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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Think for Thirty Minutes What *NOT* to write in an Essay? Provokative Essays Don‟t get Personal (Cong.vs BJP) Quoting the Famous Quotes Padding with Fodder Material Suggested Reading Reading Books as a Hobby Related articles
This is what I learned from my seniors and toppers. There are plenty of articles on internet on how to prepare the essay (=read editorials daily etc.) I‟m writing one about how to „actually‟ write it inside the exam hall. In the Essay paper, they give you 4-5 essays and you‟ve to write only one. Time limit -3 hours, Max-marks=200. In a 2 marker question, UPSC specifically mentions that answer it in 20 words. So with that logic, you‟re expected to write an essay containing around 2000 words for the 200 marks.
partition…etc. They asked an essay on Gandhi.Tip#1: Think for 30-45 minutes before you start the Essay writing Take this example. then he gets an impression you forgot it = less marks. Don‟t immediately start 1st try to recall everything that you can remember / want to say about the essay. Think for 30-45 minutes before you start the Essay writing You‟ve 3 hours to write the essay...come back…freedom struggle. Because there is no space in initial pages.Gandhi-Irwin. I realize that I forgot mention about Champaran‟s Indigo Struggle when Gandhi got actively involved in Indian Freedom struggle for the first time! Now I can‟t add it. That‟s why you must…. .. I write something like Gandhi was born in Porbandar & then He went to England…africa. However I can still try to add it in the conclusion like …in 1947 Gandhi won the fight he started with Champaran…” But when Examiner doesn‟t find the mention of Champaran in the initial pages. I start writing it. Hence everything has to be written in its place.. After 1 hour of writing.2nd round table….
2. Good sides Negative sides / obstacles Suggested reforms Conclusion . order of preference. 2. regarding the essay.3. What are the 1. 3. 4. 2. 6. The order should be 1. 3. 5. 5.2. any famous quotes? Current events People Historical events Laws / Administrative polices related to it *Related to that topic. 4. 7. just like in wedding parties you start with Soup…dal-roti and…Ice cream in the end. 1. 3. Positive Negative sides obstacles Reforms you suggest? Once you‟re done adding everything that you can think about. Take a pencil and write them all (in very brief) on the end of the answer sheet See if there is any chance of adding some diagram or table in it? Do you remember any? 1.then give those topics. 4. Introduction Background / History related Main concept / theory / what the subject is about Current scenario related to it. 8. The order is very important.4.
Seeing negative sides with out suggesting reforms in it. Now SOME DON‟Ts Tip#2:What not to write in essay 1. Its Easier to criticize a non working things than to fix it. 1. Tip#3: Provocative Essays Sometimes the essay topics are given in such a way. (yes it seems so. that you want to agree all the way.DO NOT forget to show the other side of the mirror.g. / administration (I mean the frontline and The Hindu‟s stand) 3. 2. Panchayati raj is wastage of tax payer‟s money. Excessive criticism of Govt. In such cases – just because he gave you statement doesn‟t mean you‟ve to sing in his tune throughout the paper.) . (Remember this all time during essay.everything has to be written in its place. (know that it‟s the democracy that‟s allowing you to criticize it) so you should never justify certain solution to India‟s problems. Autocracy is better than democracy. Poor people are their own enemies. Gandhi‟s Champaran must come in the beginning not in the end. E. just like NREGA but when you‟re writing an Essay you need to maintain some balance) 2.
An officer‟s trait is to remain „anonymous‟. Raja.” It‟s the trait of a common man. States (in polity / federalism / Development) . not of a future officer.) (except in the foreign policy related essay.Amar Singh etc. „faceless‟ and neutral. Religion / culture/ language-literature (in philosophical essays) 2. Give a balanced answer With out getting into hero-worship or mud slinging If criticizing Govenrment in the essay alone was going to make you IAS officer. where you‟ve to analyse from entire Nehru‟s Panchsheel era to Vajpayee‟s Lahore Bus visit and current affairs.meaning your essay should look like it has been written by a graduate.) Tip#4: Donot get personal Don‟t go naming individual politicians – their achievement / scandals (Kalmadi. Same applies for 1.) our Foreign policy has changed with every prime minister so their names need to be mentioned. then every journalist of Aaj Tak would be an IAS officer.Donot give filmy solutions to real life problems. (Munna Bhai MBBS / Slum Dog Millioner. Never write essay talking like “Congress did this and BJP did that.
Mao said “Power flows from the barrel of a gun” so you should not write it as ”barrel of the gun contains power” or ”muzzle of the gun flows the power” You must quote the quote verbatim. 2. Tip#6: Padding & Deviating from the subject Even in the worst case. you mustn‟t become too much passionate about certain things. Padding means. If you‟re not sure then don‟t quote it. Tip#5: Quotes 1. while this tactic does work in the school and college exams but don‟t . Don‟t make mistakes in writing who said what. E. I‟m saying all this because you can never be sure about what will be the political / ideological / religious / regional alignment of the examiner. you‟re supposed to write 1200-1500 words for a 200 marks essay.Quote Exactly as it was said. you don‟t know the exact answer so you just beat around the bushes and write the garbage stuff to fill up the pages.g.I‟m not saying you should transform into a sterile person writing the essay with out having any personal view/ opinion or righteous anger but. you quote Abraham Lincon‟s sentence and write George Washington said it. This suggestion also applies while dealing with Public Administration (optional subject). nothing will make you look more stupid in the eyes of the examiner than that.
there is huge demand and low supply of electricity. Ex. you realise that only 400 words won‟t get you any marks ! now you can‟t scratch those pages and write a new essay on new topic. your thoughts and ideas are exhausted-you‟ve nothing more to say and assuming that you write 100 words per page. Donot pick up the subject where your idea or thought content is very low. you write about the pro-cons of hydroelectricity like dams and displacement of people.like nuke power is unsafe as we saw in Japan so we need to switch to renewable energy source like Sun. Don‟t write too many proverbs / quotes/ (invented) case studies/examples per page. So you decide to continue with this nuke-power essay and start rewriting the same stuff you already stated in different ways and then you‟ll deviate from the main topic. you picked up “Do we need nuclear power” – So you start with how thermal power-stations create pollution.try it in the essay paper. you‟ve wasted enough time on this one. displacement of people also applies while making nuke-powerplants like in Maharashtra!“ so you . and then the dangers such as Japanese Tsunami etc. After 4 pages. It makes the examiner think that you‟ve no input of your own so you‟re just filling up the pages. Wind and Water -> then 4 pages on advantages of renewable energy as if this is an essay on “the benefits of Non-renewable energy”and not on nuke power. nuke power is cheap. Then you realise “omg.
You‟ve messed up the whole thing. you‟ve digged your own grave. It‟s a continuous and long process takes some diverse reading before you‟ve enough content to write something decent and something big enough to fill 20 pages to fetch 100+ marks. come back to the topic -half page written but still you‟ve not filled up enough pages so you start talking about to landacquisition policy and start writing the pro-cons. take great care in picking up the subject 2. Your essay doesn‟t have any flow of thoughts or proper rhythm.another half page on it. your expected score for this kind of garbage writing is less than 50/200. means even with decent score in all other papers. That’s why 1.. your chances of getting interview call is close to zero. stick to the subject Same applies while dealing with the big 60 marker question in GS and optional papers.G gave us clearance and ChinaPakistan couldn‟t stop it so we are a global power now and we deserve a permanent seat in UNSC! This kind of padding goes on until time is up. (not 30 minutes of thinking but atleast 5-7 minutes!) Suggested Reading Essay is not something that can be learned reading one book or reading for 1 month. first 30-40 minutes for thorough thinking. 3. . The seasoned examiners immediatly sniff out this padding and they don‟t give much marks for it. Then you think “oh i must talk something about the Indo-US nuke deal” so you go on talking about how we haven‟t signed the CTBT and yet N. You‟ve jeopardised your chances of selection in IAS. you totally deviated from the subject.S.
Reading Books as a Hobby To increase your idea and „fodder-material‟ for brain storming. See the old question papers and try to make an outline of each and every Essay asked so far. (it gives you the fodder material: statistical data to quote like how many % illiterate and so on but again don‟t use too much statistical data for padding and most importantly don‟t „invent‟ your own case studies and stat. just for time-pass for example . Watch English news channel – discussions / debates. democracy and Development.1. 4. Editorials of english newspapers ( but don‟t get swayed about by either leftist or capitalist stuff preched by both sides) 2. yojana.data) 3. related to Indian culture. Magazines like Frontline. Kurukshetra. you can read some books outside studies.
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