How to Prepare for Essay in UPSC
The Essay paper is one of the nine papers in the UPSC civil services mains exam. Aspirants generally do not give a lot of importance to preparation for this paper since the general studies and the optional papers consume a lot of preparation time. However, it is prudent to prepare for this paper since it is for 250 marks and can make or break your final tally. This article gives you a few tips to follow while preparing for the essay paper.
How to prepare for essay in IAS?
- Read a lot of good essays. This will give you a feel of what constitutes a well-written essay.
- Keep reading newspaper editorials every day. Most of the times, essay questions are asked from current affairs.
- When you read newspapers or books, note relevant lines or quotes which you can use in your essay.
- Have a good collection of opening and closing lines.
- Prepare some material on general topics like development, women, education, healthcare, internet, technology, science, etc. Your material should include quotations, case studies, examples, government initiatives, etc. This will be useful while writing the essay. But beware of writing all that you have prepared. You must fine-tune your essay according to the topic, not as per what you have prepared.
- When you prepare, focus more on real-life examples rather than theoretical jargon. Even though many topics may seem like theoritical, you must write relevant, contemporary, current affairs-related stuff in your essay. For instance, in a topic like “Can capitalism bring inclusive growth?” (UPSC Mains 2015) you need not write about the entire history of capitalism, but tune your answer towards current events and focus on ‘inclusive growth’.
- Similarly, even if your essay question is philosophical, your essay need not be so. Your essay should be relevant to current times.
- Learn to approach a topic from different angles like political, social, historical, environmental, ethical, etc.
- You must prepare by writing essays during your preparation time. Also get feedback on the essays you write from mentors, teachers or seniors.
- While you prepare, keep in mind the structure of the essay. It should have an introduction, body and conclusion.
- Resist the urge to give too aggressive or one-sided arguments in the essay no matter how passionate you are about the topic.
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