How to get good marks in essay paper of civil services main exam

UPSC Civil Service Mains Paper 1 (popularly known as essay paper) is now of 250 marks. Candidates are asked to write an essay on a topic from a set of 4 or 5 option. It is very important to do well in this paper to ensure final selection.
An essay has two components. Contents on the subject and the way in which contents are presented i.e. format of essay.
For the second part student should read book “How to Write Essays: A step-by-step guide for all levels, with sample essays
by Don Shiach (Author)”. The advice and practical guidance students receive in this book will enable them to improve essay writing skills by putting into practice some simple, but invaluable principles of essay writing.
The first part i.e. content is very difficult to improve in a short period of time. Students are required to build genuine interest in various subjects/topics and should read voraciously. Reading of Newspapers ( at least one business newspaper) , magazines like outlook, good online articles, watching of Videos related to different subjects on You tube shall help. Following books shall also help.
Contemporay Essays by Ramesh Singh
151 ESSAYS For UPSC Mains(Essay Paper)
While writing essays candidates will be expected to keep closely to the subject of the essay to arrange their ideas in orderly fashion, and to write concisely.


Books one should not miss – Lie down with lions by Ken Follet

Ken Follet is a master story teller and “lie down with lions” is a master piece by Ken follet. Story of this novel revolves around Jane,  a brave english women caught in a romantic triangle between rival American spy Ellis and Russian spy Jean Pierre. “Lie Down With Lions” opens in Paris in 1981. John Ellis, an American CIA agent, is working undercover and living with a politically active Englishwoman, the sensual, lovely Jane Lambert, who he plans on proposing marriage to as soon as he completes his assignment . Ellis, after capturing an important KGB agent, is exposed as CIA. Jane leaves him in disgust, not only because of his job, but because he lied to her. Jean-Pierre Debout, a French doctor and member of the Communist Party, is going to Afghanistan, ostensibly to provide medical assistance to the rebel forces fighting against the Soviets. He has, however, another agenda. Jane marry  Jean-Pierre and go to work as doctors in the Valley of the Five Lions to help the rebels fighting for their freedom against the Russians. The Valley of Five Lions, a place of ancient legend, lies deep in the Afghan mountains, far removed from civilization. Jane and her husband, Jean Pierre have been working here, in a rebel village, for a year. They minister to the local inhabitants, who have never seen a doctor before, and patch together and stitch-up the wounded warriors. An American visits the valley with an important message for Masud, a famous and effective guerrilla leader, from the White House. The messenger is John Ellis. A terrible treachery is discovered, shortly after he arrives. A nightmare flight with the Soviets in pursuit occurs, across the Hindu Kush, leading to an extraordinarily suspenseful confrontation. The action here is unbelievable with Ken Follett, the master of the suspense-thriller, at his best.

As usual, Follett’s narrative is riveting and the action intense. His characters are well drawn and believable, with all their complexities and conflicts.The dynamics of the Ellis/Jane relationship are great, very natural and well drawn in a way one doesn’t usually find such relationships drawn in action novels. Their moments of greatest intimacy–including an amazingly and erotically written love scene that rivals anything in Miller or Joyce–help drive one of the novel’s main tensions, a tension between the reader’s responses to these two characters who are often at odds but both very sympathetic

Lie Down with Lions is a fast-paced, intriguing read. Lie Down with Lions showcases Follett’s best skills virtually on every page. Plot  moves fast and has one of the most intense sexual scenes I have ever read. ‘Lie Down with Lions’ is one of Follett’s best crafted reads. A solid love story, with larger-than-life characters, wrapped in suspense and tension. KUDOS. Highly recommended