Useful Technique to Practice on Essay Topics for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam

The essay paper was introduced in the year 1992 on the recommendations of the S. Chandra Committee. This paper was included in the UPSC Civil Services Examination to assess the candidates’ skills that would help in their service while drafting policy papers and other government duties.

This article will give details on how to effectively write essays for UPSC Mains Exam

Overview of UPSC Essay Writing

As mentioned in the UPSC Notifications, the syllabus of the Essay and what UPSC expects candidates to have is as given below:

  • Linguistic skills (basic and understandable, grammatically correct)
  • Capacity to comprehend ideas
  • Ability to critically analyse what candidates write about
  • Integrated thinking
  • Assimilation of ideas with clarity and proper expression
  • Lastly, the presentation should be good

Now, you know why the Essay paper was introduced by the Commission and the requisites of skill through Essay writing.

Tips on Essay Writing

Coming to the essay writing practice, it is recommended to candidates that they need not allocate a separate time for this as essay writing can be taken as part of answer writing practice.

It is advised to go through the past 10 years’ Essay Papers and make a note of them and their themes like Character, Disaster Management, Education, Environment, Future, Inclusion, IT development, Poverty/Inequality, Science & Technology, etc.

By doing this, the candidate will get a fair idea of every topic, now start writing on each topic. It should contain some statistics, comparisons, and quotes, and make sure that they have a little information about each topic to fill the single A4 Sheet.

To write an essay on a topic, one should analyse the topic from a different angle. It will be hard to think of a topic from a different angle during the exam. Hence, here is a simple and easy method of essay practice. As said earlier, while practising answer writing for UPSC Mains Exam, make Essay writing practice as part of it.

Here’s an example following which will make a candidate conquer the essay paper.

Let’s take a topic as an example:

Character of an institution is reflected in its leader

Advised to read the topic 10 times before starting to write on the topic, brainstorm on the topic and write down all the points that come to the mind in some corner of the paper; once you are done with it, now pen it down.

Write a simple and straight introduction about the institution and leader; now think how it can be related to the General Studies Mains Syllabus. Here, one can talk about institutions during the Mauryan period and taking Ashoka as a leader. Later, they can explain the character of the institution during this period and how Ashoka preached peace and non-violence through institutions. Then, one can talk about the institution during the Mughal period and how different it was and the character of institutions during the famous Akbar and Aurangzeb rule. Then, write about how institutions played a major role during the freedom movement under various leaders that led to prominent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and others. Finally, talk about present-day institutions and leaders.

Also, relate how leaders played their part in society, politically, administrative, and geographically and become role models for others that made them the reflection of the institution.

Candidates can include quotes like “Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination, on cooperation, not intimidation.” – William Arthur Wood

And try to take an example of some leader to whom you can relate to the quote and talk about them what changes they brought that made them the reflection of an institution.

Similarly, for topics on Women empowerment, start with a simple and crisp introduction. Define what empowerment is and, later, empowerment opportunities available in various fields, like social, political, economic, cultural etc.

Then write about how women empowerment was during the Vedic period.

Also, write about women’s role in family life, culture, society, and their positions in education, employment, sports and other sectors. Give examples of women who made a difference in society or played a major role in the growth of the nation.

Don’t forget to include quotes and make sure that the quote should be written word-perfect, and in case you don’t remember the quote or the person who wrote it, then it is advised to drop the idea of including a quote.

Since it is the conclusion, don’t take it as a grand finale and complicate it just conclude the essay topic in very simple words by summarising whatever you have written now in the essay.

Make sure the conclusion is optimistic, and try to keep a balanced conclusion.

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