Essay writing is an art and one who masters it get the highest marks in the Essay Paper. There are various misconceptions associated with the IAS Essay Paper. IAS Topper Siddharth Jain gave his version of essay writing and also gave tips for the future IAS Exam aspirants.
Jagranjosh.com: What was your strategy for the Essay Paper?
Siddhartha Jain: Last year I was not selected because of very low marks in Essay. So, now this time I have realised and I would like you also to realise that Essay is a very important to get your very good score in the IAS Main Exam. For the essay paper these are my following tips:
1. I used to write essay at every weekend and gave it to the selected candidates, seniors, teachers and the likes. I used to give my writings to them who were already selected and to my peer group. I always tried to incorporate those inputs suggested by them in order to improve my essay writing.
2. Secondly, I will just come to the essay part
Introduction: Try to be very crisp and define each and every word of the essay. Avoid stories and a very flowery introduction. Whenever you are writing essay think you are writing an article for the Hindu Paper.
Now coming to the Main Body: Develop your essay on two scales
Temporal Scale and
For Example: like an essay on Empowerment of Women.
First you have defined in the introduction that what is empowerment? You can simply define the term “Empowerment” i.e. availability of opportunities for women in various fields. You can mention fields.
Secondly, when we start from main body, we start from temporal scale- start from Rig Vedic Age and why women were important at that time and the concept like Sadharma Charini and other things.
Then cover other time periods and the position of women in those times and then come to the present scenario - what is status of women at present time?
Then you will go to sectoral scale : now you have to focus on women empowerment in various sectors, for example: political sector, economic sector, educational sector etc.....you have to think about various sectors. And then finally conclude your essay.
In conclusion, never give a new idea because it will then put forward a question in the mind of the examiner. Always just conclude the essay, whatever you have written in the essay, it should be a crisp summary of that. This was the overall strategy of essay.
Another Tip that I would like to give is – cover your essay from as many dimensions as possible- social, political, economic, cultural, international relations etc. Cover every possible dimension in your essay. While entering the examination hall, when you are in the way to appear the essay paper just revise the syllabus of GS I, GS II, GS III and GS IV. Try to incorporate the syllabus of those papers in your essay.
Another Tip is- you are choosing the topic of the essay. Generally, I would suggest avoiding the philosophical topics. Choose such topic on which you can think about lot of dimensions. If you are covering objective topics, then there is little chance of conflict in your views with the examiner’s views. So, choose the topics that is easy, comfortable and you can write on it from many angles. After that write many test of essays so that you can evaluate yourself, don’t neglect this paper.
Jagranjosh.com: On which topic did you write the essay?
Siddhartha Jain: Two essays have to written
1. Character of an institution is reflected in its leader
2. Dreams that should not let India sleep
Character of an institution is reflected in its leader:
For the first essay I have defined what is character, what is leader, what is institution in a very simple definitions- like institution is a group of individuals that is motivated toward a common goal. I have defined every term in simple words in the introduction. Then I wrote that what I am going to write in the essay. I gave crisp summary in the introduction part.
After that I came to temporal scale. First of all I have started from the Mauryan Age- What was in the Mauryan age at the time of Chandragupta Maurya; here institution is Mauryan Age, leader is Chandragupta Maurya and Charecter is Peace. In his reign there was little violence but when the leader changed and Ashoka came, the society became more peaceful. Here, the character is peace, leader is Ashoka and the institution is Mauryan age.
Then after I gradually build-up ahead and then came to Mughal Age, and compared when Akbar was king and when Aurangzeb was king. Then I came to National movement and compared when Gandhiji became leader how the character of Gandhi came into the institution. In this way I have written the essay on temporal scale at India-level. After that I write on world level.
First I came to the French Revolution. I considered French Revolution as an institution and considered Robespierre as a leader. Robespierre was little violent then the whole revolution went violent. Then I came to Hitler, Jews, and Nazis. I present whole on temporal scale that how the character of leader was reflected in its institution.
Then after I came to the sectoral scale what I have discussed its strategy earlier. In sectoral scale, I have raised various types of institution. First I have taken family as an institution then leader of the family is father. The character of the father will be reflected in the family.
Then after I came to corporate level, take examples of TATAs then at world level. I take example of US and I considered world politics as an institution, US as a leader and democracy as a character, and lot of countries going towards democracy now.
After that I came to sports and take example of Dhoni- when he was calm then whole Indian team played calmly and performed better. I also take an example of army. I have covered lot of dimensions in my essay and finally I concluded the essay.
Dreams that should not let India sleep
Initially I defined that what I want to say in this essay. I started with the quotation given by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam that the “dreams are not the one you see during sleep but dreams are the one don’t let you sleep”.
Then, I defined various angles in which I will define this essay. I have started with temporal scale that what are the dreams of India at various time periods. When the Buddhism and Jainism came during Mauryan age, our dream was to develop non-violent society.
Gradually what change occur to our dream- what was the dream of ours at the time National Movement and What is now- that is we should be a better super power in the dynamics of the world politics. How our dreams have changed on temporal scale.
Then I came to sectoral scale - I mentioned dreams in dimensions of environment, economic, social, international security and lot of dimensions I have covered lot of dimensions in my essay, it was around 8 to 9 dimensions.
Finally, I conclude my essay and this was the strategy of mine and I followed that.
One more Tip I would like to give is that people have doubts that they should put heading/subheading or not. I would say just believe in the intellect of the examiner, for him it doesn’t matter that you have given heading and subheading or not. The only thing is it should be more creative. What you can do is to give heading/subheading in one essay only and do not in the other so that it is balanced.
Click here for More IAS Toppers Transcripts
Following are the topics on which our followers have written (and writing essays) every Sunday to hone their essay writing skills. The topics are chosen based on UPSC previous year topics. Writing one essay on each Sunday will help you get better marks in this paper.
2013 Essay Challenges
2014 Essay Challenges
ESSAY STRATEGY by Topper – Rank 25 CSE 2015
ESSAY STRATEGY by Topper – Rank 40 CSE 2015
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2018
- March 04, 2018: Capitalism can not Bring Inclusive Growth
- February 25, 2018: The unprecedented advance of technologies facilitate individual empowerment but at the cost of Institutions and Democratic societies
- February 18, 2018: Threats being Faced by Liberal Democratic Systems are both Dangerous and Permanent
- February 11, 2018: For India, Stigmatised Capitalism is Better than Crony Socialism
- February 04, 2018: Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.
- January 28, 2018: Politics of Identity is the Politics of the Weak
- January 21, 2018: Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime
- January 14, 2018: Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding
- January 07, 2018: The Root Cause of Agrarian Distress in India – Failure of Policies or Failure of Governance?
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2017
- December 31, 2017: Impact of the new economic measures on fiscal ties between the union and states in India
- December 24, 2017: Fulfilment of ‘new woman’ in India is a myth
- December 17, 2017: Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
- December 10, 2017: Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in India
- December 03, 2017: Destiny of a nation is shaped in its classrooms
- November 19, 2017: Has the Non- Alignment Movement(NAM) lost its relevance in a multipolar world
- November 12, 2017: Social media is inherently a selfish medium.
- November 04, 2017: We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws
- October 29, 2017: Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
- October 22, 2017: Harith Diwali, Swasth Diwali : What measures are needed to deal with Festivity and Air Pollution?
- October 15, 2017: Biggest Threat to Humanity – Moral Crisis or Climate Change?
- October 08, 2017: The monsoon is a defining aspect of India’s nationhood
- October 01, 2017: India’s Infrastructure Story – Why is India not able to Build like China?
- September 24, 2017: Impact of Digital Technologies on Globalisation
- September 17, 2017: Urbanisation and Solid Waste Management in India – Challenges and Opportunities
- September 10,2017: Gender Equality and Peace: Are They Connected?
- September 03, 2017: Recent Natural Disasters – What do they Reveal about Humanity?
- August 27, 2017: Godmen – A Threat to Indian Society and Culture
- August 20, 2017: Corruption in India: Neither Systemic Reforms nor Surgical Strikes would End it
- August 13,2017: Interrelationship between Gender Equality and Sustainable Development
- August 06, 2017: Utility and relevance of Parliament in our polity
- July 30, 2017: Caste System – Source of India’s Eternal Inequality?
- July 23, 2017: Indian Democracy, Media and Public Opinion – Does Public Opinion Matter in Policymaking?
- July 16, 2017: Poverty and Environment – Their Interrelationship is the Key to Sustainable World
- July 09, 2017: Soft Power is India’s Strength, not its Weakness
- July 02, 2017: Technology and Jobs – Is Technology a Curse?
- June 25, 2017: Democracy’s Relevance in the Face of New Global Threats
- June 18, 2017: Federalism in India – Competitive or Cooperative?
- June 11, 2017: Peace, Environment and Development: Are these Interrelated?
- June 04, 2017: Role of Technology in Development – Is Technology Helping or Hindering Development?
- May 28, 2017: Poverty is a State of Mind
- May 21, 2017: Does India Need Superpower Status?
- May 14, 2017: India’s Achilles Heel – Lack of Ambition or Lack of Leadership in Achieving Greatness?
- May 07, 2017: Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
- April 29, 2017: The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation
- April 23, 2017: To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom
- April 16, 2017: One-Party-Dominant System – Is it Good for India?
- April 09, 2017: Should Youth in India Consider Politics as Career?
- April 02, 2017: Can World Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War?
- March 26, 2017: Low, stagnating female labour-force participation in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms?
- March 19, 2017: When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw
- March 12, 2017: The marks humans leave are too often scars
- March 05, 2017: Environmental Challenges and Geopolitics: How to save our Environment?
- February 27, 2017: Radical Solutions are Needed to Address Today’s Radical Problems
- February 19, 2017: India’s Importance in the Post-truth World
- February 12, 2017: The Role of Politics in Development
- February 05, 2017: Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
- January 29, 2017: Building Walls and Banning Refugees – Does this Help Humanity?
- January 22, 2017: Digital economy: A leveller or a source of economic inequality
- January 15, 2017: Cyberspace and internet: Blessing or curse to the human civilization in the long run
- January 08, 2017: Water disputes between states in federal India
- January 01, 2017: Need brings greed, if greed increases it spoils breed
WEEKLY UPSC IAS ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2016
- (December 25, 2016) – Cooperative federalism: Myth or reality
- (December 18, 2016) – Innovation is the key determinant of economic growth and social welfare
- (December 11, 2016) – Near jobless growth in India: An anomaly or an outcome of economic reforms
- (December 04, 2016) – If development is not engendered, it is endangered
- (November 27, 2016) – Social media is better at breaking things than at making things
- (November 20, 2016) – Deglobalization is good for the world
- (November 12, 2016) – Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others
- (November 06, 2016) – It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence
- (October 30, 2016) – Reducing Poverty while also Conserving Nature is an Impossible Task
- (October 23, 2016) – Poverty can be eliminated by putting science at the heart of development
- (October 16, 2016) – People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people
- (October 09, 2016) – Better Access is Key to Inclusive Cities
- (October 02, 2016) – The weaker sections of Indian society – Are their Rights and Access to Justice Getting Better?
- (September 25, 2016) – Imagination is more important than intelligence
- (September 18, 2016) – Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life
- (September 11, 2016) – Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance
- (September 04, 2016) – It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
- (August 28, 2016) – If one can Address Moral Crisis, many of World’s Problems can be Solved
- (August 21, 2016) – Overdependence on Technology will Advance Human Development
- (August 14, 2016) – Geography may remain the same ; history need not
- (August 07, 2016) – Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom
- (July 31, 2016) – To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all
- (July 24, 2016) – True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing
- (July 17, 2016) – We Can Not Fight Terrorism – We have to Live With it
- (July 10, 2016) – A house divided against itself cannot stand
- (July 02, 2016) – When the going gets tough, the tough get going
- (June 26, 2016) – India a Reluctant Participant in the New Global Order?
- (June 19, 2016) – Inclusiveness in India – Still a Dream?
- (June 12, 2016) – No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
- (June 05, 2016) – Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
- (May 29, 2016) – It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere
- (May 22, 2016) – Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress
- (May 15, 2016) – Fire is a good servant but a bad master
- (May 08, 2016) – The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
- (May 01, 2016) – Labour Reforms in India and its Role in Economic Development
- (April 24, 2016) – It takes a whole village to raise a child
- (April 17, 2016) – Trust take years to Build, Seconds to Break
- (April 10, 2016) – Cleanliness is next to Godliness
- (April 03, 2016) – Honesty is the Best Policy
- (March 27, 2016) – Before criticizing a man, walk a mile in his shoes
- (March 20, 2016) – Caste System – India’s Enduring Curse
- (March 13, 2016) – Fortune favors the bold
- (March 06, 2016) – Quick but steady wins the race
- (February 28, 2016) – Dreams which should not let India sleep
- (February 21, 2016) – Lending hands to someone is better than giving a dole
- (February 14, 2016) – Technology cannot replace manpower
- (February 7, 2016) – Character of an institution is reflected in its leader
- (January 31, 2016) – Can Capitalism bring Inclusive Growth?
- (January 24, 2016) – Crisis Faced in India – Moral or Economic?
- (January 17, 2016) – Too many cooks spoil the broth
- (January 10, 2016) – The Best Things in Life are Free
- (January 3, 2016) – Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
WEEKLY ESSAY WRITING CHALLENGES – 2015
- 27 December 2015
- 20 December 2015
- 13 December 2015
- 06 December 2015
- 28 November 2015
- 21 November 2015
- 15 November 2015
- 08 November 2015
- 01 November 2015
- 25 October 2015
- 18 October 2015
- 11 October 2015
- 04 October 2015
- 27 September 2015
- 20 September 2015
- 13 September 2015
- 06 September 2015
- 31 August 2015
- 30 August 2015
- 23 August 2015
- 16 August 2015
- 09 August 2015
- 01 August 2015
- 26 July 2015
- 19 July 2015
- 12 July 2015
- 05 July 2015
- 28 June 2015
- 21 June 2015
- 14 June 2015
- 07 June 2015
- 31 May 2015
- 24 May 2015
- 17 May 2015
- 10 May 2015
- 03 May 2015
- 26 April 2015
- 19 April 2015
- 12 April 2015
- 05 April 2015
- 29 March 2015
- 22 March 2015
- 15 March 2015
- 01 March 2015
- 22 February 2015
- 15 February 2015
- 08 February 2015
- 01 February 2015
- 25 January 2015
- 18 January 2015
- 11 January 2015
- 04 January 2015