Preparing for General Paper (GP) can be an exhausting time.
Instead of spreading yourself thin, focus on some common topics instead for your General Paper preparation.
I have outlined 5 common topic categories which have appeared continually in theGeneral Paper and I hope my little list will be helpful to you in your studies.
#1 Subjective Topics – Choices
Choices we make, should we take risks and equality etc. These topics are easier to do as they are purely about what you feel. And most of the General Paper essay will be based on your opinion.
Good health, should we take risks, the influence of advertisements…These are all about what you feel and they are peripheral topics. They reflect mundane, everyday sort of matters and you can dredge it up from your own observations to collect a pool of reflections.
If you are able to make enough astute observations about how people generally are based on everyday happenings and supported with a lot of your opinions, you can sail through it smoothly.
These subjective types never go out of style and they always appear in everyGeneral Paper.
#2 Lifestyle – Working From Home
Eating, health, money, family(relationships), media…Lifestyle topics are concentrated on current situations. They reflect how people make conscious choices with regard to conducting their daily lives. Conscious choices reveal the reasons why we make them. Trends, blogs, popular people and celebrities, or high standards of living are some of the reasons.
Family topics and relationships about parents and children or relationships, in general, are common and appear in different forms. It may be worded as relationships being difficult to maintain due to our reliance on media. Therefore, this may be a hybrid topic with technology and lifestyle rolled into one. Hybrid questions appear all the time. It allows you to reflect on both genres which are good as you can expand your evidence.
Money and the way we eat reflect our attitude to living. Money topics generally reflect economic conditions but they may be worded in a subjective way. For example, “Is money the root of all evil?”
This is very subjective and can be difficult to write. It is not really about economics but a reason to blame. If money is the blame factor then there would be the deniability factor.
If you can wrap your head around this, it should be alright. Otherwise, avoid it. If theGeneral Paper question asks whether money contributes to happiness, it would be easier to do. Money topics never go out of style.
Though media may stand alone as a topic, it can be tied in with lifestyle as it is a question of personal choice and how it affects your life. Media is also linked to technology. It depends on the way it is worded.
If ‘entertainment’ is the question, it will be about lifestyles and choices. How we perceive entertainment and what sort of entertainment is popular today are rather common topics.
Compared to other genres, topics about lifestyles are based on your own life so the evidence is straightforward.
#3 Technology And Media
As mentioned, these are linked to our lifestyles. Always popular, theseGeneral Paper questions test you on your observation of the latest updates in technology and current as well as futuristic inventions.
Artificial intelligence, technology and arms, technology and medicine, and technology and entertainment are questions which demand that you have read and watched the latest news. These are very common questions as they are continually written about and cause debates amongst leading people in our world.
#4 Evolving Issues
This is about anything that is evolving in the world. It could be about the way everyone is trying to do work from home but prefer to travel to work. There are contentious debates supporting both sides.
Another topic is about how people are cautious about the pandemic but still want to go out. Evolving topics reflect the shift in world thinking. It could be a result of something ongoing and where the shift occurs due to the time it has taken to happen and also other factors such as science and emotions.
For example, people cannot help but be seen outside in small groups despite the pandemic. The observation is that people get stressed after being locked down for long and want to socialise. The latest science has offered us vaccines so it helps people to get about.
Other evolving issues are about the way we view the world. Gender issues and the way millennials view them. General acceptance and inclusionism reflect the change in our thinking.
These are all based on evolving issues and they may change every day. The best part of theseGeneral Paper topics is they are fun to do as they reflect something new all the time. You need to be on your toes for this.
#5 Other Common Topics
Our planet, resources, future, environment…These reflect the need to save our planet, climate change, global warming, change in consciousness, saving, conserving our resources, taking care of our environment, and changing our outlook. These are current and urgent issues. They reveal the serious state of our world and the need to change.
Common topics may be disguised by keywords such as ‘change’, ‘new attitudes’, ‘threats’ etc. These will reflect the change in our world and it will include the way we travel, eat and work.
New attitudes can include the way we view diseases and threats may refer to threats to our environment which will inevitably include pandemic and natural disasters.
These are continually in everyGeneral Paper but you will need to interpret the question first. Preparing for common questions and familiarising yourself with keywords is vital. Words are tricky and technology may be worded as a science or lifestyle question.
Anyway, the common topics inGeneral Paper are spread over a diverse blend of ideas, and preparing this way means you will be in good stead for your GP tests. Good luck!