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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 12:31 PM via web

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

Australian South Sea Islanders have not only played a role in the growth of sugar industries but brought their traditional habits, cultural beliefs and religions. Despite the controls over their lives and working as indentured labourers, South Sea Islanders maintained their cultural connections. Most of the south sea islanders that were brought to Australia were not Christians, but they practised their own religions, believing in the power of spirits, ancestors and one or more gods.  However, in 1904, when recruitment ended, the majority of Islanders have converted to Christianity. Their particular food preference also remained – sweet potato, fish and root crops such as taro were limited to special occasion and meat and root vegetables were cooked in underground stone ovens at large Islander party. Also, a sport that they have excelled in is the game rugby league. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:41 PM (Answer #1)

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If this essay is really about how important these islanders have been to the development of Australia, this paragraph does not fit in.  It says very little about the impact that the islanders have had on the country.  A similar comment could be made about your previous paragraph as well.  This essay is appearing to be much more about how the islanders were treated and how they lived than it is about their contributions to Australia.

Therefore, you have three options.  First, you can change the thesis of your whole essay.  Instead of saying that you are showing how they were important, you can change it and say that your essay is about how they were mistreated and about how they dealt with this mistreatment.  Second, you can keep the overall thesis but explain in this paragraph how any of their practices affected Australia.  Have any of their cultural habits and such had an impact on Australian culture in general?  Third, you can delete this paragraph if islander cultures have had no impact on Australian culture and you are trying to show how the islanders have mattered to Australia.

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