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[Essay Framework] “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”


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Note: This is a mere outline to get you to start thinking about the topic. This is not a synopsis or a model essay. Just brainstorming. We’re eager to read your insightful essays! Please post them in the comments. 


  • You may start the essay with an anecdote, poem, or a riveting story that illustrates the topic clearly.(If you’re writing a story -please try to write an original story that evokes the reader’s interest.)
  • Mention how the given quote is attributed to Abraham Lincoln and explain the contextin which it was said.
  • Define & elaborate upon your idea of the topic– what is the deeper meaning behind it? Explore different perspectives- there is no right or wrong dimension- let your imagination and creativity take over!
    • It speaks about broadening one’s thinking/horizons and thought process.
    • Discuss, debate, and deliberate; Conflict resolution
    • You may also delve a bit into the idea of true friendship. Who is a true friend? The one who agrees with everything that you say or the one who has the courage to disagree and/or open your mind to different streams of thought?
      • Mary Parker Follet’s idea of constructive conflict and circular response
    • Does it also talk about the importance of reading? Why is reading essential? Why must one read different varieties of books and dive into the unfamiliar?
    • Step out of your comfort zone; experiment with different things, and embrace the unknown.

Please give examples & substantiate.

  • Talk about why cultivating an attitude of open-mindedness is important.Why is being un-prejudiced and acknowledging others’ ideas and being accommodative essential? Does it lead to personal growth? Elaborate upon critical and rational thinking, curiosity, humility, tolerance, freedom of speech and expression, and intellectual humility, amongst other qualities.
    • The importance of Cognitive Diversity
  • Assimilation vs Accommodation: what is the difference between the two?
    • Assimilating new information/ideas/thoughts:
    • Accommodating: changing your existing ideas or thoughts and making a place for newer streams of thought
    • Reach an equilibrium state between the 2
  • What is meta-cognition? How can you use this concept in this topic?
  • Explore the dangers of being closed-minded or dogmatic. Will such a closed mindset stunt your intellectual and personal growth? What are the long-standing repercussions?
    • Dunning-Kruger Effect: the phenomenon wherein people overestimate their capabilities. It creates a dual burden: not only are the people incompetent but that incompetency precludes them from recognizing their incompetence.
    • We must steer clear of Confirmation Bias
    • Idea bubble
    • Echo chamber, groupthink
  • Explore various dimensions in the succeeding paragraphs: History/Politics/Personalities, Cultural domain, Environment, Education, Health, Society, Infrastructure/Business, Good governance, and best practices. International Relations, Technology, etc. Talk about the benefits of being open to different points of view in the above dimensions and the dangers of being prejudiced and biased. Contrast and compare with examples to substantiate.
  • Ethical dimension: Apply your learnings from GS-4 wrt to this topic.


Please let your creativity flow and explore other dimensions.

  • Conclusion: End the essay on a positive, balanced & holistic note.
  • Quotes:
    • “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
      ― Oscar Wilde
    • “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
      ― Charles W. Eliot
    • “ Read before you think.”
      ― Fran Lebowitz
    • “The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
      ― Bertrand Russell
    • “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.”

Mahatma Gandhi