How To Write A Good Essay In Civil Service Mains Exam?

Writing a good essay on any subject is not always an easy task. The case becomes tougher when you are asked to write a single essay with a total of 250 marks! 250 marks out of 2025 is the weight-age of essay paper on total Civil Services Mains Marks as per the latest UPSC syllabus. But it has been observed that many candidates take the essay paper too lightly resulting in score not comparable with their potential. Hence, it is vital to attempt this paper with the same seriousness as all other papers in GS Mains and learn the art of writing a good essay.

Understanding Essay Paper in IAS Exam

250 marks for a single question. The question can be selected from 4 or 5 choices. Time allotted is 3 hours. In most cases there will not be any mention about the number of words or pages to be used.

Essay Paper for IAS Exam

UPSC’s expectation from Essay Paper : Examiners will pay special attention to the candidate’s grasp of his/her material, its relevance to the subject chosen and to his/her ability to think constructively and to present his/her ideas concisely, logically and effectively.

Let’s analyze a few previous year UPSC essay papers. (Please note that before 2013, essay paper was only for 200 marks.)

Essay Question paper of UPSC (Mains) Examination 2012

Write an essay on any one of the following topics:

1. In the context of Gandhiji’s views on the matter, explore, on an evolutionary scale, the terms ‘Swadhinata’, ‘Swaraj’ and ‘Dharmarajya’. Critically comment on their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy.
2. Is the criticism that the ‘Public-Private-Partnership’ (PPP) model for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified?
3. Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible?
4. Managing work and home – is the Indian working women getting a fair deal?

Also read:  Strategy and Study Plan for Clearing IAS Mains Exam

Essay Question paper of UPSC (Mains) Examination 2011

Write an essay on any one of the following topics:

1.     Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative, economic and developmental implications
2.     Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it?
3.     Credit-based higher education system –status, opportunities and challenges
4.     In the Indian context, both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial and combating terrorism.

How To Write A Good Essay In Civil Service Mains Exam?

  • Go through well written essays by experts in newspapers and magazines, and understand how they frame the ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’ passages.
  • There should be a logical continuation from beginning to end.
  • Essay should be organized in well structured paragraphs coherent with the flow of the essay.
  • Don’t be too aggressive or pessimistic in your tone.
  • Come up with good points and express new view points.
  • In most cases there will not be any need for separate coaching or preparation for essays, and candidates’ reading and preparation for General Studies Mains should suffice. But make sure your writing and analytical skills are upto the UPSC expectations; if not, polish it.
  • Write mock essays and get it evaluated by experts in the field.

Tip : Topics like Women empowerment, Rural development, Social Justice, Terrorism and Internal Security etc are hot topics for essays, and be prepared with various dimensions of the same in UPSC Exam.

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