your thesis by discussing related data, content, or events. 

If you’re not sure whether you should include a specific point or detail in your body paragraphs, refer back to your thesis statement. If the detail supports your thesis, it should be in your essay. If it doesn’t, leave it out. Your thesis statement is the core of your basic essay structure, so everything else in the essay needs to relate to it in some way. 

In your essay’s conclusion paragraph , you summarize the points you made and bring your argument to its logical conclusion. Because your reader is now familiar with your thesis, the summary in your conclusion paragraph can be more direct and conclusive than the one in your intro paragraph.

>>Read More: 7 Writing Tips from Professors to Help you Crush your First Essays

How many paragraphs are in an essay?

There’s no hard-and-fast requirement for college essays. In high school, you were probably taught to write five-paragraph essays. This is a solid essay structure to work with, but in college, you generally have more flexibility with assignment lengths and formats. 

Now, consider five the minimum—not the standard—number of paragraphs you should include in your essays. 

Essay structure examples

There are a few different ways to present information in an essay. Often, your assignment will tell you what kind of essay to write, such as a chronological, compare and contrast, or problems-methods-solution essay. If you’re not sure which is best for your assignment, ask your instructor. 


A chronological essay guides the reader through a series of events. This essay structure is ideal if you’re writing about:

  • A current or historical event
  • A book or article you read for class
  • A process or procedure

With this kind of essay, you first introduce your topic and summarize the series of events in your introduction paragraph. Then, each body paragraph takes the reader through a key stage in that series, which might be a decisive battle in history, a pivotal scene in a novel, or a critical stage in a judicial process. In your conclusion, you present the end result of the series you discussed, underscoring your thesis with this result. 

Compare and contrast

A compare-and-contrast essay has a structure that discusses multiple subjects, like several novels, concepts, or essays you’ve been assigned to read.

There are a few different ways to structure a compare-and-contrast essay. The most obvious is to spend one paragraph discussing the similarities between the topics you’re covering (comparing), then one paragraph detailing their differences (contrasting), followed by a paragraph that explores whether they’re more alike or more different from each other. 

Another method is to only compare, where each of your body paragraphs discusses a similarity between the topics at hand. Or you can go the only-contrast route, where your body paragraphs explore the differences. Whichever you decide on, make sure each paragraph is focused on one topic sentence . Every new comparison or contrast should occupy its own paragraph.


As its name implies, this kind of essay structure presents the writer’s position in three segments:

  • Ways to resolve the problem 
  • The solution achieved by using these strategies to resolve the problem 

This kind of essay works great if you’re discussing methods for resolving a problem, like knowing how to distinguish between credible and non-credible sources when you’re doing research for assignments. It can also work when you’re tasked with explaining why certain solutions haven’t worked to fix the problems they were created for. 

With this kind of essay, begin by introducing the problem at hand. In the subsequent body paragraphs, cover possible methods for resolving the problem, discussing how each is suited to fixing the problem, and potential challenges that can arise with each. You can certainly state which you think is the best choice—that could even be your thesis statement. In your conclusion paragraph, summarize the problem again and the desired resolution, endorsing your method of choice (if you have one). 

In this kind of essay, you can also include a call to action in your final paragraph. A call to action is a direct order for the reader to take a specific action, like “call your congressperson today and tell them to vote no” or “visit grammarly.com today to add Grammarly browser extension for free.”

>>Read More: How to Write Better Essays: 5 Concepts you Must Master

With the basic essay structure down, you can get to writing

For a lot of students, getting started is the hardest part of writing an essay. Knowing how to structure an essay can get you past this seemingly insurmountable first step because it gives you a clear skeleton upon which to flesh out your thoughts. With that step conquered, you’re on your way to crushing your assignment.

structure of essay for css

How to Use the :has() Selector in CSS

For most of the history of CSS, selectors have been limited to targeting elements based on their parents in the DOM tree. Consider this HTML structure:

Applying styles to paragraph 2 in CSS is trivial, as it can be targeted by the parent <main> node.

This will style Paragraph 2 but not Paragraph 1 , as the second paragraph is contained inside the <main> element.

What has not historically been simple however, was styling the <main> node based on the presence of the <p> tag below it.

By looking upwards in the DOM tree, there was no way to apply styles to just the second <main> element and not the first (without uses classes or IDs of course).

Introducing the :has() Selector

At its core, the :has() selector is a relational pseudo-class . This means it allows you to select an element based on its relationship with other elements. Specifically, it selects an element if it contains another element that matches a given selector.

In the above example, we can now do the following:

This opens up numerous possibilities for styling your web pages more efficiently and with less code.

Example 1 – Highlighting Articles with Images

Consider a webpage that displays a list of articles, each enclosed in an <article> tag. If we want to highlight articles that contain images, the :has() selector offers a straightforward solution:

This CSS rule applies a blue border around any <article> tag that contains an <img> element, visually distinguishing articles with images from those without.

Example 2 - Styling Navigation Menus with Sub-Menus

Here is another example. In this example, the :has() selector is being used to add a :before() pseudo element to any menu item that has sub menus – that is any <li> element that contains a child element with the class .sub-menu .

Browser Support

As of March 2024, the :has() selector is supported by approximately 92% of web browsers globally , including all the most common modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge. For unsupported browsers, consider using feature detection libraries like Modernizr to apply alternative styles.

It's also a good idea to design your CSS to degrade gracefully, ensuring that your web pages remain at least functional and visually acceptable in browsers that do not support the :has() selector.

Ready to Use Today

The :has() selector offers a new level of flexibility and power in CSS, enabling you to write cleaner, more efficient stylesheets. By selecting elements based on their content, the :has() selector simplifies many common styling challenges, from highlighting articles with images to styling responsive layouts.

As browser support continues to grow, 2024 is the perfect year to begin incorporating the :has() selector into your CSS.

Happy styling – and feel free to try putting your CSS into action in one of the beginner projects on https://traintocode.com/projects .

James is a software engineering director and educator with 20 years experience in web development. Find him on youtube.com/@traintocode

If this article was helpful, share it .

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English Essay – Write Effective Essay for CSS, PMS, and Judiciary Exams


  • December 16, 2019
  • Legal Articles

Writing Effective Essay for CSS, PMS, and Judiciary Exams is compulsory. Without a strong analytical and competitive study, it becomes very hard to write an effective essay. Writing an essay is a crucial component of the CSS, PMS, and Judiciary examinations. In this article, I will try to give guidelines according to the experts to write an effective Essay for CSS, PMS, and Judiciary Exams. Syllabus for CSS Competitive Examination 2016 and onward in its Scheme of CSS Competitive Examination provides the following instructions relating to the Essay Paper:

“Candidates will be required to write one or more essays in English. A wide choice of topics will be given”.
“Candidates are expected to reflect comprehensive and research-based knowledge on a selected topic. Candidate’s articulation, expression and technical treatment of style of Essay writing are examined.”

It is very obvious from the last few years of CSS, PMS, and Civil Judge examinations that students could not perform well in the essay paper. The reason is a lack of sufficient study and conceptual, linguistic and writing competencies. The last few year’s performances of candidates in English Essay paper under CSS Competitive Examination has not been as satisfactory as in other papers.

we have gathered some of the extracts from the examiners’ reports given by the highly reputed teacher and experts of the subject to highlight the weaknesses and common mistakes in essay writing, are reproduced below for the general information and guidance of the candidates;

Experts Opinion for Writing Effective Essay

As per the 2014 CSS and PMS papers , we have collected this information. Most of the students were found doing these mistakes again and again. The report says that;

“The question paper was set to evaluate the performance of the candidates in terms of their conceptual, linguistic and writing competencies, but common trends observed were lack of conceptual clarity, shallow knowledge of the subject, grammatical mistakes, and inappropriate choice of vocabulary and stereotype answers. The majority of the candidates did not follow the norms of confrontational discourse and wrote isolated sentences rather than in cohesive paragraphs. The ability required in CSS is extensive reading, holistic and appreciable performance approach in the subject but the majority lacked these characteristics.”

As per the 2016 CSS and PMS and this time the Judiciary papers , we have collected this information. The ideas presented were random. The argument was without any logical reasoning or research-based facts. The report says that;

“The performance in English Essay was unsatisfactory. A significant majority failed in the subject. The ideas presented were random. The argument was without any logical reasoning or research-based facts. There was neither coherence nor creativity. The candidates were neither able to build an argument from multiple angles nor substantiated it with facts. The outline of the Essay was not properly structured. In many answer scripts, the aspects mentioned in the outline were not discussed in the Essay”.

Similarly, in 2017, 2018 and 2019 CSS, PMS and Judiciary papers ,  “the standard Essay was examined on the footing of argumentation, content, language and intellectual thinking. The quality and level of critical argumentation, on the whole, were very poor. Most of the candidates were unable to identify the dormant contention in topics. In most papers content was inadequate and irrelevant. The most worrying aspect of Essays was the wrong use of the English language. The sentence structure was glaringly flawed. Moreover grammatical and spelling mistakes were rife. The intellectual level of essays was mediocre and candidates were unable to even grasp the topic of the essay”.

So to facilitate the students and to give them guidance for writing an essay for CSS, PMS and Judiciary Exams we have arranged some of the important points here. You can follow these guidelines to make your Essay more effective. 

It should be noted these observations and guidelines are to educate you these are not the official prescription.

Guidelines for Writing Effective Essay for CSS, PMS, and Judiciary Exams

  • A good essay is not supposed to reflect crammed information or bookish knowledge about the topic. It should rather tell us about the writer’s personal feelings or thoughts about it, and his ability to convert these feelings and thoughts into arguments for convincing the readers.
  • It should be self-contained and self-explanatory: not depending on any outside source for its essential comprehension. Its basic stance should be creative, critical and analytical rather than narrative or descriptive.
  • It contains a unified and coherent discussion on a particular topic (strictly in accordance with the wording of the title), with no digression or overshadowing. 
  • It must work through establishing the writer’s personal stand about the subject and substantiating that stand with convincing arguments.
  • Be compact and concise, with no loose constructions or unnecessary attachments.
  • An essay should have a balanced body, with a beginning, middle and end-each one serving its own distinct purpose.
  • It should work as a unit of impression in the sense that the impact of the beginning is still fresh when the reader reaches the end.
  • An Essay should be in a fluent text with natural linkage among parts and paragraphs, with no disjointed or segregated parts.

These following important guidelines must be in your mind before making outlines and writing your essay paper. 

  • Your essay should be Relevant
  • There should not be a lack of Structure 
  • You must know how to handle an argument or to be argumentative
  • Should Avoid superfluity
  • You must have the idea to pitch your bias
  • How to avoid spurious ideas
  • How to show a difference between specific and general ideas
  • The Paragraph transition ( the most important )
you may also like to read about Civil Judge and Addl. Judge Examination pattern. 

For an effective essay paper, you must give the answer the exact inquiry set, instead of displaying data that is comprehensively important to the theme. You should have a reasonable contention or point of view, so the examiner knows from the start what the candidate means to state, and can follow the advancement of his/her contention all through the easy.


I am interested in writing content for educational purpose.


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Illustration shows ChatGPT logo and AI Artificial Intelligence words

How to get away with AI-generated essays

Prof Paul Kleiman on putting ChatGPT to the test on his work. Plus letters from Michael Bulley and Dr Paul Flewers

No wonder Robert Topinka found himself in a quandary ( The software says my student cheated using AI. They say they’re innocent. Who do I believe?, 13 February ). To test ChatGPT’s abilities and weaknesses, I asked it to write a short essay on a particular topic that I specialised in. Before looking at what it produced, I wrote my own 100% original short essay on the same topic. I then submitted both pieces to ChatGPT and asked it to identify whether they were written by AI or a human. It immediately identified the first piece as AI-generated. But then it also said that my essay “was probably generated by AI”.

I concluded that if you write well, in logical, appropriate and grammatically correct English, then the chances are that it will be deemed to be AI-generated. To avoid detection, write badly. Prof Paul Kleiman Truro, Cornwall

Robert Topinka gets into a twist about whether his student’s essay was genuine or produced by AI. The obvious solution is for such work not to contribute to the final degree qualification. Then there would be no point in cheating.

Let there be real chat between teachers and students rather than ChatGPT , and let the degree be decided only by exams, with surprise questions, done in an exam room with pen and paper, and not a computer in sight. Michael Bulley Chalon-sur-Saône, France

Dr Robert Topinka overlooks a crucial factor with respect to student cheating – so long as a degree is a requirement to obtain a reasonable job, then chicanery is inevitable. When I left school at 16 in the early 1970s, an administrative job could be had with a few O-levels; when I finished my PhD two decades ago and was looking for that sort of job, each one required A-levels, and often a degree. I was a mature student, studying for my own edification, and so cheating was self-defeating. Cheating will stop being a major problem only when students attend university primarily to learn for the sake of learning and not as a means of gaining employment. Dr Paul Flewers London

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Higher education
  • Universities

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