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UPSC Essay Paper Preparation and Material

Candidates will be required to write an essay on a specific topic. There will be choice given from a variety of subjects. The candidate is expected to stick to the subject of the essay and arrange their ideas in an orderly way. The writing has to be in concise way with numerous points in support of your essay topic. Those who has presented the essay in an articulate way with effective expression is likely to score high marks.

Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

This paper plays a crucial role in determining the rank of the student. Most of the top rankers have scored above 55% in this paper. Some candidates have also scored around 60%. Such score can help the students to secure a position in the top ten ranks of the merit list.

Correct choice of topic and the appropriate method of writing are important. It is advised to choose factual topics where you can pack in lot of information. Try to avoid topics that are controversial in nature.

Practice Essay Topics for UPSC

May - June 2024 Essay Contest (Last date is June 30, 2024)

S.NO Essay Contest Topics
1 Are elections free and fair in India?
2 Is employment is real issue in India as compared to other countries? What can we do to improve the situation?
3 Should we do away with reservation and open up to all as equal opportunity?


Method of Writing Essay Paper for civil services:

After deciding the topic
1. Start brain stroming
2. Write down all the ideas that you about the topic.
3. Do not classify or systematise your points at this stage.
4. Put them on paper randomly as they flow in.
5. Later, arrange the ideas in a logical and sequential manner.
6. Having arrived at the sequence, start writing, giving due care to the introduction, the body and finally the conclusion.
7. Ensure that you have enough time for revision.
8. Remember it is a General Essay Paper and you should not be highly technical.

Here are some helpful tools for tackling Essay in the UPSC exams, ranging from the syllabus to reading list and other tips. These resources on Essay also include IAS Question Papers of Essay. We like you to adopt the best strategy and become successful. We try our best to provide as many resources for your preparation as possible, but if you can add to this list, please feel free to send us links or the reading material.

IAS Essay Writing Tips By Mr Ravi Kapoor IRS

The essays which are asked in the UPSC exam are of analytical and argumentative types. That means that they are NOT about you and you should therefore abstain from sharing any personal information whatsoever. Avoid using personal anecdotes. The purpose of analytical essays is to judge your intellectual capacity for reasoning, logical consistency, organized thinking and concise expression. You should avoid wasting time memorizing quotations about a topic and use the time to develop arguments and counterarguments instead which will prove much more valuable for the UPSC mains exam. The UPSC will ask you to write not one, but TWO essays, on unfamiliar topics within three hours in the UPSC mains exam. Choosing well is important. Some pointers

  1. How closely is the topic related to what I have studied
  2. I have completely understood the topic
  3. Have I practiced this topic before?
  4. I can think of 3 arguments for and 3 against the topic.
  5. There are 3 connections of this topic with India.
  6. There is one current event associated with the topic.

You have to give a score of 0-9 to each of the above questions, for every topic under consideration and whichever topic score highest choose that.

Write your essay in active voice as it is more concise than passive voice because it takes fewer words to express an action and the meaning is conveyed directly. Before you begin writing your Essay on the answer-sheet you must do Pre-writing. It includes brainstorming, thinking, choosing, rough work, bulleting points, drawing diagrams or mind maps.

If you do not have insight into the core issue of the Essay topic, the resulting Essay will be of mediocre quality. Therefore deconstruct and understand the heart of any essay topic for a minute. Make your essay data-packed and well researched.

Avoid repetition even if it is in different words. Leaving some space between paragraphs illustrates a transition in your writing and provides a break between consecutive arguments or points. Since this is a paper-and-pen test, you must ensure that your paragraph spacing is adequate to produce the desired effect.

Bulleting and numbering should be avoided. The essay is a formal piece of writing where you are expected not to deploy short-cut methods to organize your information like bulleting and numbering. Instead, you should use connecting words to organize and structure your essay. While grammar is important, the quality of your arguments and clarity of expression, will fetch you high marks in the exam. Produce impactful introduction, compelling arguments and impressive conclusions.

Contrary to popular belief, reviewing revising is not a re-reading of your Essay or for underling important points. It is a golden opportunity to avoid blunders, correct mistakes and even boost your score by as much 20%.

During your preparations make sure to learn techniques used by professional writers to create structure and flow to engage readers. There are powerful ways to improve syntax and writing quality drastically . Measure your writing speed and time your essay accordingly.

How to write essay for IAS exam

As advised by Mr Ravi Kapoor IRS.

Buy his book on How to write essay in UPSC exam

Mains Syllabus for Essay Papers

Essay Question Papers

How to prepare for Essay Papers

Suggested Books for Essay Papers

Suggested Essay Reading

Essay Contest