Essay paper is part of the UPSC Civil Services (Mains) Examination. A well-scored essay exam can help you get through the Mains cut off list. The Essay paper consists of two sections. Each section contains 4 topics each. The candidate has to choose one essay topic from each section to attempt the exam. Each essay is evaluated out of 125 marks, which makes the total marks of essay paper to 250.
Often candidates ignore the importance of essay paper, however, if attempted well, the Essay paper can help push your rank up in the final cut-off. There is no prescribed and exclusive syllabus for the Essay paper. It is the area where you can present your creativity as well as knowledge to the examiner. With three hours of time allotted to the candidate for an Essay paper, the word limit for each essay is expected between 1200-1500 words each.
How to select the Essay Topic in UPSC Exam?
Before selecting a topic it is necessary to read all the topics mentioned in the question paper. Choose a topic that you have a good knowledge of. Avoid selecting a topic out of interest but choose a topic which you can explain and write for 1000 words. Be assured that you understand the topic and the demands of the title.
Structure of a Good Essay
An essay should ideally have an introduction, theme, content related to the topic, and a conclusion. It should also include facts and events related to the selected topic. Ensemble your balanced perspectives into the essay so as to not make it preachy and monotonous. Follow the structure and continuity while writing the essay.
For practice, you can always write the essays from Previous year question papers to understand the genre, topics and pattern of the Essay paper.
UPSC (CSE) Essay Paper 2019
Write two essays, choosing one topic each of the following Sections A and B in about 1000-1200 words each :
- Wisdom finds truth
- Values are not what humanity is, but what humanity ought to be
- Best for an individual is not necessarily best for the society
- Courage to accept and dedication to improve are two keys to success
- South Asian societies are woven not around the state, but around their plural cultures and plural identities
- Neglect of primary health care and education in India are reasons for its backwardness
- Biased media is a real threat to Indian democracy
- Rise of Artificial Intelligence: the threat of jobless future or better job opportunities through reskilling and upskilling