The Rationale Behind Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge
Most of us read newspapers and magazines. Right now, if I ask you to name or recall few articles published yesterday in The Hindu Opinion page, chances are that you will hardly recall/remember anything. Of course, after thinking for a few minutes, you may recall something, but when asked to reply without thinking too hard, you will rarely recall anything – unless you’d written something about those articles.
Writing an answer to a question is more productive than just jotting down some points from a book. When you read some topic with a question in mind, your keenness becomes sharper and the ability to comprehend facts and ideas increases.
Later when you write an answer to the same question, without the help from any source, surprisingly, your mind consolidates many ideas of the past and present hidden in your subconscious, and presents them as a coherent answer.
This is the idea behind Daily Answer Writing Challenge – to make your exam preparation more productive.
When you read a topic from a book in a similar way as you read newspapers and write nothing about it, it is an utterly futile exercise and a huge waste of time. When you ‘read’ newspapers, you just ‘read’ them. For this exam (UPSC Civil Services), just ‘reading’ is not enough.
The advantages of Daily Answer Writing Challenge are manifold:
- Questions stimulate you to read a certain topic with a new perspective. You read them critically.
- After reading, it is suggested to write your answer on a paper first and then type it here. This double exercise will enhance your long term memory on that topic.
- Your answer is visible to everyone who visits the page. Someone may correct you if they find a mistake in your answer
- You can see others’ answers, and you may find a best answer to emulate later(structure, not content)
- Unlike on various fora, where few friends make a group and try to answer questions on their own and stop it for some reasons after few days, here there is an invisible moderator making things easy for you (it is assumed so!).
- Most topics from the syllabus will be covered (sans factual ones)
- It is free and democratic. Fortunately, so far, none has used a harsh language against anyone (though democratic!)
- Finally, it improves your writing ability – I have seen many transforming their writing style from ludicrous to sensible. It is the fruit of their own perseverance. Haven’t we fed innumerable times the classic cliché, that practice makes things perfect.
- It is voluntary. Also, you have freedom to use pseudonym (But I don’t understand why some guys use girl’s names!)
It also has disadvantages:
- You may not get feedback always, but you can compensate this by reading some good answers to see if your answer lacks some points/ideas
- For some people typing may be irksome or difficult.
If you have experienced other advantages and disadvantages (apart from the one, ‘Insights doesn’t review answers’), please feel free to discuss them below in the comment section.
Some work like bringing all the best answers together and provide them in a pdf document is pending. Providing model answers is not a good idea for GS opinion based questions and is also not possible as it requires a lot of energy and time.
The other intention of this initiative was to make aspirants discus among themselves and contribute to each others’ answers.
If you want feedback, you must give feedback – give and take principle.
PS: After you write/paste your answers here, go back to books and study for your other papers. After few hours spend one hour on reading others’ answers and if possible give some feedback. Again, go back to your studies.
It is tempting to check if anyone one has given feedback or not on your answers (Facebook syndrome), avoid it here to stay focused on your studies (Later, I don’t want you to spam this site with hate comments, such as, ‘you wasted our time!)