UPSC CE is considered mother of all exams in India. There are thousands of aspirants that sit in the exam every year. They are laced with preparation strategies and tips to beat the heat of the competition. However, not many know that quotes can also be used to remain abreast in the Mains and Interview. ‘Quotes’ give an excellent support to their answers and overall beautifies their efforts. But using quotes randomly or anywhere (without any analogy) can be disastrous. It’s better to learn the tricks of using quotes in UPSC CE exams.
- Don’t quote if you remember it vaguely. If you don’t remember the exact words, don’t write the quote.
- Never misquote someone. If you don’t remember the name of the person to whom the quote is attributed to, avoid giving credit of the quote to someone else.
- Don’t pepper your answers unnecessarily with random quotes. Relying too much on other people’s words show a paucity of ideas in the aspirant.
- Use quotes as per the demand and requirement of the questions and essay. Just because it’s your favourite quote and you know it doesn’t mean you have to use it. It should be applicable to your answer and the topic.
- Underlining the quote helps it to stay distinctive than the rest of the body of the answer or the essay and immediately catches the attention of the examiner.
- Discuss the quotes to show how they fit in with your answer/essay and with the ideas you are presenting.
- If you plan to use the quotes in interview, practice in front of the mirror or in group discussion in order to give you the necessary confidence of reciting the quote without stumbling in front of the interview panel.
- Avoid politically charged or controversial quotes by politicians, whether dead or alive.
- If is often useful to apply some interpretive phrasing after a quotation, to show the reader that you are explaining the quotation and that it supports your argument.
Source: UPSC Quotes Handbook by Piyush Rohankar, DANICS