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Essay Writing

How To Write Context of Essay in UPSC IAS Mains Exam?

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Essays in UPSC Civil Services Exam are usually written for an intelligent but uninformed audience, so it is important that essay writing need to begin with some context. A good context in an essay can help you to fetch good marks in IAS Mains Exam.

But before diving deeper into this it’s important to clarify what is meant by ‘context’ in an Essay writing. In your essays, it can count as any extra knowledge surrounding the dimension. The context of an idea or event may not be always visible and apparent; it requires reading between the lines, around the lines, and beyond the lines. After finding the context, it is very important to grasp various perspectives (various ways/strands of thinking on a given issue) on an issue. Tracing the context of an “idea” or a “topic” of an essay is finding the “whole” to which a “particular” belongs. It is like finding the “tree” to which a “graft”, or a “branch” or a “fruit” or a “flower” belongs. It is very helpful when we develop a “thesis” knowing well its “context” that is to say that every “idea” or “statement” needs to be located to the bigger “plain” or “space” it belongs to.

It is very important to know the dimensions precisely before setting context in essay in UPSC Mains Exam. The importance of dimensions in an essay is immense. The dimensions of an essay writing are like branches of a tree . These are the ideas we get after brainstorming over a particular topic. We write down all the dimensions that come to our minds and choose only those which are relevant for the essay. The chosen dimensions are used further to set the context of the essay writing.

IAS Topper Khushbu Latehar, IAS (AIR-98, CSE 2018) Copy

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To understand it better, we may take an example.

Example: Honesty is the Best Policy.

We can take any number of dimensions for this topic such as Individual, Society, Government, and International Governments. Now, we look at these dimensions one by one.

Dimension 1 – Individual: Persistence in efforts

Dimension 2 – Society: Gender Equality, Marginalization of lower caste (Perspective)

Dimension 3 – Government: Development, Education, Health, Laws and order (Perspective)

Dimension 4 – International Government: Economy resources, Climate change, Humanitarian assistance (Perspective)

We may take any number of dimensions for setting the context of essay in dimensions. As the topic of the above given example, says that honesty is the best policy. First, we show agreement or disagreement regarding it while writing the introduction. Then, further, going through essay, we implement the context by selecting the appropriate dimensions.

We may understand it in a better way by taking one of the dimensions of the essay writing and implementing the context in the dimension.

A dimension is given below and context is set by using that dimension for the essay.

Dimension: Society ( Sub-dimension: Gender Equality)

  • In terms of gender equality, if society acts honestly by looking at its prejudices, backwardness, misconceptions, old age customs, and rituals, it can bring positive changes among the people and in the society as a whole. The recent performance of women in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is a clear sign that as the society is getting more open for women enrollment in education or sports, this is eventually bringing positive outcomes for the nation.

Context setting in Dimension

  • Dimension: How society can act honest in terms of gender equality and can bring positive changes.
  • Context: Honesty is crucial for the overall development at any level.
  • Example: Tokyo Olympics
  • Conclusion: Critical analysis and introspection by the society helps to bring the change for its own benefit.


Similarly, other dimensions and sub-dimensions can be used to set the context for the essay.

By setting a relevant context to the essay writing, the essay could have a deeper and meaningful impact on the readers or invigilators in UPSC IAS Exam. Context actually determines  the overall course of action while writing an essay. The right context will help you to evolve a better strategy for essay writing in Civil Services Exam and help you to augment score that will further help you to get you a better rank in the final exam. Understanding the dimensions and context will help you to write better answers in General Studies papers of UPSC Mains Exam.

The following essay copy IAS Topper Khushbu Latehar, IAS (AIR-98, CSE 2018) Copy of can give you further insights about context and flow of an essay writing.

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