50 Essays- 50 Weeks

What is this initiative?

This is an initiative of CivilsWrite to make your preparation for Essay Writing highly rewarding.

The idea is to help you get exposed to 10 different themes that can be the blueprint for any philosophical essays that can possibly be asked in the Main Examination.

The program is spread over a time period of 50 weeks by the end of which every aspirant would have attempted at least 50 Essays.It is this exposure as a result of a year long weekly practise for Philosophical Essays that can make your Essay paper decisive in ensuring your position among the top ranks in the final rank list.

Out of the 4 Questions that are asked in the Philosophical Section, even if you can relate 2 of the questions to the 50 Questions you have practised over a period of 50 weeks, it can be that “golden moment” that can easily change your fortunes in the examination in your favour.

There is always a 40 mark difference between the median score in Essay Paper and the score of the aspirants who have scored among the highest marks in the Essay Paper.

Essay preparation is just one day affair every week.But it is this one day’s effort in preparation that distinguishes aspirants.

What are the philosophical themes?

An analysis of the previous year’s Essay Questions indicate certain themes around which UPSC frames philosophical Essays. Some of the themes are

  • Power & its effects on Human Beings
  • Values-Its meaning,significance in human lives.
  • Importance of Happiness in our lives
  • Nature of Human Beings- Who are we, our search and the journey that we are in.
  • An Individual’s position and role in the larger Society.
  • Conflict between an Individual & the Society
  • What is life?-Reality and the Illusions
  • Is Happiness temporary?-Thoughts & Ideas of a few great men.
  • Science,Education,Knowledge & Learning.
  • Religion

Steps in Writing a Philosophical Essay:-

Step 1:-Interpreting the Quote- Making doubly sure of one’s understanding.

Step 2:-Brainstorming and Expanding on these 4 broad ideas

Step 3:- Frame a Structure- this decides the flow of the essay.Think of suitable examples to make the essay intersting.

Step 4:- Come up with a suitable introduction. What can be the best possible form of introduction?

Step 5:- Take the Essay forward. Ensure you travel in the right direction.

Step 6:- Conclude.

No amount of theory would suffice as a good practise

Lets take into consideration the following Quote

“It is difficult to find happiness within but it is impossible to find it anywhere else”

The following steps can be an indicative checklist that one can consider while preparing for Philosophical Essays.

Step 1:-Interpreting the Quote- Making doubly sure of one’s understanding.

Observing the Quote we understand that:-

  1. The Essay captures the importance of happiness in an individual’s life.
  • The Essay highlights the absence of Happiness in the Outside World.
  • The Essay points out that Happiness can be found within the person himself.
  • The Essay also points out that finding happiness within oneself is not an Easy Task.

These are the inferences or ideas that we need to work upon so as to build an Essay for 1000 words.

Now that we are very sure that these are the exact areas to be addressed in the Essay, we can proceed to the Next Step.

Step 2:-Brainstorming and Expanding on these 4 broad ideas

Once the central theme has been established it is important to generate as many directions of thought possible. This can help in branching out from the central theme thus adding more dimensions to the Essay.

Where can points be generated from?-Making the best use of GS paper 4 for coming up with points.

It is commonly observed that those aspirants who score well in the General Studies Paper 4 (Ethics paper) also do perform well in the Essay paper. This is not a mere coincidence. It is because the approach and the maturity that is required to answer such philosophical Essays require a proper understanding of oneself. This process of understanding the self does not happen overnight but instead it involves a lot of reflections.

This is where the General Studies Paper 4 becomes handy. We can use the thoughts that we get from the Ethics paper as a glass through which we can dissect and look at our own self.

The importance of understanding topics like the Basics of Ethics, Emotional Intelligence and Attitude from the perspective of one’s personal life can help greatly in relating incidents from our lives and making use of such incidents as examples in answering the Philosophical Essay.

Step 3:- Frame a Structure- this decides the flow of the essay.Think of suitable examples to make the essay intersting.

This is the stage in which we ensure that the points that we have generated as the broad ideas in the answer are all shaped into a flowing essay.This involves stitching up the different points into a single answer. Examples that can really add value to the discussion can be added here.

In the above mentioned Question the structure of the essay should be as follows:-

  • Introduction that defines “what happiness is all about”, why human beings are constantly in the pursuit for greater happiness in their lives and where does this search for happiness lead one to?
  • Argument 1 & an Example:- Lets say the 1st argument is about the presence of happiness within a man itself. Once this point is made as an argument, the next step is to support this arguement with a suitable example.
  • Argument 2 & an Example:- This argument could be the anti-thesis to the argument made above. Hence the purpose of this argument itself is to negate itself. Lets say in this case the argument 2 is “Whether happiness can be found in the outside world?” the example that one should give here should be to prove the point that there is no permanent source of happiness in the external world and such happiness would only be a temporary distraction.
  • Conclusion

It is to arrive at this structure for our essay ( An introduction-Argument 1-Argument 2-Conclusion) which becomes our objective at the end of Step 3

Step 4:- Come up with a suitable introduction. What can be the best possible form of introduction?

An introduction’s purpose should be to act as clarification statement, It demystifies the Quote. Hence writing a quote to demystify a quote would not be helpful in any way. When it comes to philosophical essays it is always better to start the essay with a narration or a conversation between two persons. This conversation can be an easy way of bringing out the essence / idea of the Quote given in the question to the understanding of the examiner. This simplification of the Question will be greatly rewarding .

Different styles of introduction can be thought and framed when it comes to answering philosophical essays. Narration,a recollection of an anecdote or a dialogue between two persons can be possible introductions that can be used for Philosophical Essays.

Step 5:- Take the Essay forward. Ensure you travel in the right direction.

 “Now that the sharpening of the axe is completed, it is time we start cutting the Tree”

The next task in hand is to ensure that the idea is translated into words and sentences. While writing the substance of the essay, care should be ensured that no deviation from the key demand of the Question happens. It is always better to have a look & Re-look at the Question after completing a portion of the essay repeatedly. This brings us back to the fold of the essay whenever there is a tendency to deviate.

Simple sentences that are no longer than 2 lines in length can be the effective communication strategy to convey our thoughts without becoming a bore to the examiner.Longer sentences tire the examiner and the examiner loses interest in what has been written.An examiner bored and tired of the essay is the worst that can happen to your well written essay. Develop the skill of breaking sentences at appropriate places instead of allowing a long ‘sentence sprawl’.

Sentence sprawling would be reflective of bad writing skill.

Step 6:- Conclude

“All good things come to an end and so does your Essay”

The point of concern here is to ensure that the good Essay has a good ending to it. The test of a good ending to an Essay is if the examiner feels a rush in him as he reads the last paragraph of the essay. The rush can be induced by a sense of optimism, by a sense of completeness or by raising his curiosity about the Topic by prodding him to think.

A conclusion is the final impression,the last chance that the examiner gets to understand you. Preent the best possible image of yourself in the form of words so as to win over him. This wordplay is more psychological than intellectual. A tired examiner having spent the last half an hour on your Essay needs the final nudge to award you exemplary marks and this is where a good Conclusion can trump over minor issues in the Essay.

How can We help you?

We help you think!

  1. Every Week’s Question will be followed by Video Resources that can be referred. Such videos can be an eye opener into unfamiliar areas. These can come handy in initiating you to themes that are normally not covered in the process of UPSC preparation.
  2. There will be a Write up that will be provided. The objective of the write up is not to give you Model Essays but instead, the vision is to mould you to think and to train you in the manner required to generate points for Philosophical Essays.The Write ups can be considered to be approach papers that can be used as a Guide to think further upon.

We can also help you by evaluating your Essays. Post your Essays in the Comment box and get our Opinion about the Essay. What you have missed in your yearlong classes elsewhere you can easily set it right by following our schedule for 50 weeks. At the end of this period We can Guarantee you that Philosophical Essays would become your forte.

Spend your weekend with us & Get Addicted to Writing Essays.

Starts from 16th August 2020

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