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Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 40: Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life

Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 40


07 October 2018

Write an essay on the following topic in not more than 1000-1200 words:


Customary morality cannot be a guide to modern life


  • First understand topic clearly. Take your time to think over keywords in the topic. Then make sense of the topic in its entirety. Even when meaning is clear to you, keep reading topic – this triggers ideas. 
  • You may start with a relevant quote. 
  • In the introduction, compulsorily define what is ‘customary morality’ – not in the first line itself.  This definition should come after writing 3-4 sentences which should be either about a fact or an anecdote related to topic. 
  • After writing definition, write about the context of the topic (like, why such statement is being made – what incidents have triggered such a debate. Don’t stick to Indian context alone. Give global context too.)
  • In the introduction you may take a stand for or against the topic too. 
  • In the body, identify 6-7 broad dimensions related to the topic – among which one dimension should be about elaboration of meaning of the topic itself. Other dimensions should be about identifying and debating various facets of customary morality; various meanings and interpretations (including your own) of modern life; relating customary morality to lives of women and all other weaker sections – like what it means to their progress and lives (can it act as a guide or not); add a dimension on how values and ideals change as times change; Write about dangers of blindly following customary morality especially in the light of changing lifestyle and changing demands of our time. Apply this topic to even governments and private entities too. 
  • While writing various dimensions, make sure they are in tune with your core argument. You may balance your essay by arguing about both sides too – but it’s desirable to take a stand and defend it. You may go on giving suggestions within each dimension rather than creating separate section of ‘way forward’.
  • In the conclusion write something meaningful and thought provoking idea that is futuristic and optimistic. It should be philosophical and insightful (for topics likes this). You may end with a quote  – write a quote that’s continuous with conclusion. Don’t write a quote for the sake of writing it. It should not look like out of blue, out of context kind of ending.
  • As pointed out above, go beyond India and make your essay universal. Otherwise everyone will end up writing same arguments.