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.