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Essay on the Life Insurance Corporation in India (LIC)!

The LIC was established in 1956 by nationalising all the life insurance companies operating in India. Since then in the field of life insurance the LIC has near-monopoly, as the amount of life insurance business through postal insurance and state insurance is relatively much smaller. Life insurance is a very important form of long-term contractual savings. It both promotes savings and results in their institutionalisation or mobilisation.

The income-tax concession provides further incentive to higher-income persons to save through life insurance policies. The total volume of insurance business has also been growing in the country with the spread of insurance consciousness in the country.

It can grow at a faster speed, if the organizational and operational efficiency of the LIC can be improved (and there is a lot of scope for it), new kinds of insurance covers introduced, its services extended to smaller places, the message of life insurance made more popular, and the general price level is kept stable, so that the insuring public does not get cheated of a large chunk of the real value of its long-term savings through inflation.

The importance of the LIC as a capital-market or term-financing institution is very high. The annual net accrual o investible funds from life business (after meeting all kinds of payments liabilities to policyholders) and net income from its vast investment are quite large. Equally, its size of the investment portfolio outstanding is also very large. At the end of March 1995 this was about Rs. 53,500 crore.

The LIC is a heavy investor of funds in government’s dated market securities. In 1994-95, it had invested more than Rs. 44,000 crore in them. Besides it had sanctioned and disbursed financial assistance to the corporate sector amounting to Rs. 1,790 crore and 1,340 crore, respectively. Like banks, the LIC also is a captive investor in government bonds. Under the law, the Lie is required to invest at least 50% of its accruals in the form of premium income in government and other approved securities, sub­ject to a minimum of 25% in central government securities.

Besides, it has to invest in debentures of co-operative land development banks, and give loans to approved authorities (like state governments and electricity boards) for such social schemes as housing, water supply, electricity, etc. These investments and loans should add up to at least 87.5% of the premium income. Only the remaining 12.5 per cent can be made available directly to the private sector.

The loans for housing and investments in the share capital and bonds of other financial institutions, especially land development banks go, in the main, to the private sector. Therefore, the contribu­tion of life funds to the private sector is much more than what is indi­cated by the figures of its direct assistance to the sector.

The LIC funds are made available directly to the private sector through investment in shares and debentures and loans. The largest amount is invested in equity shares, followed by preference shares and then debentures. The LIC has played a leading role (along with the ICICI) in developing the underwriting (of new issues) business.

Now other financial institutions led by the IDBI have also become very important. Underwriting of new issues by the LIC is usually done with the objective of purchasing the issue for its own portfolio and not for le to the public.

The bulk of the LIC’s purchases of industrial securities are, however, made in the second-hand market, and not the new issues market for the simple reason that there are not enough new issues forthcoming in the market to meet the demand for issues from the financial institutions and the investing public.

The LIC is a very powerful factor in the securities market in large and medium-sized non-financial companies and is significant in size. In a great many individual companies its equity shareholding is sizeable, going up to 30 per cent. Thus, the ownership interests of the Lie alone in industrial equity show the hold the public sector financial institutions have come to acquire in the private corporate sector. Add to this the share-holding of other public financial institutions and their convertibility rights.

The total would make the public financial institutions the single largest group of owners of a large number of private-sector companies. However, these ownership rights (actual and potential) have been exercised to a very limited extent so far. As would be expected, the LIC’s investments in large companies are large. This is because the shares of such companies are normally more profitable to hold commercially and are relatively easier to acquire, too. The floating market supply of shares of good small companies is generally small.

The LIC acts as a kind of downward stabiliser for the share mar­ket, as the continuous inflow” of fresh funds with it enables it to buy even when the market is weak. Since it is a long-term investor rather than a speculator, it is happy to buy good scrips when their prices are low and therefore benefit from their price appreciation when the mar­ket improves. But, for the same reason, it does not usually sell shares from its holdings even when the market has overshot. This is partly due to the continuous pressure for investing new funds and partly due to the disincentive of the capital gains tax.

The result is that on the upward movement the stock market is not mellowed by the presence or the investment policy of the LIC. In this context it should also be noted that this kind of investment policy of the LIC (as also of the UTI and the GIC and its subsidiaries) does not facilitate or promote wider participation by the public in equity investment by acting as ‘seasoning’ houses for shares, releasing them for the general public when it is willing to hold them and buying back a part of them on the market downturn at lower prices.

These way price fluctuations on the stock market will be smaller, the public confidence and participation in the stock market will improve, and the public financial institutions will gain, if they do not count out the tax they pay the government on the capital gains they make in the process.

Related Articles:

  • General Insurance Companies in India
  • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC): Management, Objectives and Activities

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  • LIC- Life Insurance Corporation of India


LIC Full Form and Definition

LIC stands for Life Insurance Corporation of India. It started its operations as a corporate firm in September 1956 after the Life Insurance of India Act was passed by India’s Parliament in June 1956. The LIC Act came into effect from July 1956. It helped in the nationalization of the private insurance industry in India. LIC of India was formed by merging 154 life insurance companies, 16 foreign companies and 75 provident companies. It is one of the largest financial institutions in India. It has an asset value of over 2,529,390 crores. The headquarters of LIC is in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The main slogan of LIC is- “Yogakshemam Vahamyaham” meaning “Your welfare is our responsibility”. It is in Sanskrit and is obtained from the 22nd verse of the Bhagavad Gita’s 9th chapter. The chairman of Life Insurance of India is Mr M.R Kumar.

Role of LIC in Indian Economy

LIC is known as India's largest government-owned life insurance and investment corporation. The main role of LIC is to invest in global financial markets and different government securities after gathering funds from people through their various life insurance policies. At least 75% of these gathered funds are to be invested in Central and State Government securities, as stated by one of the LIC rules.

Functions of LIC

The major functions of LIC are as follows:-

Collect people’s savings in exchange for an insurance policy and promote savings in the country.

Protect the capital of the people by investing funds into government securities.

Issue insurance policies at affordable rates

Provide various loans like direct loans to industries, housing loans, loans to various national projects at reasonable interest rates.

Objectives of LIC

LIC aims to spread awareness about the importance of life insurance among people living in rural areas and people who are a part of socially and economically backward classes.

It aims to meet several life insurance needs of the community people who are subjected to change with the changing social and economic environment.

It aims to conduct business economically while taking into consideration that the money belongs to the policyholders. 

It aims to maximize the mobility of people’s savings through attractive insurance-linked savings. 

It aims in providing utmost job satisfaction to all the agents and employees of the corporation and promotes building a co-operative work environment to deliver efficient service with courtesy to its insured public.

It aims to deploy the funds to the best advantage of the investors and the community as well.

Types of LIC Life Insurance Plans

LIC provides numerous schemes to its policyholders. It offers different schemes for different categories and segments of the Indian economy. It is the largest insurance policy company in terms of the number of policies it has issued to date. Some of the policies are as follows:-

LIC’s Jeevan Pragati

LIC’s Jeevan Labh

LIC’s Single Premium Endowment Plan

LIC’S Jeevan Lakshya

LIC’s Jeevan Tarun

What are the Basic Policies of the Life Insurance Corporation of India?

The basic policies in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) are term insurance, cash value insurance, straight life insurance, and limited payment life insurance. The details of each of these policies are given below:

Term insurance: This insurance is like an insurance protection contract, similar to auto insurance, home insurance, or health insurance. Therefore, it ensures the individual against any risk of financial loss in case of death and does not include any savings plan. In this insurance policy, the owner buys a fixed amount of coverage and pays an annual premium based on their age. The policy is for a fixed period of time and thus the coverage stops if it is not renewed. These policies are available for five years, ten years or fifteen years where the amount of premium to be paid remains constant. The life insurance can also be purchased with a condition of 65 years of age, that is, the insured does not become 65 years of age and in this case, the amount of premium to be paid increases annually. There is decreasing term life insurance also available wherein the coverage of the insurance decreases with time so that the annual premium to be paid remains constant. Term insurances provide maximum coverage to the premium spent.

Cash value insurance: In this kind of policy, the amount of actual insurance decreases over time and the savings component of the policy increases over time. This type of insurance is funded by the premium payments done by the insured along with the earnings of the saving element in the policy. These insurance policies are of two types: straight life policy and a limited payment policy that provides coverage to the insured throughout life.

Straight life insurance: the insurance is throughout life. In this type of insurance, the amount of protection decreases as the savings amount increases, though the total coverage of the policy that includes the protection and savings elements remains the same. The premium in these policies is higher than the term insurance which is based on the age of the individual when he or she buys insurance. The premium for this policy remains constant. The face value of insurance refers to the amount which is paid when the insured person dies. 

Limited payment life insurance: in this type of policy the insured person pays the total amount of policy in a limited number of years, that is, usually 20 to 30 years or by the age of 65. After the completion of the term, the policy remains active for the whole life of the insured if he or she has not withdrawn the amount at any point in time. The amount of premium to be paid every year in this policy is obviously higher than the straight life policy. 

Did You Know?

The first company in India that provided insurance coverage was The Oriental Life Insurance Company, established in 1818, in Kolkata. Surendranath Tagore founded the Hindustan Insurance Society which later became Life Insurance Company.

Solved Examples

LIC was Established in Which Year?

September 1956

October 1956

Ans: (b) September 1956  

2. Where is LIC Headquartered in?



Ans: (c) Mumbai


FAQs on LIC- Life Insurance Corporation of India

1. What are the Benefits of Buying from Life Insurance Corporation?

The benefits of buying from Life Insurance Corporation of India are:-

The policyholder will get the most advanced and efficient service as they are associated with an industry leader which has a technologically advanced network throughout the industry. 

Maximum benefits are ensured to the policyholder and their family by designing innovative plans.

LIC provides an effortless and simple claim procedure for the policyholder when needed.

It has an excellent customer support service that provides 100% grievance settlement facilities.

It also provides online customer service to make the lives of policyholders easier. One can get the entire details of their policy via SMS.

2. What are the Processes of Maturity Claim and Death Claim of Life Insurance Company of India?

The maturity claim process of LIC of India is:-

A letter is sent by the branch office that serves the policyholder two months before the maturity date.

The policyholder is required to respond with a duly filled ‘Discharge form’ along with the original copy of the policy document.

The branch office upon receiving of these two documents sends a post-dated cheque via post to the policyholder.

Suppose the insured person dies before the date of maturity. In that case, the branch office asks for the claimant’s statement including details of the claimant and the deceased, original copy of policy document, death certificate of the deceased, documentary proof of age.

3. What protection can I get from Life Insurance?

Life insurance is an essentiality in today’s time. Since, for the survival of life, one needs money for all day-to-day activities, thus life insurance protects one from any financial disaster that destroys the complete income of a family. In other words, life insurance provides one with security that if a certain part of family income or the complete income of the family is cut off because of death, then life insurance would provide funds that can look after the family needs and also replaces the services that otherwise the family member would have provided like child care and more.

4. What should one consider while buying life insurance?

It is very important for a family to consider their financial needs when buying life insurance. These considerations include expenses related to the death of a family member like funeral expenses, medical expenses which are not covered by health insurance, expenses for estate settlement, and readjustment expenses like relocation of the family, and more. The family should also consider their day-to-day expenses like clothing and food. Families should also consider if they have any payments or debts like car loans or farm debt along with special needs of the family like loans, educational expenses, and gifts to family, friends or organizations. The person getting his or her life insurance should also take into account the retirement income for the surviving spouse.

5. How can I assess my needs while getting life insurance?

It is very important for an individual to assess his needs carefully while getting life insurance. While a person getting his or her life insurance should consider their total financial needs and other available resources. The needs of a family depend upon the number of dependents in his family and their ages. The standard of living of a family is another factor that will help him assess his needs and he should also consider other financial resources like savings, social security, investments, earning capacity of the dependants available in a family.

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20 Most Expected Essay Topics for LIC AAO Mains 2024 | LIC AAO Mains Essay Topics

LIC AAO Essay : Life Corporation of India (LIC) Assistant Administrative Officers (AAO) Exam 2024 consists three stages of Exams i.e. Pre Exam, Mains Exam and Interview where Mains exam also contains paper of Letter and Essay Writing in English Languages. In LIC AAO Essay and Letter Writing there are two questions one Essay Writing and one Letter Writing for total of 25 Marks which is qualifying in nature. Time for these LIC AAO Essay and Letter writing paper is 30 Minutes. Below we have compiled a list of important Essay Topics for LIC AAO Exam 2024. Lets see Most Expected Essay Topics for LIC AAO Mains Exam.

20 Most Expected Essay Topics for LIC AAO Mains 2024 | LIC AAO Mains Essay Topics

20 Most Expected Essay Topics for LIC AAO Mains Exam

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You can read these important essay topics for LIC AAO Mains Exam by clicking on the essay topics. You can also download PDF of these essays which are very important for LIC AAO Exam.

LIC AAO Mains Essay Topics

  • Green Growth
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  • Single Use Plastic Ban
  • Commonwealth Game 2022
  • Importance of Free and Fair Election
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  • Envisioning India @2047
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Water Crisis in India
  • Unemployment
  • Plastic Waste Management
  • Why Population Control is Necessary
  • Importance of Human Rights
  • Global Warming
  • Online Shopping
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  • Human Trafficking
  • Online Classes Vs Offline Classes
  • Natural Disaster

These are other important essay topics for LIC AAO Mains Exam Descriptive Paper. You can also read these essays topics for LIC AAO Exam by clicking on the essay topics. Hope you liked these important essay topics for LIC AAO Exam and it helped in your exam preparation.

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  • Insurance Exams
  • LIC AAO Preparation

LIC AAO Preparation Strategy 2023

LIC AAO exam is conducted for the recruitment of candidates willing to join the Life Insurance Corporation of India. The exam is not undertaken annually, and candidates have to wait for a longer duration of time to apply for the examination.

The LIC AAO Recruitment 2023 is about to release soon and candidates who are willing to apply for the post must start giving the final touches to their preparation and start with their revisions.

Candidates who are looking for more information regarding the Assistant Administrative Officer exam, the post, eligibility, etc. can visit the LIC AAO exam page for any further information.

LIC released 168 vacancies for Assistant Administrative Officers for different specialisations in 2023. The preparation for LIC AAO requires a lot of hard work as it is one of the most challenging exams in the banking and insurance sector.

Aspirants who missed the opportunity to apply this year must continue with their LIC AAO preparation as the number of vacancies released for this post are way less in comparison to the number of candidates applying for it. Thus, thorough preparation is required to succeed in the exam. We have discussed some important tips to make a good LIC AAO preparation strategy.

Candidates willing to apply for LIC Exams can visit the linked article for more details.

Since the official notification for LIC AAO 2023 was released on 15th January 2023, candidates should go through the notification to get an idea on various stages of the exam.

The LIC AAO notification 2023 has been released and candidates can refer to the important dates given below and start their preparation:

Interested candidates can get the detailed exam schedule for this year’s LIC AAO recruitment along with the previous year important exam dates at the LIC Exam Dates page. Here candidates can also check the exam dates for the other important Life Corporation of India exams.

Government Exam 2023

LIC AAO Syllabus and Exam Pattern

The LIC AAO exam preparation requires understanding the exam pattern and syllabus in detail. The exam is conducted in three stages, and candidates who wish to join LIC need to qualify all three phases. Once the recruitment process is complete, the selected candidates undergo a medical exam and then finally the recruitment is done.

There are a few common topics which are included in the syllabus for the LIC AAO exam for the different posts:

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning Ability
  • Verbal Ability
  • General Awareness
  • Computer Awareness

The exam pattern for LIC AAO 2023 is as mentioned below:

The exam pattern for LIC AAO is vast and needs a lot of time for preparation. Candidates need to strategize their study plan before starting to prepare for the exam.

Online Quiz 2023

Tips for LIC AAO Exam Preparation

The LIC exam conducted for the recruitment of an Assistant Administrative Officer requires a strategised plan for preparation as well as giving the exam.

The candidates need to keep specific tips in mind before appearing for the exam. These tips will be helpful for both preparing and attempting the exam. The tips to prepare for the LIC AAO exam are as follows:

  • Go through the syllabus and set up a timetable : Candidates need to go through the entire syllabus first before preparing for the exam. They should schedule a timetable and divide the time for each subject equally. Avoid skipping any topics because they are all equally significant. 
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses : Candidates should look for their strengths in the paper and make sure they prepare them well. They may determine their areas of strength and weakness as they work their way through the syllabus. Find the areas of weakness and begin concentrating harder on them to earn good scores. The preliminary exam is only qualifying in nature, so candidates should prepare and attempt questions that they are confident about. 
  • Clear fundamental concepts: Study the foundational concepts of each subject. This is essential for subjects that contain both scientific and mathematical formulas. Candidates applying for IT, CA, Actuarial and Rajbhasha should be well prepared for their professional subject section as that may help them score well in the paper.
  • Memorise the formulas :  For the Arithmetic section, one needs to remember a lot of formulas. Practice and memorise them by heart every time after having understood the concepts. The formulas can be made through in the mind with proper practice and strategic preparation. Also, the scientific concepts must be thorough with all candidates who wish to score a good rank as this is recruitment for technical posts.
  • Develop Reading Habits : Candidates should read newspapers daily, and keep track of all recent activities around the world as this would help them get marks quickly in the general awareness section. For the General Awareness section, they need extensive reading as this section needs one to remember a lot of information on a wide range of topics.
  • Take mock tests : Candidates should give regular mock tests as it provides an idea about the structure of the paper and helps maintain the speed balance. It is the greatest way to assess the level of preparedness. It helps with time management and stress management during the actual exam. Mock exams help to maintain speed and increase accuracy. By taking practice exams, one may quickly determine which portions need to be revised more thoroughly in order to increase the chances of getting higher scores. After completing the mock exam, aspirants can analyse their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in order to better themselves.
  • Make a good attempt: LIC has removed negative markings in the AAO exam, but candidates should not attempt the questions they are not sure of.
  • Revision: It’s extremely important to go over what has been learnt, several times. This will make it easier for candidates to remember the points. Make a list of the key revision points, including any quick tips or formulas. 
  • Stay calm: Remain composed because excessive stress and pressure can harm overall performance. Stay composed and optimistic so that everything can be managed with ease. To avoid any last-minute stress, begin the preparations well in advance.

Tips for Subject-wise Preparation

English Language:

  • The paper for English is only qualifying in the preliminary stage of the examination. So, candidates should only attempt the questions that they are sure of in this section.
  • Candidates should indulge in constant reading and writing activities to strengthen their language skills. Reading may also help in the comprehension part of the preliminary exam.
  • For the mains examination, the English test consists of descriptive questions, which include letter writing and essays. The topics for the essay are based on recent activities across the world, so candidates must be aware of all current events.
  • Past year questions may also be referred for essay and letter writing.
  • Vocabulary-based questions
  • Phrase/Connectors
  • Sentence Errors
  • Jumbled Paragraph
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Improvement
  • Paragraph-related questions like paragraph restatement, paragraph inference, paragraph fillers, paragraph connectors, paragraph completion, etc.

Given below are the links that may help you prepare for the English Language section:

Quantitative Aptitude:

  • This section is standard for all candidates in the preliminary exam, but in the mains exam, this section is only included in the Generalist cadre.
  • This section requires strong mathematical skills and candidates should practice thoroughly to get a faster speed in attempting questions in this section.
  • The candidates should brush up on basic concepts of mathematics as the questions included in the section are based on basic maths concepts.
  • Candidates should first attempt the questions that can be solved quickly like inequalities, number series, approximation, etc. and then move to the longer ones.
  • Number Series
  • Inequalities (Quadratic Equations)
  • Approximation and Simplification
  • Data Interpretation (Radar/Web, Pie Chart, Bar Graph, Line Chart, Tabular, Caselet)
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Work and Time, 
  • Speed Distance and Time, 
  • Probability, Mensuration, 
  • Permutation and Combination, 
  • HCF and LCM, 
  • Profit and Loss, 
  • SI & CI, 
  • Problem on Ages, 
  • Average, Partnership, 
  • Problems on Boats and Stream, 
  • Problems on Trains, 
  • Mixture, and Allegation,
  • Pipes and Cisterns, 
  • Ratio and Proportion

Candidates can check the 10 simple maths tricks to solve the Quantitative aptitude section faster and more efficiently.

Reasoning Ability:

  • This section is standard for all candidates applying for the preliminary exam and mains exam. Candidates should try attempting the questions which can be attempted quickly first and then move to the difficult problems in the section. This would help them manage time well in the exam.
  • Syllogism, coding-decoding, direction test, and inequalities should be attempted first as this would take lesser time to attempt.
  • This section requires mental alertness and logical skills.
  • Direction Sense
  • Blood Relation
  • Seating Arrangements
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Inequalities
  • Alpha-Numeric-Symbol Series
  • Machine Input-Output
  • Order and Ranking
  • Logical Reasoning

For a detailed syllabus of Logical Reasoning in the bank exams, candidates can visit the linked page.

General Awareness and Current Affairs:

  • This section is the most time-saving and the most scoring section in LIC AAO exam. Candidates should try attempting the maximum questions in this section as no time is spent on solving and calculations in this section.
  • Candidates must keep themselves updated with the latest news, read newspapers, and be aware of all developments happening across the world.
  • Reading magazines can also be helpful as the candidate would be updated about the weekly, monthly, half-yearly and annual events.
  • Awards, Honors, and Recognition
  • Books and Authors
  • Important Days
  • Countries, Capitals, and Currencies
  • Indian Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • History of India
  • Indian Constitution
  • Indian Economics
  • Inventions and Discoveries
  • Financial Institutions – National and International
  • National and International Organizations
  • Current Affairs – National and International

Candidates must also be well aware of the various schemes initiated by the Government. These schemes are not a topic with regard to Current Affairs but also General Knowledge. Thus, it is an important topic to prepare for the LIC AAO general awareness section. Aspirants can get the list of Government Schemes at the linked article.

Refer to the General Awareness topics given below for LIC AAO preparation:

Profession Knowledge:

  • This section is only for the candidates apply for the AAO post for IT, CA, Actuarial and Rajbhasha section. This section includes questions regarding the respective specialization for which the candidate has applied.
  • For attempting questions in this section, candidates must be prepared well for the specialization they have chosen because this section holds the maximum marks in the mains examination.
  • Applicants must go through the previous year question papers to know the pattern of the exam and prepare as per the trend of the questions.

Candidates can get the detailed LIC AAO Syllabus in the linked article

Insurance and Financial Market Awareness:

  • For this section, candidates need to be aware of the latest news, policies, development, and events related to the insurance and financial market.
  • Regular reading of the business, finance and economic pages in the newspaper is a must to qualify this section.
  • Candidates must be aware of banking and insurance history, different laws and policies and all financial institutions in the country as well.
  • It is not necessary to study the topics of insurance and financial market awareness in-depth. With an eye on the crucial recent events, only the fundamentals need to be covered. Despite being somewhat lengthy, this part is simple.
  • On the other hand, insurance needs to be thoroughly researched, particularly with regard to the fundamental terminologies and meanings employed, as well as the regulatory elements and grievance redressal procedures. Insurance-related schemes, particularly those that have been implemented in the previous four years, are another important topic. 
  • Detailing the insurance plans provided by LIC is also essential. It is important to thoroughly memorise the many kinds of insurance policies and how they differ from one another. 
  • The insurance committees, insurance providers, significant government initiatives like FDI in insurance, other data from the budget or economic survey, etc. are additional relevant considerations.

Aspirants should make sure they prepare equally well for all the sections. This is because LIC declares the minimum qualifying marks for each section. The candidate who fails to reach the sectional cut off for a single section cannot qualify the mains examination.

The LIC Syllabus is discussed in detail in the linked article.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

LIC AAO Preparation Books

Preparation for Life Insurance Corporation exams requires a sufficient amount of self-study. Candidates can find abundant study material online for the preparation of LIC AAO exam.

Candidates can refer to a lot of books available for preparing for the exam. Candidates should always choose from the latest edition of books available for the respective exam.

List of books that can be considered for preparing for LIC AAO exam are mentioned below

Candidates appearing for LIC AAO in IT, CA, Rajbhasha and Actuarial, should study from the books related to their professional expertise.

The selection process for LIC AAO for the year 2019 is almost complete, but for candidates planning on appearing for the exam next year can refer to the above study material for preparation.


The selection process for LIC AAO for the year 2023 started on 15th February 2023, for candidates planning on appearing for the exam this year can refer to the above study material for preparation.

The AAO exam was conducted in the year 2021, and the latest edition for the recruitment process for 2023 is not yet completed. Candidates preparing for the exam must always be entirely aware of the previously conducted exam.

Candidates must always refer to the previous year cut off to have an idea about the qualifying marks for the current year recruitment process.

The LIC AAO cut off for 2021 is given below: 

In the year 2021, the LIC AAO interview was conducted for 60 marks. Candidates can check below the category wise cut off marks

The LIC AAO cut off for 2016 is mentioned below:

To get the detailed cut off marks for the different phases of the Assistant Administrative Officer exam from the previous year recruitment, candidates can visit the LIC AAO Cut Off page.

Candidates can look for previous year question papers to know the paper structure and the standard of questions asked in the exam. Giving mock tests and practice papers can also be very helpful for candidates preparing for bank exams.

Since the preparation is similar for most competitive exams, aspirants can visit the linked article and get the best Preparation Strategy for Competitive Exams and accordingly figure out a systematic study plan.

Candidates can prepare for future recruitment programs by LIC AAO by checking the previous year cut off marks and referring to the study material mentioned above.

For any further assistance regarding the LIC AAO preparation, study material or any other information, candidates can always turn to BYJU’S for help.

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Frequently Asked Questions on LIC AAO Preparation

Q 1. what is the difficulty level of the lic aao exam, q 2. can i crack the lic aao exam in the first attempt, q 3. what are the best tips for lic aao preparation.

Ans. Given below are the best tips which will help with LIC AAO preparation:

  • Analyse the syllabus and exam pattern carefully
  • Collect the best study material and make proper notes
  • Join a Coaching Institute or look for personal assistance, if needed
  • Solve practise papers and mock tests on a regular basis
  • Review previous year papers and cut off marks
  • Make proper and systematic notes for your own understanding

And most important of all is sorting out a structured study plan, where time must be divided equally for revision and learning new concepts.

Q 4. Can I complete my LIC AAO preparation in 3 months?

Q 5. is the lic aao syllabus same as the bank po exam syllabus, q 6. what questions are asked in descriptive english, q 7. what are the important books to cover topics in insurance and finance market awareness section, q what are the english language lic aao preparation tips 2023, leave a comment cancel reply.

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LIC AAO Mains 2023: Essay & Letter Writing tips & Tricks

Lic aao mains 2023: strategies to crack essay and letter writing.

essay writing about lic

The LIC AAO Mains Examination 2023 is in the offing. The LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023 is scheduled to be held on 18 March 2023 by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) across LIC AAO Mains exam centers across India.

The LIC AAO Prelims Exam 2023 results will be released soon on the official website of LIC India. Candidates who have successfully cleared the LIC AAO Prelims Exam can directly download their LIC AAO Mains Exam Admit Card 2023 through this link.

It is imperative that the candidates, who attend the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023, are well aware of the LIC AAO Syllabus in detail. This will ensure the success of the candidates in the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023.

Candidates need to remember this when it comes to clearing the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023:

LIC AAO Mains 2023: Tips to Crack Essay and Letter Writing Section

Only the preliminary part comprises multiple choice questions; otherwise, candidates really need to put in some great effort to answer the other parts. For instance, in the LIC AAO Mains Exam, the English language test is descriptive by nature.

It carries 25 marks and candidates must answer only two questions – one letter writing task and one essay writing. Insurance sector aspirants must complete answering this part within 30 minutes and not more. 

LIC AAO Mains 2023: Essay Writing

Aspirants must understand that the way they present their essays will deliver an impression about their writing skills. Therefore, it is advised that candidates make good use of their imagination skills and exercise good knowledge about the given topic to secure good marks. 

Adapt the following practices for ascertaining the best results:

  • Dedicate a reasonable amount of time regularly to reading any English newspaper . This will help you stay aware of what is happening worldwide and give you the best idea of how thoughts are expressed in the English language. 
  • Indulge in practices that will enhance your English vocabulary. For instance, focus on learning a new word for two days and using the same in writing anything or conversing with another individual.
  • Practise writing regularly on any current topic and read it yourself. Judge your writing and see if you address the problem or subject clearly. 
  • Do not repeat sentences or information in your write-ups as they are of no good but will only deliver a bad impact or impression of your writing skills. 
  • A good essay consists of partitions. Thus, try to divide it into 3 to 4 paragraphs. Let the first part be the introduction and further divide the body of the essay into 2-3 parts. And, make the last part the conclusion; use it to wrap up as a summary or share your positive opinions about the topic. 

LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023: Some Common Essay Writing Topics

Candidates need to design a solid learning plan for the upcoming LIC AAO Mains Exam combined with a stern focus to crack it. In order to successfully clear the LIC AAO Mains Exam with flying colours, candidates must put in their ultimate efforts come hell or high water. So, Veranda RACE has collated some crucial LIC AAO Mains Exam preparation tips and tricks to keep the students in the loop to aid their preparation.

The most important essay topics for descriptive paper include:

LIC AAO Mains 2023 : Letter Writing

Follow the following strategies to construct the perfect informal letter:

  • Date and address

Candidates must mention their address in the letter appropriately with correct spellings. Write it on the right-hand side of the page. Remember to mention the date on your letter as it is equally vital and states when the letter was written. Write the date after the address by leaving a one-line gap. 

  • Salutation or greetings

Salutation or greetings mean how you address the person reading the letter. The common salutation or greeting used is ‘dear’. Avoid salutations like ‘sir or madam’ as this is an informal letter which will primarily be addressed to your friends or family. 

  • Text and body 

Include paragraphs and use informal language. Write it in an active voice as it initiates the conversational tone and makes the letter sound much more interesting. 

Formal Letter Writing

Follow the following strategies to construct the perfect formal letter:

  • Address and date

Mention two addresses. First, write your address and then the address of the person the letter is meant for. Write the address and date on the left-hand side of the page.

  • Greetings and salutation

Use formal greetings and salutations like ‘ Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’.

  • Text or body

The body of the letter must be short, simple and on point. Make sure it is logical, carries a cordial tone and does not sound rude. 

  • Ending the letter

Some common ways of ending the letter are by ‘yours faithfully’ or ‘yours sincerely’ followed by the name of the person.

In conclusion, answering the descriptive questions (one letter and one essay) is pretty simple if you indulge in regular practice and exercise a good understanding of the English language. Moreover, you must go through previous year’s papers to get a brief idea about the topics that are mostly given for essay and letter writing. Furthermore, if you need additional guidance, then get in touch with us at Veranda Learning. Our experts will help you with a comprehensive preparation strategy for the LIC AAO exam and get the best possible result.

LIC AAO Mains Exam Preparation Strategies 2023: FAQs

Q. when is the lic aao mains exam 2023 scheduled to be held by the lic.

Ans : The LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023 is tentatively scheduled to be held on 18 March 2023. But this date is subject to change based on the releasing of the LIC AAO Prelims Exam 2023 results.

Q. How many sections are there in the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023?

Ans:  The LIC AAO Mains Exam consists of a objective test with 4 sections for a total of 300 marks and a descriptive test for a  total of 25 marks. The descriptive test is qualifying in nature. Candidates will be shortlisted for the LIC AAO Interview 2023 based on their marks and performance in the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023.

Q. How important is the descriptive part in the LIC AAO Mains Exam?

Ans: The descriptive part comprises one letter and one essay writing task, carrying 25 marks . This part is simply qualifying in nature and the marks obtained here are not considered while calculating the final score.

Q. How many candidates will be selected for the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023?

Ans: It is mentioned in the LIC AAO Exam 2023 Official notification that candidates equal to twenty times of the number of vacancies in each category (subject to availability) will be shortlisted for the LIC AAO Mains Exam 2023 based on the candidates’ score of the LIC AAO Prelims Exam 2023.

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LIC AAO Mains 2023-English Language (Letter & Essay Writing) Tips for Ultimate Success

essay writing about lic

By Asad Yar Khan

LIC AAO Mains 2023-English Language (Letter & Essay Writing) Tips for Ultimate Success

Are you ready to face the English section of the LIC AAO Mains 2023 exam on 18th March 2023? Have you fully learned the art of writing a scoring Letter & Essay? Are you having problems writing an Essay or a Letter quickly and satisfactorily? Well then, today, we’ll help you sort out your problem, we are providing you with all the important tips and tricks with a list of important and previous years’ descriptive Essay & Letter Writing topics. Plus, the latest  LIC AAO Mains 2023 Mock Tests   to score maximum marks in the entire paper.

In this article, we’ll help you ace your Letter & Essay Writing skills Tips with the best tips for Ultimate Success in the upcoming exam.

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LIC AAO Mains 2023-English Language (Letter & Essay Writing) Tips for Ultimate Success

LIC AAO Mains 2023 Exam Pattern

Candidates who qualify for prelims are only eligible for the mains exam. Here we have provided a detailed table of the LIC AAO exam pattern for mains that includes all the important pertinent regarding the exam.

Note: LIC AAO exam pattern differs for prelims and mains. It is advised to take note of minimum qualifying marks, sectional time, and other important pertinent of the exam to ace your exam meritoriously.

LIC AAO Mains 2023-English Language (Letter & Essay Writing) Tips for Ultimate Success

Given below are the tips that you can follow to fetch maximum Marks in the Letter Writing and Essay Writing section of the LIC AAO Mains exam 2023:

1. Letter Writing Tips for Ultimate Success

The letter outlines the appropriate ways to state information, express wishes, express gratitude, address complaints, and tweet updates to the recipient. It serves as a formal means of thinking expression as well as a communication tool between sender and recipient. A letter is a crucial starting point for any process since it helps the person convey everything in a methodical manner.

The letter has been classified into two types:

  • Formal letter
  • Informal letter

1. Tips for Formal Letter

  • Candidates must consider whether the main body of the content should address grievances, make a request for something, or provide information.
  • The receiver is given more information about the subject by being made aware of it, as defined in the next section.
  • Concise information about what has to be given should be in the content’s body.
  • The candidate must add an expression of thanks or a request at the conclusion of the content in order for the required action to be completed.

2. Tips for Informal Letter

  • The aspirant is free to communicate their own thoughts, desires, worries, etc.
  • Hello, how are you, and other greeting words should be used at the beginning of the content by aspirants.

Descriptive Letter Writing for Bank Exams 2023 –  Description  of a Letter

The letter writing for bank exams pdf description details are provided here for the formal and informal letter types. Candidates can follow the format provided here.

Important Letter Writing Topics for LIC AAO Mains 2023 Exam

  • Write a letter to your zonal officer to sanction a loan to your branch customer.
  • Write a letter to the branch manager to claim the amount as a nominee to your father’s account.
  • Write a letter to the E-commerce site portal to deliver products to your localities.
  • Write a letter to your insurance officer to claim your amount since your lock-in period is over.
  • Write a letter to your district collector to establish many coaching or training institutes for rural people to prepare for competitive exams.
  • Write a letter to the foreign embassy to rescue Indians since an emergency situation occurred there.
  • Write a letter to the head of the water body to remind them of the increasing pollution of river water and decreasing trend of groundwater level.
  • Write a letter to the human rights commission to make peace in your locality against of communal atrocities
  • Write a letter to your branch manager requesting to open a Current account since u are doing business.
  • Write a letter to the editor to make awareness of government yojana plans.
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LIC AAO Mains 2023-English Language (Letter & Essay Writing) Tips for Ultimate Success

2. Essay Writing Tips for Ultimate Success

LIC includes a descriptive paper in the LIC AAO Mains 2023   exam to check your writing skills. In the Descriptive part of the Mains exam, there will be one question on Essay writing and one question on Letter writing.

There are certain simple rules that can help you in writing an essay as quickly and efficiently as possible, without killing the quality. You need to brainstorm ideas around the given topic and collect them as you generate them. Make an outline and include a brief summary of about one to two sentences of what you are going to discuss in each section of the essay.

You need to treat each paragraph as a mini-essay and ensure all paragraphs are well-connected. Always back your arguments or opinions with facts. Proofread the essay for grammatical errors. Check the grammar, spelling, and punctuation by reading the essay backward so you can check each word and sentence.

Here are the tips to write a perfect Essay within a given time and word limit:

1. Choose the right topic

You will be given two or more options for writing an essay. So, you should first evaluate the topics properly to make a good choice. Choose the topic that suits your interest and the one you can write about easily. It is essential to make a proper choice as you will be required to write your own opinion based on your knowledge of that particular subject or topic.

2. Prepare a perfect outline

Prepare a good outline for the chosen topic. Write down the points that come to your mind immediately and effortlessly. Make a raw structure of what will write. Then you can further explore those points.

3. Briefly Introduce your topic

The introduction is an essential part of a good essay. It should be crispy, effective, and brief points that you will explore further. It should be a little catchy. It should tell the reader the important points of the essay that can explore the subject further with continuity. It must have the main idea of the essay.

4. Share facts & supporting arguments in the Body

The Body is the main part of the essay that describes your topic. There, you share important information and facts with the reader. You can either mention facts supporting your arguments or against your opinion. If you mention your own opinion, you must back it with supporting arguments or some specific evidence or examples to prove your point. Similarly, you can also include others’ opinions to prove your points.

5. Maintain the connection, continuity, or the flow

There should be a logical connection in your sentences and paragraphs. Try to maintain the continuity or the flow of your writing with no grammatical mistakes. Avoid jumping from one point to another without properly connecting the points or sentences. This can only be done with proper practice . Hence, you must write an essay every day abiding by the guidelines mentioned in this piece.

5. Conclude with a brief overview

Your conclusion should summarize all the points and ideas mentioned in the article briefly and effectively. It should present a perfect overview of the entire essay. You should read sample summaries of the essays and pay heed to the length to get an idea about how you can come up with a perfect summary of your essay.

6. Always review after finishing the essay

Reread your essay after finishing it. Review what you have written and make sure there is coherence or connection in it. Police the essay by rectifying any errors and correcting any grammar or spelling mistakes.

Important 15 Essay Writing Topics for LIC AAO Mains 2023 Exam

  • Essay on G20
  • Essay on Cashless Economy
  • Essay on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Essay on Agnipath Scheme
  • Essay on Menace of Fake News
  • Essay on Power Crisis in India
  • Essay on Freebie Politics
  • Unsung Heroes of Freedom Struggle
  • Cryptocurrency and India
  • Importance of Free and Fair Election
  • Aatmanirbhar Bharat
  • PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission
  • Corona and its impact on Human Life
  • Raising the Legal Age of Marriage for Women
  • Uniform Civil Code

How do you clear the LIC AAO Mains 2023 exam on your first try?

Without effort, effort, practice, and determination you cannot succeed in this world. And for the LIC AAO Mains 2023 English exam, it is what is required. You must maintain solid writing and reading habits if you want to consistently produce quality essays. Without fail, read the newspaper every day. You can get general information, vocabulary strength, and more from newspapers. Be mindful of grammar mistakes. You should proofread each essay or summary after you’ve finished it to look for grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

Both online and offline, there are a plethora of tools of all kinds that can help you hone your writing abilities, including your grammar. Simply type “grammar and writing classes” into Google to find a plethora of websites that provide games and exercises along with lessons and advice on both. To succeed in the forthcoming exam this time, put everything you’ve learned into practise and test your abilities with the greatest LIC AAO Mains 2023 Mock Tests.

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Life Insurance: The Key Points Essay

An introduction to insurance, an internet source, a journal article on insurance needs.

The ultimate aim of Insurance is without a doubt to minimize the risks involved in various aspects of life and in addition to this, to cover and compensate the owner if any loss is suffered by the owner. Insurance may be taken to cover the risks involved in life, property and business. Mainly there are two types of insurance, namely, life insurance and general insurance. General insurance is all about covering fire and miscellaneous insurance. This type of insurance covers several things from burglary, theft, fidelity guarantee, livestock and crops, employer’s liability and lastly to insurance of motor vehicles. Insurance is a system of sharing risk and is responsible to pay the owner who suffers any kind of damage covered in the contract. Insurance is an ace card that compensates a person when everything is against the victim.

The term life assurance better known as life insurance is basically a contract between two parties, one is the policy owner and the other is the insurer. A very common term is the face amount; this is nothing but the initial amount which is paid by the insurer to the policy holder when the policy matures or in other words the policy reaches the time frame. Life insurance policy covers all the risks involved in a person’s life but it does not cover other risks like fire, damage of assets etc, to cover such risks there is another insurance called non life insurance, this type of insurance covers all the risks involved other than the risks involved to ones life. Non life insurance covers risks ranging from fire, health, house and other important things. There are many agents involved in the process of getting a secured life insurance policy; these agents form a link between the insurer and the policy holder.

“It’s best to establish clear parameters in your relationship with your insurance adviser. You should be clear about what your adviser can, and cannot, do for you. Discuss what you require for your business and make sure they are prepared to offer this level of service.” (Choose an Insurance Adviser and present your risk). It is always advisable to have an insurance policy to minimize the risks involved. The current period of recession has signaled the beginning of unprecedented situations and one must be geared up to face these risks. The most important step before getting a policy is to review the needs; according to the needs an insurance policy must be taken. The policy must compliment the needs and it should be in proportion to the needs of an individual. For instance, if a person opts to take vehicle insurance, if he sets a very high amount ignoring the other needs, this situation can be dangerous in the future so in order to secure the future to some extent proper insurance needs must be identified and an appropriate policy must be taken. There are several people involved in guiding the people who think they need an insurance policy, in the case of ambiguity, the people should not be reluctant to approach the other people who can guide them in order to accomplish this important task.

“Most consumers depend on their employer for their health, life and disability insurance. But according to a recent report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, this year’s recession will cause at least 4.2 million people to lose their health and insurance coverage. If the worst happens and the recession costs you your job, what would you do? (Recession- Proof Your Insurance Needs).

Both the articles stress upon the need to purchase an insurance policy. An In-depth reading of the articles suggests that the recession period has brought countless uncertainties with it and it is always good to be on the safer side. The need to purchase a policy becomes even more considering the fact that the recession is supposed to continue for another year or two. This is a clear indication of the fact that the future is not looking rosy for the businessmen as well as the normal people hence it is very fair to say that an insurance policy is a must at this point. It is now or never. If it is never then the people who opt to do the same are going to pay a very heavy price for this mistake.

Insurance often confuses the people and most individuals tend to stay away from insuring themselves from the uncertainties of the future. Many individuals tend to invest in stock markets, mutual funds, real estate etc but ignoring the important need of insurance can be devastating in the future. The awareness among many individuals about insurance is very low and this is another reason why individuals tend to stay away from purchasing policies. When an individual is not aware of a product, that individual is expected to avoid the product and the very same applies in the case of insurance too. Both the sources focus on the very same topic which is insurance and it should be made a point to be aware of the needs and accordingly the price of the policy should be decided. This is very important and both the sources used in the paper insist upon the same. An individual has to decide between a life cover or an investment plan and both the sources have given a good account of this. It is always good to go in for life cover because each passing day is making the life even more challenging than earlier and it is highly advisable to ensure that one’s life is secured. Insurance advisers plays a pivotal role in deciding which policy must be adopted and both the sources emphasize on getting the right man to advice. It is quite difficult to get the right man as there is commission associated with the deals that these people earn so they try to sell the policy which would benefit them the most rather than benefiting the insurer. Hence it becomes imperative to get hold of the right man. Family members are usually very helpful when it comes to finding the right man; any relative having good contacts can be very helpful in getting the right man. The final part is conducting a review which is another important aspect, for instance if a person opts for a child’s education plan than that individual has to ensure that the policy selected is in accordance with the goal set for the education. Goal refers to the monetary goal. All these points have been mentioned in both the sources used in the paper. If all these points are extensively followed than an individual can have a secured future.

Choose an Insurance Adviser and present your risk. In UK. 2009. Web.

Recession- Proof Your Insurance Needs. In Wall Street Journal. 2009. Web.

  • Chicago (A-D)
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IvyPanda. (2021, December 7). Life Insurance: The Key Points.

"Life Insurance: The Key Points." IvyPanda , 7 Dec. 2021,

IvyPanda . (2021) 'Life Insurance: The Key Points'. 7 December.

IvyPanda . 2021. "Life Insurance: The Key Points." December 7, 2021.

1. IvyPanda . "Life Insurance: The Key Points." December 7, 2021.


IvyPanda . "Life Insurance: The Key Points." December 7, 2021.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, getting college essay help: important do's and don’ts.

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College Essays


If you grow up to be a professional writer, everything you write will first go through an editor before being published. This is because the process of writing is really a process of re-writing —of rethinking and reexamining your work, usually with the help of someone else. So what does this mean for your student writing? And in particular, what does it mean for very important, but nonprofessional writing like your college essay? Should you ask your parents to look at your essay? Pay for an essay service?

If you are wondering what kind of help you can, and should, get with your personal statement, you've come to the right place! In this article, I'll talk about what kind of writing help is useful, ethical, and even expected for your college admission essay . I'll also point out who would make a good editor, what the differences between editing and proofreading are, what to expect from a good editor, and how to spot and stay away from a bad one.

Table of Contents

What Kind of Help for Your Essay Can You Get?

What's Good Editing?

What should an editor do for you, what kind of editing should you avoid, proofreading, what's good proofreading, what kind of proofreading should you avoid.

What Do Colleges Think Of You Getting Help With Your Essay?

Who Can/Should Help You?

Advice for editors.

Should You Pay Money For Essay Editing?

The Bottom Line

What's next, what kind of help with your essay can you get.

Rather than talking in general terms about "help," let's first clarify the two different ways that someone else can improve your writing . There is editing, which is the more intensive kind of assistance that you can use throughout the whole process. And then there's proofreading, which is the last step of really polishing your final product.

Let me go into some more detail about editing and proofreading, and then explain how good editors and proofreaders can help you."

Editing is helping the author (in this case, you) go from a rough draft to a finished work . Editing is the process of asking questions about what you're saying, how you're saying it, and how you're organizing your ideas. But not all editing is good editing . In fact, it's very easy for an editor to cross the line from supportive to overbearing and over-involved.

Ability to clarify assignments. A good editor is usually a good writer, and certainly has to be a good reader. For example, in this case, a good editor should make sure you understand the actual essay prompt you're supposed to be answering.

Open-endedness. Good editing is all about asking questions about your ideas and work, but without providing answers. It's about letting you stick to your story and message, and doesn't alter your point of view.


Think of an editor as a great travel guide. It can show you the many different places your trip could take you. It should explain any parts of the trip that could derail your trip or confuse the traveler. But it never dictates your path, never forces you to go somewhere you don't want to go, and never ignores your interests so that the trip no longer seems like it's your own. So what should good editors do?

Help Brainstorm Topics

Sometimes it's easier to bounce thoughts off of someone else. This doesn't mean that your editor gets to come up with ideas, but they can certainly respond to the various topic options you've come up with. This way, you're less likely to write about the most boring of your ideas, or to write about something that isn't actually important to you.

If you're wondering how to come up with options for your editor to consider, check out our guide to brainstorming topics for your college essay .

Help Revise Your Drafts

Here, your editor can't upset the delicate balance of not intervening too much or too little. It's tricky, but a great way to think about it is to remember: editing is about asking questions, not giving answers .

Revision questions should point out:

  • Places where more detail or more description would help the reader connect with your essay
  • Places where structure and logic don't flow, losing the reader's attention
  • Places where there aren't transitions between paragraphs, confusing the reader
  • Moments where your narrative or the arguments you're making are unclear

But pointing to potential problems is not the same as actually rewriting—editors let authors fix the problems themselves.

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Bad editing is usually very heavy-handed editing. Instead of helping you find your best voice and ideas, a bad editor changes your writing into their own vision.

You may be dealing with a bad editor if they:

  • Add material (examples, descriptions) that doesn't come from you
  • Use a thesaurus to make your college essay sound "more mature"
  • Add meaning or insight to the essay that doesn't come from you
  • Tell you what to say and how to say it
  • Write sentences, phrases, and paragraphs for you
  • Change your voice in the essay so it no longer sounds like it was written by a teenager

Colleges can tell the difference between a 17-year-old's writing and a 50-year-old's writing. Not only that, they have access to your SAT or ACT Writing section, so they can compare your essay to something else you wrote. Writing that's a little more polished is great and expected. But a totally different voice and style will raise questions.

Where's the Line Between Helpful Editing and Unethical Over-Editing?

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether your college essay editor is doing the right thing. Here are some guidelines for staying on the ethical side of the line.

  • An editor should say that the opening paragraph is kind of boring, and explain what exactly is making it drag. But it's overstepping for an editor to tell you exactly how to change it.
  • An editor should point out where your prose is unclear or vague. But it's completely inappropriate for the editor to rewrite that section of your essay.
  • An editor should let you know that a section is light on detail or description. But giving you similes and metaphors to beef up that description is a no-go.


Proofreading (also called copy-editing) is checking for errors in the last draft of a written work. It happens at the end of the process and is meant as the final polishing touch. Proofreading is meticulous and detail-oriented, focusing on small corrections. It sands off all the surface rough spots that could alienate the reader.

Because proofreading is usually concerned with making fixes on the word or sentence level, this is the only process where someone else can actually add to or take away things from your essay . This is because what they are adding or taking away tends to be one or two misplaced letters.

Laser focus. Proofreading is all about the tiny details, so the ability to really concentrate on finding small slip-ups is a must.

Excellent grammar and spelling skills. Proofreaders need to dot every "i" and cross every "t." Good proofreaders should correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. They should put foreign words in italics and surround quotations with quotation marks. They should check that you used the correct college's name, and that you adhered to any formatting requirements (name and date at the top of the page, uniform font and size, uniform spacing).

Limited interference. A proofreader needs to make sure that you followed any word limits. But if cuts need to be made to shorten the essay, that's your job and not the proofreader's.


A bad proofreader either tries to turn into an editor, or just lacks the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job.

Some signs that you're working with a bad proofreader are:

  • If they suggest making major changes to the final draft of your essay. Proofreading happens when editing is already finished.
  • If they aren't particularly good at spelling, or don't know grammar, or aren't detail-oriented enough to find someone else's small mistakes.
  • If they start swapping out your words for fancier-sounding synonyms, or changing the voice and sound of your essay in other ways. A proofreader is there to check for errors, not to take the 17-year-old out of your writing.


What Do Colleges Think of Your Getting Help With Your Essay?

Admissions officers agree: light editing and proofreading are good—even required ! But they also want to make sure you're the one doing the work on your essay. They want essays with stories, voice, and themes that come from you. They want to see work that reflects your actual writing ability, and that focuses on what you find important.

On the Importance of Editing

Get feedback. Have a fresh pair of eyes give you some feedback. Don't allow someone else to rewrite your essay, but do take advantage of others' edits and opinions when they seem helpful. ( Bates College )

Read your essay aloud to someone. Reading the essay out loud offers a chance to hear how your essay sounds outside your head. This exercise reveals flaws in the essay's flow, highlights grammatical errors and helps you ensure that you are communicating the exact message you intended. ( Dickinson College )

On the Value of Proofreading

Share your essays with at least one or two people who know you well—such as a parent, teacher, counselor, or friend—and ask for feedback. Remember that you ultimately have control over your essays, and your essays should retain your own voice, but others may be able to catch mistakes that you missed and help suggest areas to cut if you are over the word limit. ( Yale University )

Proofread and then ask someone else to proofread for you. Although we want substance, we also want to be able to see that you can write a paper for our professors and avoid careless mistakes that would drive them crazy. ( Oberlin College )

On Watching Out for Too Much Outside Influence

Limit the number of people who review your essay. Too much input usually means your voice is lost in the writing style. ( Carleton College )

Ask for input (but not too much). Your parents, friends, guidance counselors, coaches, and teachers are great people to bounce ideas off of for your essay. They know how unique and spectacular you are, and they can help you decide how to articulate it. Keep in mind, however, that a 45-year-old lawyer writes quite differently from an 18-year-old student, so if your dad ends up writing the bulk of your essay, we're probably going to notice. ( Vanderbilt University )


Now let's talk about some potential people to approach for your college essay editing and proofreading needs. It's best to start close to home and slowly expand outward. Not only are your family and friends more invested in your success than strangers, but they also have a better handle on your interests and personality. This knowledge is key for judging whether your essay is expressing your true self.

Parents or Close Relatives

Your family may be full of potentially excellent editors! Parents are deeply committed to your well-being, and family members know you and your life well enough to offer details or incidents that can be included in your essay. On the other hand, the rewriting process necessarily involves criticism, which is sometimes hard to hear from someone very close to you.

A parent or close family member is a great choice for an editor if you can answer "yes" to the following questions. Is your parent or close relative a good writer or reader? Do you have a relationship where editing your essay won't create conflict? Are you able to constructively listen to criticism and suggestion from the parent?

One suggestion for defusing face-to-face discussions is to try working on the essay over email. Send your parent a draft, have them write you back some comments, and then you can pick which of their suggestions you want to use and which to discard.

Teachers or Tutors

A humanities teacher that you have a good relationship with is a great choice. I am purposefully saying humanities, and not just English, because teachers of Philosophy, History, Anthropology, and any other classes where you do a lot of writing, are all used to reviewing student work.

Moreover, any teacher or tutor that has been working with you for some time, knows you very well and can vet the essay to make sure it "sounds like you."

If your teacher or tutor has some experience with what college essays are supposed to be like, ask them to be your editor. If not, then ask whether they have time to proofread your final draft.

Guidance or College Counselor at Your School

The best thing about asking your counselor to edit your work is that this is their job. This means that they have a very good sense of what colleges are looking for in an application essay.

At the same time, school counselors tend to have relationships with admissions officers in many colleges, which again gives them insight into what works and which college is focused on what aspect of the application.

Unfortunately, in many schools the guidance counselor tends to be way overextended. If your ratio is 300 students to 1 college counselor, you're unlikely to get that person's undivided attention and focus. It is still useful to ask them for general advice about your potential topics, but don't expect them to be able to stay with your essay from first draft to final version.

Friends, Siblings, or Classmates

Although they most likely don't have much experience with what colleges are hoping to see, your peers are excellent sources for checking that your essay is you .

Friends and siblings are perfect for the read-aloud edit. Read your essay to them so they can listen for words and phrases that are stilted, pompous, or phrases that just don't sound like you.

You can even trade essays and give helpful advice on each other's work.


If your editor hasn't worked with college admissions essays very much, no worries! Any astute and attentive reader can still greatly help with your process. But, as in all things, beginners do better with some preparation.

First, your editor should read our advice about how to write a college essay introduction , how to spot and fix a bad college essay , and get a sense of what other students have written by going through some admissions essays that worked .

Then, as they read your essay, they can work through the following series of questions that will help them to guide you.

Introduction Questions

  • Is the first sentence a killer opening line? Why or why not?
  • Does the introduction hook the reader? Does it have a colorful, detailed, and interesting narrative? Or does it propose a compelling or surprising idea?
  • Can you feel the author's voice in the introduction, or is the tone dry, dull, or overly formal? Show the places where the voice comes through.

Essay Body Questions

  • Does the essay have a through-line? Is it built around a central argument, thought, idea, or focus? Can you put this idea into your own words?
  • How is the essay organized? By logical progression? Chronologically? Do you feel order when you read it, or are there moments where you are confused or lose the thread of the essay?
  • Does the essay have both narratives about the author's life and explanations and insight into what these stories reveal about the author's character, personality, goals, or dreams? If not, which is missing?
  • Does the essay flow? Are there smooth transitions/clever links between paragraphs? Between the narrative and moments of insight?

Reader Response Questions

  • Does the writer's personality come through? Do we know what the speaker cares about? Do we get a sense of "who he or she is"?
  • Where did you feel most connected to the essay? Which parts of the essay gave you a "you are there" sensation by invoking your senses? What moments could you picture in your head well?
  • Where are the details and examples vague and not specific enough?
  • Did you get an "a-ha!" feeling anywhere in the essay? Is there a moment of insight that connected all the dots for you? Is there a good reveal or "twist" anywhere in the essay?
  • What are the strengths of this essay? What needs the most improvement?


Should You Pay Money for Essay Editing?

One alternative to asking someone you know to help you with your college essay is the paid editor route. There are two different ways to pay for essay help: a private essay coach or a less personal editing service , like the many proliferating on the internet.

My advice is to think of these options as a last resort rather than your go-to first choice. I'll first go through the reasons why. Then, if you do decide to go with a paid editor, I'll help you decide between a coach and a service.

When to Consider a Paid Editor

In general, I think hiring someone to work on your essay makes a lot of sense if none of the people I discussed above are a possibility for you.

If you can't ask your parents. For example, if your parents aren't good writers, or if English isn't their first language. Or if you think getting your parents to help is going create unnecessary extra conflict in your relationship with them (applying to college is stressful as it is!)

If you can't ask your teacher or tutor. Maybe you don't have a trusted teacher or tutor that has time to look over your essay with focus. Or, for instance, your favorite humanities teacher has very limited experience with college essays and so won't know what admissions officers want to see.

If you can't ask your guidance counselor. This could be because your guidance counselor is way overwhelmed with other students.

If you can't share your essay with those who know you. It might be that your essay is on a very personal topic that you're unwilling to share with parents, teachers, or peers. Just make sure it doesn't fall into one of the bad-idea topics in our article on bad college essays .

If the cost isn't a consideration. Many of these services are quite expensive, and private coaches even more so. If you have finite resources, I'd say that hiring an SAT or ACT tutor (whether it's PrepScholar or someone else) is better way to spend your money . This is because there's no guarantee that a slightly better essay will sufficiently elevate the rest of your application, but a significantly higher SAT score will definitely raise your applicant profile much more.

Should You Hire an Essay Coach?

On the plus side, essay coaches have read dozens or even hundreds of college essays, so they have experience with the format. Also, because you'll be working closely with a specific person, it's more personal than sending your essay to a service, which will know even less about you.

But, on the minus side, you'll still be bouncing ideas off of someone who doesn't know that much about you . In general, if you can adequately get the help from someone you know, there is no advantage to paying someone to help you.

If you do decide to hire a coach, ask your school counselor, or older students that have used the service for recommendations. If you can't afford the coach's fees, ask whether they can work on a sliding scale —many do. And finally, beware those who guarantee admission to your school of choice—essay coaches don't have any special magic that can back up those promises.

Should You Send Your Essay to a Service?

On the plus side, essay editing services provide a similar product to essay coaches, and they cost significantly less . If you have some assurance that you'll be working with a good editor, the lack of face-to-face interaction won't prevent great results.

On the minus side, however, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of the service before working with them . If they are churning through many application essays without getting to know the students they are helping, you could end up with an over-edited essay that sounds just like everyone else's. In the worst case scenario, an unscrupulous service could send you back a plagiarized essay.

Getting recommendations from friends or a school counselor for reputable services is key to avoiding heavy-handed editing that writes essays for you or does too much to change your essay. Including a badly-edited essay like this in your application could cause problems if there are inconsistencies. For example, in interviews it might be clear you didn't write the essay, or the skill of the essay might not be reflected in your schoolwork and test scores.

Should You Buy an Essay Written by Someone Else?

Let me elaborate. There are super sketchy places on the internet where you can simply buy a pre-written essay. Don't do this!

For one thing, you'll be lying on an official, signed document. All college applications make you sign a statement saying something like this:

I certify that all information submitted in the admission process—including the application, the personal essay, any supplements, and any other supporting materials—is my own work, factually true, and honestly presented... I understand that I may be subject to a range of possible disciplinary actions, including admission revocation, expulsion, or revocation of course credit, grades, and degree, should the information I have certified be false. (From the Common Application )

For another thing, if your academic record doesn't match the essay's quality, the admissions officer will start thinking your whole application is riddled with lies.

Admission officers have full access to your writing portion of the SAT or ACT so that they can compare work that was done in proctored conditions with that done at home. They can tell if these were written by different people. Not only that, but there are now a number of search engines that faculty and admission officers can use to see if an essay contains strings of words that have appeared in other essays—you have no guarantee that the essay you bought wasn't also bought by 50 other students.


  • You should get college essay help with both editing and proofreading
  • A good editor will ask questions about your idea, logic, and structure, and will point out places where clarity is needed
  • A good editor will absolutely not answer these questions, give you their own ideas, or write the essay or parts of the essay for you
  • A good proofreader will find typos and check your formatting
  • All of them agree that getting light editing and proofreading is necessary
  • Parents, teachers, guidance or college counselor, and peers or siblings
  • If you can't ask any of those, you can pay for college essay help, but watch out for services or coaches who over-edit you work
  • Don't buy a pre-written essay! Colleges can tell, and it'll make your whole application sound false.

Ready to start working on your essay? Check out our explanation of the point of the personal essay and the role it plays on your applications and then explore our step-by-step guide to writing a great college essay .

Using the Common Application for your college applications? We have an excellent guide to the Common App essay prompts and useful advice on how to pick the Common App prompt that's right for you . Wondering how other people tackled these prompts? Then work through our roundup of over 130 real college essay examples published by colleges .

Stressed about whether to take the SAT again before submitting your application? Let us help you decide how many times to take this test . If you choose to go for it, we have the ultimate guide to studying for the SAT to give you the ins and outs of the best ways to study.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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Writing Studies Department Honors Outstanding Student Writers at Annual Awards Ceremony

Posted in: First-Year Writing , PPW Major , Student Spotlights , Writing Studies

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During the Writing Studies awards ceremony, which took place on April 15 in the beautiful CELS Atrium, awards were given for outstanding work in First-Year Writing as well as in Public and Professional Writing . Outstanding students in the PPW major were also inducted into the department Honor Society.

First-Year Writing Exemplary Essay Awards went to Johnathan Smith for his WRIT105 essay “ The Busta Cake Mistake ” and to Kelly Naspo for her WRIT106 essay, “ The Not-So-Authentic Native American Experience .” Honorable Mentions were given in WRIT105 to Malak Bayoumy for her essay “ Toxic Relationships in the Media: The Bad and the Ugly ” and Jessica Sconfienza for her essay, “ The War on Drag. ” WRIT106 Honorable Mention went to Annabelle Kempf for her essay “ Disenfranchised Grief: Exploring the Complexities of Hidden Sorrow. ”

The Outstanding Multimodal Composition award was given to First-Year Writing student Adrianna Sewell for her original song: “ Natural Hair: The Beauty That We Need ” while an Honorable Mention was given to Maya Chavez Velasquez for her website, “ Mental Health Stigma in the Latino Community ” Instructor: Jessica Taylor.

Awards were also given for outstanding work in the Professional and Public Writing major courses. The Excellence in Public Writing Awards went to Siddhi Sundaram for “ Depression, has the Narrative Changed? ” as well as Donaelle Benoit for her Grant Proposal, “ Making Communities Brighter “, while the Excellence in Professional Writing Awards went to Brielle Bogash and Sadie Bevando for their presentation for a Global Community, “ Etiquette in Japan “. The Excellence in Writing for Social Media award went to Gina-Marie Zoccoli for her campaign for Alchemy Scent Bar. And the Text Power Telling Awards went to Allison O’Donnell and Dillan Ortiz.

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Like Love by Maggie Nelson review – music, passion and friendship

Vibrant essays from the author of The Argonauts touch on art, inspiration, and many of the central dilemmas of our times

“A s a child I had so much energy I’d lie awake and feel my organs smolder,” Maggie Nelson wrote in 2005’s Jane: A Murder . She was a dancer before she was a writer and you can feel the commitment to the fire of bodily motion in her masterpieces: the shimmeringly brutal excavation of girlhood and violence in Jane , the story of her aunt’s killing at the hands of a rapist; the clear-headed yet ecstatic celebration of the transformations of pregnancy and top surgery, and the new kind of family she and her trans partner brought into being in The Argonauts (2015). Her dedication to the material finds the forms it needs; I don’t think she sets out to bend genres. Instead, her high-stakes eviscerations of body settle into radically new forms.

Is this the energy of the rebel or the valedictorian? For decades, Nelson has parted her hair, fastened her top button, won the right grades and grants while throwing herself voluptuously into the counterculture, dreaming of being an “ electric ribbon of horniness and divine grace ” like one of her inspirations, Prince . It’s an American energy – expansive, new, full of power, pleasure, change and motion; a frontier energy, even when she’s writing about New York. We can hear Whitman behind her, and Emerson. “Power ceases in the instant of repose,” Emerson pronounces in Self-Reliance ; “it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of a gulf, in the darting to an aim.”

A decade after The Argonauts became the bible of English graduates everywhere, the essays in Like Love arrive to help us understand Nelson’s place in a culture where, to her half-delight, she has become such a powerful voice. Spanning two decades, they range from appreciations of influences including Prince and Judith Butler , to wild, freefalling conversations with figures such as Björk, Wayne Koestenbaum and Jacqueline Rose. There is a passionate, wondering account of her formative half-erotic friendship with the singer Lhasa de Sela . The writing isn’t consistent, any more than her books are. But I like to take my thinkers and writers whole, as she does. The essays offer a kind of composite self-portrait, and illustrate how she thinks, sometimes painstakingly, sometimes with casual jubilance, about some of the central dilemmas of our time.

In the face of the climate crisis, how to avoid “giving in to the narcissistic spectacle of the slo-mo Titanic going down”? In the face of the crisis in feminism, how and whether to move beyond sexual difference? The written exchanges show her interlocutors thinking it through, too. “ You dare to step into the future like no one else atm ,” Björk says. It’s true. This is where all that restless energy is leading. This is why she’s an Emersonian, shying away from nihilism. “There are new lands, new men, new thoughts,” Emerson wrote in Nature , discarding the “dry bones” of his ancestors; “Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.”

In her powerful piece on the artist Carolee Schneemann , Nelson posits her as a female incarnation of Emerson’s self-reliant man. But it’s Nelson herself who proffers new laws and worship – whose project amounts to a practical philosophy of contemporary American culture. In The Argonauts she offers the gift of a future we can somehow share; one that acknowledges the miseries of the present, that has space for dreams, but is obstinately material and in our world. Here, in dialogue with Jacqueline Rose, she proposes that “ Everybody deserves the kind of non-stultifying internal breathing space of fluidity or instability that is attributed to queers, or to women, or whatever.”

Like Love’s title comes from theatre critic Hilton Als ’s vision of a group on the subway not as white women or black men but as mouths that need filling “with something wet or dry, like love, or unfamiliar and savory, like love”. Nelson, too, is drawn to mouths – to orifices in general – as organs of pleasure and pain, and as portals enabling a radical openness.

Because Nelson likes writing about her friends, there’s a kind of homogeneity to much of the book that cumulatively left me feeling a little claustrophobic, longing especially for the roominess of time travel. With the exception of 2009’s Bluets , Nelson’s writing is so located in the postwar world that the past can feel entirely absent. This is her affinity with Emerson and Whitman again – her song to the future – but I wonder if I’m alone in wishing that, alongside those two often acknowledged ancestors, her future could have artists, activists and libertines from earlier centuries informing it, too.

Which is not to say that she’s wrong to write about the people in her circle. The brutality of the present moment may require us precisely to batten down the hatches and commit to extreme solidarity. At a time when institutional life is collapsing, when the pandemic privileged family over friends, when work expands in ways that leave many too exhausted to socialise, Nelson demonstrates what it means to dedicate yourself to a cohort with seriousness and strenuousness. “You, to me, quickly became an inspiration,” she tells the poet Brian Blanchfield , “a brother, a support in times of seriously dark waters, an editor, a lender of excellent and pivotal books, a cheerleader, a colleague, a couch sleeper (and couch mover), a fellow swimmer … a corrupting gambler, (queer) family.” Like Love may be one of the most movingly specific, the most lovingly unruly celebrations of the ethics of friendship we have.

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Guest Essay

I Was an Attorney at the D.A.’s Office. This Is What the Trump Case Is Really About.

In a black-and-white image, a scene of people gathered outside a courthouse in Manhattan.

By Rebecca Roiphe

Ms. Roiphe is a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Now that the lawyers are laying out their respective theories of the case in the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump in New York, it would be understandable if people’s heads are spinning. The defense lawyers claimed this is a case about hush money as a legitimate tool in democratic elections, while the prosecutors insisted it is about “a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election.”

Yet this case is not really about election interference, nor is it a politically motivated attempt to criminalize a benign personal deal. Boring as it may sound, it is a case about business integrity.

It’s not surprising that the lawyers on both sides are trying to make this about something sexier. This is a narrative device used to make the jurors and the public side with them, but it has also created confusion. On the one hand, some legal experts claim that the conduct charged in New York was the original election interference. On the other hand, some critics think the criminal case is a witch hunt, and others claim it is trivial at best and at worst the product of selective prosecution.

As someone who worked in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and enforced the laws that Mr. Trump is accused of violating, I stand firmly in neither camp. It is an important and straightforward case, albeit workmanlike and unglamorous. In time, after the smoke created by lawyers has cleared, it will be easy to see why the prosecution is both solid and legitimate.

It would hardly make for a dramatic opening statement or cable news sound bite, but the case is about preventing wealthy people from using their businesses to commit crimes and hide from accountability. Manhattan prosecutors have long considered it their province to ensure the integrity of the financial markets. As Robert Morgenthau, a former Manhattan district attorney, liked to say , “You cannot prosecute crime in the streets without prosecuting crime in the suites.”

Lawmakers in New York, the financial capital of the world, consider access to markets and industry in New York a privilege for businesspeople. It is a felony to abuse that privilege by doctoring records to commit or conceal crimes, even if the businessman never accomplishes the goal and even if the false records never see the light of day. The idea is that an organization’s records should reflect an honest accounting. It is not a crime to make a mistake, but lying is a different story. It is easy to evade accountability by turning a business into a cover, providing a false trail for whichever regulator might care to look. The law ( falsification of business records ) deprives wealthy, powerful businessmen of the ability to do so with impunity, at least when they’re conducting business in the city.

Prosecutors and New York courts have interpreted this law generously, with its general purpose in mind. The element of intent to defraud carries a broad meaning, which is not limited to the intent of cheating someone out of money or property. Further, intent is often proved with circumstantial evidence, as is common in white-collar cases. After presenting evidence, prosecutors ask jurors to use their common sense to infer what the possible intent may be, and New York jurors frequently conclude that a defendant must have gone to the trouble of creating this false paper trail for a reason.

Mr. Trump is accused of creating 11 false invoices, 12 false ledger entries and 11 false checks and check stubs, with the intent to violate federal election laws, state election laws or state tax laws. The number of lies it took to create this false record itself helps prove intent. His defense attorneys will claim that he was merely trying to bury a false story to protect his family from embarrassment. The timing of the payments — immediately after the potentially damaging “Access Hollywood” tape was released and right before the election — makes that claim implausible.

As many have pointed out, Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, is a witness with a remarkable amount of baggage. But as with most business records cases, his testimony will largely add color to the tweets, handwritten notes, bank documents and shell corporations. Documents don’t lie.

More important, jurors are particularly good at applying common sense. Mr. Trump didn’t go to all this trouble just to protect his family members, who might have known about accusations of his involvement with the porn star Stormy Daniels or similar ones. We may never learn which crime the jurors believe Trump was seeking to commit or cover up, but they can still conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that this was his intent.

It is not unusual for lawyers to give narrative arcs to their legal theories, reasons to care about the evidence and animating thoughts that may make jurors more inclined to convict or acquit.

When the jurors deliberate, they will weigh the warring narratives in light of the evidence, and the judge will instruct them in the law. Then the narrative frames should recede into the background. The key is to offer one that is both captivating and closely tied to the facts so that when the jurors put the pieces of evidence together, it is the story they believe.

If one side promises too much, it risks losing the jurors. In their opening remarks, Mr. Trump’s lawyers insisted that he was innocent, that all the witnesses were liars. Such a sweeping theory is a dangerous strategy because if the jurors believe part of the prosecution’s case, just one or two of the witnesses, then the jurors may lose faith in the defense altogether.

For the prosecution, the elements of the crime in this case do not require a finding that Mr. Trump interfered with the 2016 election. Nor does it matter whether he had sex with Ms. Daniels. Instead, the real elements concern the way Mr. Trump used his business for a cover-up. By emphasizing the crime he was intending to conceal rather than the false business records, the prosecution also risks confusing the jury into thinking about whether the lies affected the election. It might lead them to wonder why Mr. Trump wasn’t charged with this alleged election crime by the federal government — a talking point that he has promoted publicly.

Even if the case seems simpler in this light, we are still left with the question: Is it really worth charging a former president for this? While the New York business records law is important, it is no doubt true that the conduct pales in comparison with the effort to overthrow the 2020 election, at issue in the special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 prosecution of Mr. Trump.

Taking this case on its own terms as a business records case offers a different and arguably more convincing way to defend its legitimacy. It is a simple case that is similar to hundreds of other cases brought in New York. The simplicity and run-of-the-mill nature of the prosecution make it easier to defend against claims of politicization in the following sense: Mr. Trump was a businessman for many years in New York long before he was president. If others would be prosecuted for this conduct and no man is above the law, then he should be, too.

So by all means, listen to the stories that the lawyers tell, soak up the drama of hush-money payments and the alternate universe in which Hillary Clinton won the election. But just as the jurors should ultimately consider the facts and the law, it would be wise for everyone else to focus on what the case is really about.

Rebecca Roiphe, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, is a law professor at New York Law School.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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‘baby reindeer’: stephen king writes essay praising netflix stalker series.

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BANGOR, ME - SEPTEMBER 06: Stephen King attends a special screening of "IT" at Bangor Mall Cinemas ... [+] 10 on September 6, 2017 in Bangor, Maine. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

Baby Reindeer fan Stephen King loves the Netflix stalker series so much that he’s gone from posting about it on X to writing an essay on it for a major publication.

The legendary horror author became a huge proponent of the series — based on comedian Richard Gadd’s one-man stage play about his encounter with a stalker he dubbed “Martha” — with a post on X on April 28. In it, the Carrie , IT and Misery author simply wrote, “BABY REINDEER. Holy s—t.”

A blazing success on Netflix, Baby Reindeer is based on Gadd’s harrowing real-life encounter with a stalker. For legal reasons and privacy purposes, Gadd plays a fictionalized version of himself named Donny Dunn for the limited series, while he dubs his stalker “Martha” (Jessica Gunning).

As to the validity of the story, Gadd has said during publicity rounds for the film, “Emotionally, it’s all 100% true.” Gadd also revealed that throughout his stalker ordeal, Martha sent him more than 41,000 emails and left him more than 350 hours of voicemails, among other alarming actions.

King writes in a recent essay for The Times of London that he didn’t start watching Baby Reindeer right away but once he tuned in, he couldn’t stop.

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“Here, less than two minutes into the first episode, we can see what sets Baby Reindeer apart from so many dramas, dramedies and psychodramas that populate the occasional richness (and more common mediocrity) of streaming TV, we’ve been given the essential nature of two pivotal characters in less than two minutes,” King writes in the Times .

The nature of Donny and Martha, King adds, is that “they are both psychologically needy.”

“But it’s Martha who is mentally unstable and manipulative,” King writes in the Times . “Yet Donny — in spite of googly, hopeful eyes that continually say don’t hurt me — has the unusual and rather heroic ability to see into himself. His comedy routine bombs because ‘don’t hurt me’ rarely gets laughs.”

Because Baby Reindeer has become such a global spectacle, viewers have tried to track “Martha” down, which alarmed Gunning . After that, a woman claiming to be the real Martha came forward in an interview with The Daily Mail , which did not identify her by name.

In the interview, “Martha” said she was considering legal action against Gadd over the harm Baby Reindeer has allegedly caused her.

Kathy Bates watches over James Caan in a scene from the film 'Misery', 1990. (Photo by Columbia ... [+] Pictures/Getty Images)

King Says ‘Baby Reindeer’ Reminded Him Of His ‘Misery’

Of course, many of Stephen King’s novels have been turned into television miniseries like The Stand — twice — while others like Carrie , The Dead Zone , IT and Pet Sematary — twice — have been adapted into feature films.

One of King’s novels-turned-film adaptations even went on to Oscar greatness, as 1990’s Misery earned Kathy Bates an Oscar for Best Actress. In the film, Bates stars as Annie Wilkes, a nurse who saves a famous romance novelist, Paul Sheldon (James Caan), after he crashes his car during a blizzard in a remote area of Colorado.

Bedridden with two broken legs and a damaged shoulder in the nurse’s home, Paul soon discovers Annie’s unhealthy obsession with him and his work, which leads the woman to resort to violent measures to keep the author to herself.

While Baby Reindeer takes place in a much different setting, the stalker element of Richard Gadd’s true-life tale has some parallels. After he started watching Baby Reindeer , King had some revelations, first about his and Gadd’s work, and then another about the unique title of the Netflix series.

“My first thought was to thank God my novel [ Misery ] came first, or people would assume I’d stolen it from Richard Gadd, who wrote and produced the seven-episode series and also stars in it,” King writes in The Times of London essay. “My second thought was that Donny Dunn (Gadd) actually looks like a baby reindeer, with his big eyes and timid manner. The scruffy beard adds to this impression rather than distracting from it.”

In addition to his praise for Gadd’s work on the series, King is high on the performance of his co-star who plays Martha in the limited series. In Baby Reindeer , Martha's obsession with Donny begins after the struggling comedian shows the woman kindness at an establishment where he’s a bartender.

“Then comes Martha Scott ( Jessica Gunning ), who appears one day in the pub where Donny works. It’s a showstopper of an entrance, hands down the equal of our introduction (‘I’m your No 1 fan’) to Misery ’s Annie Wilkes,” King writes in the Times . “We take Martha’s measure before she has said a single word: overweight, slump-shouldered, frowsy-haired; her pillocky pink sweater turned up on one side, her colorful bag hanging dispiritedly from her hand.”

After delving into the stories of Gadd’s Baby Reindeer and his Misery , King also notes in his Times essay that he not only feels empathy for Donny but for Martha as well.

All seven episodes of Baby Reindeer are streaming on Netflix.

Tim Lammers

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