Anecdotes, Facts, Examples for GS and Essay - ForumIAS

Anecdotes, Facts, Examples for GS and Essay

This thread is meant to be a repository of interesting anecdotes/news articles/facts/examples/case studies which we can use in our essay and GS papers. In my experience, listing these things down somewhere is not enough to ensure that we are able to use them in the exam. Therefore let us discuss and debate so that we can internalize them.

sonder,chamomileand40 otherslike this
20.3k views

82 comments

For philosophical essays, I’ve found this YouTube channel “Academy of Ideas” pretty great. Scored 141 in essay last time, and a large part of one of the essays was influenced by this channel. 

More insights on what makes a good essay?

Hi, I think scores may have been different if someone else valued it; so, some of following , if not all, might be useless. I scored very poorly in all my essay mocks last time, but got decent feedback on forum. 

My learnings are as follows:

1. Adopting an argumentative method of writing the essay, as opposed to a method where you simply elaborate on the given topic. For instance, if I got a topic “There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless”, I would broadly engage with the following ideas: a) Can there be social justice without economic prosperity; b) Is economic prosperity a precondition for social justice; c) Is economic prosperity without social justice meaningless or can economic prosperity be a gateway to greater social justice? Rather than adopting an approach where I would simply elaborate on the given topic by touching upon different topics, I adopted a style where I wasn’t afraid of going against the topic if I had cogent reasons to do so. Then of course, where it was apt, I did add in quotes, but only if I could connect it directly with the point I was making. For example, in the above topic, I remember using “The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.” 

2. Presenting ideas and arguments, and having a logical flow to them rather than jumping around different dimensions of the same topic. 

3. Staying authentic. I felt presenting ideas that are internalised adds more value than giving a great number of facts or examples or quotes. 

4. A run of the mill essay can be boring. An essay which is a bit off beat can be high risk, but highly rewarding. Striking a conversation with the examiner helps, because majority of aspirants fail to do this. 

5. Pick a topic which you can connect with. Popular advice is to avoid philosophical essays as much as you can. I felt comfortable with them because they are open to interpretation. I wrote on the essay “Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self.” That topic, at least to my interpretation, struck I chord with where I was at that point in my life. So, I felt I could present my ideas well. 

6. Spending way too much time brainstorming can be counterproductive. Having a broad idea of the arguments you would engage with, and a reasonable idea about the specific points that you can quote on the way might be enough. If I spend too much time brainstorming, I overcomplicate. I think writing an essay gives you ideas along the way. Do use them because they might be your best ones. However, be careful not to deviate from the topic. 

7. What gets valued is your thought process, not your knowledge. 

Thank you. Will try to work with these. I hope you can help me when I need me w.r.t essay. 

Patootie,THE_MECHANIC
2.3k views

Some Noice Youtube Channels on Climate Change: 

Some Noice Youtube Channels on Climate Change: 

  • Our Changing Climate
    2.2k views
Someone please suggest telegram groups for 2021 Mains. 
2.2k views

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chamomile,MichaelScarnand2 otherslike this
2.2k views

Planned Obsolescence >>Consumerism >>Climate Change  

Jesse_pinkman,Patootieand2 otherslike this
2.1k views

Narrow Corridor by Acemoglu & Robinson

---


Wait, have they actually claimed China to be a despotic Leviathan in their book? If yes, what were their arguments behind it? 

2.1k views

Planned Obsolescence >>Consumerism >>Climate Change  


sbhati,
2.1k views
which essay test series is best for 2021 mains ?
2.1k views
@nerdfighter Also, Planned Obsolescence ->>bad corporate governance, decline of ethics and values, more e-waste. 


2.1k views
Meghalayan environment minister promoting pineapple leather >>circular economy, no cruelty to animals, less carbon intensive, innovation, doubling farmers income.
chamomile,Jesse_pinkmanand1 otherslike this
1.9k views

Hello guys. Let's keep this thread active, please. :)

EiChan,sbhatiand5 otherslike this
2k views

Crowdsource = united we stand. 

Homo Neanderthalensis ,
1.7k views
Rimland theory of Nicholas Spykman ->Those who control the coastal fringes of Eurasia, will rule the world. Explains conflicts in South China sea, Indo pacific? 
1.6k views

Extended Mind Hypothesis by Chalmers & Clark

Can be Used in essay related to technology


We have traditionally thought of our mind as being limited to our brain. While the brain is a tangible organ of our body, the human mind is much more than that. It is an invisible entity that transcends our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and imagination. The act of cognition isn’t restricted to the grey matter in our skull. David Chalmers and Andy Clark call this belief a kind of “skull chauvinism”. In ‘The extended mind thesis’, a seminal work in the philosophy of mind, these cognitive philosophers suggest that the objects within our environment function as parts of our mind. It is arbitrary to say that the mind is contained inside the skull. Our external environment plays a significant role in aiding the cognitive process. The brain and the environment work together in a coupled system to create effective cognition. When we use pen and paper to solve long divisions, a part of our cognition takes place on the paper. Once the Historian Charles Wiener told the famous physicist Richard Feynman that his notebooks were a wonderful “record of his day-to-day work”. Feynman replied that the notebooks weren’t the record of his thinking process. They were his thinking process. Complex acts of cognition become almost impossible without external aid and Feynman clearly understood the extended mind. We have moved on from using just pen and paper as our extended mind. Our smartphones are always with us, ready to connect us to the world on a click. Clark & Chalmers used the example of a notebook that an amnesic person can carry. The notebook does the job what his mind can’t- Remember. Smartphones are way better than our extended minds.  

chamomile,sbhatiand4 otherslike this
1.8k views
@nerdfighter if only we had this extended mind with us in the exam hall :P


chamomile,nerdfighterand5 otherslike this
1.9k views
» show previous quotes

More insights on what makes a good essay?

Hi, I think scores may have been different if someone else valued it; so, some of the following , if not all, might be useless. I scored very poorly in all my essay mocks last time, but got decent feedback on forum. 

My learnings are as follows:

1. Adopting an argumentative method of writing the essay, as opposed to a method where you simply elaborate on the given topic may pay rich dividends. For instance, if I got a topic “There can be no social justice without economic prosperity but economic prosperity without social justice is meaningless”, I would broadly engage with the following ideas: a) Can there be social justice without economic prosperity; b) Is economic prosperity a precondition for social justice; c) Is economic prosperity without social justice meaningless or can economic prosperity be a gateway to greater social justice? Rather than adopting an approach where I would simply elaborate on the given topic by touching upon different topics, I adopted a style where I wasn’t afraid of going against the topic if I had cogent reasons to do so. Then of course, where it was apt, I did add in quotes, but only if I could connect it directly with the point I was making. For example, in the above topic, I remember using “The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.” 

2. Presenting ideas and arguments, and having a logical flow to them rather than jumping around different dimensions of the same topic helps. 

3. Staying authentic. I felt presenting ideas that are internalised adds more value than giving a great number of facts or examples or quotes. 

4. A run of the mill essay can be boring. An essay which is a bit off beat can be high risk, but highly rewarding. Striking a conversation with the examiner helps, because majority of aspirants fail to do this. 

5. Pick a topic which you can connect with. Popular advice is to avoid philosophical essays as much as you can. I felt comfortable with them because they are open to interpretation. I wrote on the essay “Mindful manifesto is the catalyst to a tranquil self.” That topic, at least to my interpretation, struck I chord with where I was at that point in my life. So, I felt I could present my ideas well. 

6. Spending way too much time brainstorming can be counterproductive. Having a broad idea of the arguments you would engage with, and a reasonable idea about the specific points that you can quote on the way might be enough. If I spend too much time brainstorming, I overcomplicate. I think writing an essay gives you ideas along the way. Do use them because they might be your best ones. However, be careful not to deviate from the topic. 

7. What gets valued is your thought process, not your knowledge. 

thanks a lot@Patootie. Very helpful


Patootie,Muffin
1.4k views
One day someone dug up a twentieth century city
Here's an interesting inscription
'This water tap is open to all castes and religions'.
What could it have meant:
That this society was divided?
That some were high while others were low?
Well, all right, then this city deserved burying-
Why did they call it the machine age?
Seems like the Stone Age in the twentieth century
      - Daya Pawar (Dalit poet from Maharashtra)
thejoker,chamomileand6 otherslike this
1.6k views
One day someone dug up a twentieth century city
Here's an interesting inscription
'This water tap is open to all castes and religions'.
What could it have meant:
That this society was divided?
That some were high while others were low?
Well, all right, then this city deserved burying-
Why did they call it the machine age?
Seems like the Stone Age in the twentieth century
      - Daya Pawar (Dalit poet from Maharashtra)

Beautiful !

thejoker,rahulgandhiand3 otherslike this
1.3k views
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