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Pillars of Essay Writing AIR-289, UPSC CSE-2023

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Chandarprabha Sharma, who shares her essay strategy for the UPSC Civil Services Examination, provides a comprehensive guide to turning the essay paper from a source of fear into a subject of joy. Here’s a detailed summary of her approach:

Overcoming Fear and Embracing Joy in Essay Writing

Chandarprabha emphasizes that despite the anxiety surrounding essay writing due to varying marks, it can be one of the most enjoyable subjects to prepare. She suggests using essay writing as a break from General Studies, turning fear into joy by viewing it as an opportunity.

Viewing Essay as an Opportunity

1. Demonstrate Understanding:

  • Show a holistic understanding of various issues affecting the world, nation, and society from multiple perspectives.

2. Persuasion Skills:

  • Persuade the examiner with your ideas and arguments, backed by relevant examples.

3. Vision and Solutions:

  • Present your solutions to problems, demonstrating optimism and solution-oriented thinking.

4. Originality and Leadership:

  • Reflect originality in your essays, showcasing leadership qualities suitable for a public servant.

Preparation Strategy

1. Life Journal for Essays:

  • View life around you with alertness and awareness.
  • Observe success stories, role models, and societal problems, imagining how you would address these issues as a public servant.

2. Utilize News and Current Affairs:

  • Read newspapers from the perspectives of Prelims, Mains General Studies, and optional subjects.
  • Focus on data, examples, case studies, and quotes that resonate emotionally and logically.

3. General Studies as a Resource:

  • Integrate knowledge from GS into essay writing, ensuring a comprehensive approach.

4. Avoid Model Essay Books:

Maintain originality by avoiding ready-made essays and focusing on creating unique content.

Practice and Execution

1. Break the Inertia:

  • Overcome the initial hesitation and fear of essay writing by consistently practicing essays.

2. Three-Part Structure:

  • Introduction: Ensure it is impactful and relevant to the topic.
  • Body: Make arguments supported by examples, including counterarguments to show a balanced perspective.
  • Conclusion: Provide ideas, solutions, and a summary to round off the essay effectively.

Organizing Thoughts

1. Data and Examples:

  • Use an Excel sheet or paper to organize data, examples, and case studies under relevant headings (e.g., GS1, GS2, GS3, GS4).

2. Brain Gym:

  • Train your mind to recall and apply data in different contexts during exam pressure.
  • Relate data to various subjects, ensuring it can be used effectively across different papers.

Final Thoughts

Chandarprabha concludes by emphasizing the importance of believing in the problems discussed in the essays and training the mind to apply knowledge effectively. This approach not only aids in essay writing but also enhances overall performance in the UPSC examination.

By following Chandarprabha Sharma’s strategy, candidates can transform essay writing from a daunting task into an enjoyable and rewarding part of their UPSC preparation.

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