Deciphering UPSC Essay Syllabus

Deciphering the Essay Syllabus Keywords

Table of contents

Demands of the Essay

Source: UPSC Civil Services Examination, 2022 Notification

Keywords for UPSC Essay


One must stick as closely as possible to the essay topic at hand. Any example, quote, anecdote or reference must be closely related to the essay topic. Avoid writing arguments/data/substantiation that does not satisfy the core demand of the essay. Any deviation from the topic will be tolerated only up to a certain point, beyond that, no matter how excellent points you've written, you'll lose marks!


The essay must be arranged in a logical flow. IAS aspirants are supposed to plan ahead and form a structure of the essay before actually writing it down (a rough page is given for it). Well structured essay is awarded good marks in UPSC Mains


The ideas or arguments written in an essay must follow an order. Candidates should avoid a haphazard essay that does not flow sequentially.


Arguments, examples, anecdotes, etc. written in an essay must be expressed as precisely and to the point as possible. Clarity of thought and brevity of expression is what is looked for in the CSE essay. Avoid stretching points unnecessarily.

Effective and Exact

The essay must be written in a language that conveys the message effectively. Writing should make a strong impression. Thus, one should present exact and effective arguments that are substantiated with logic/examples/data etc. Flowery language should be avoided. Individual sentences, as well as paragraphs as a whole, must convey a clear and well-thought-out exposition on the theme of the essay.

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