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Please give me suggestions about how to improve this essay about South Sea Islanders in...

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rainbow224 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM via web

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Please give me suggestions about how to improve this essay about South Sea Islanders in Australian history.

South Sea Islanders had a significant influence in the development of sugar and cotton industries. Between the period 1863 and 1904, around 55 000 -762 500 South Sea Islanders, mainly from Solomon and Vanuatu, were shipped to Queensland and New South Wales for cheap labour on. Labourers, few women, men and young boys aged between 9 and 30 years old, were known as ‘kanakas’ and their recruitment involved either blackbirding or trickery. They signed a three-year work contract that revealed a system of treatment and labour conditions that discriminates on the basis of race. In 1892, Islanders were excluded from working in sugar industries they built up. When the deportation order was made a total of 6 068 islanders were repatriated back to their islands in the period of 1904 and 1908. However, after a 1904 Royal Commission, certain categories and several other Islanders were allowed to remain in Australia. Approximately 1 500 Islanders were officially allowed to reside and another 1 000 stayed illegally. On the 25th of August 1994, Australian South Sea Islanders gained authorized government recognition as a distinct ethnic group. Australian Government now recognises and regrets that Australian South Sea Islanders faced unfair treatment but they still continue to experience substantial disadvantages. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM (Answer #1)

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First, please be certain that you are including appropriate citations.  You have included many statistics here whose source(s) need(s) to be cited. 

Second, you need a better topic sentence.  Your topic sentence says that you are talking about how important the islanders were.  However, the body of the paragraph is mostly about ways in which the islanders have been treated badly.  Therefore, you should have a topic sentence that is about mistreatment, not simply about the idea that these islanders were important to these industries.

Third, the sentence that begins “Labourers, few women…” is rather awkward.  Perhaps you could say “The labourers were mostly young boys and men under the age of 30.  A few women came as well.  They were known…”

Finally, you claim that the whole system was based on racial discrimination.  However, you show no evidence to prove this.

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