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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 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM via web

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

In the 1860s, people believed that white labour could not labour safely in the tropics and so sugar industry was entirely dependent upon coloured labour. Therefore, in colonial Australia, the development of industries like sugar cane and cotton relied on communities like South Sea Islanders.  The Islanders who played a significant role to Australia’s development had a very daunting experience during their times in Australia. 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM (Answer #1)

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It is hard to offer much assistance, as this appears to be an introductory paragraph to a larger work. I will list a few stylistic recommendations, and then a few susbstantive recommendations.

  • Be more specific about which "people" believed that whites couldn't work in the tropics. 
  • I'd change the word "communities" to people in the second sentence.
  • The final sentence should probably read significant role in Australia's development.
  • You need to discuss (in what I assume will be the rest of a longer essay) the reasons why it was believed that whites couldn't work in tropical conditions. This will bring to light a number of racial assumptions that may help to frame your discussion of the nature of labor on cotton and sugar plantations. It might also open the door to the possibility of comparison with other societies like the Caribbean or India. 
  • I would also caution against leaving the category "South Sea Islanders" unexamined. Were there people from specific locations within the South Sea Islands that were particularly desirable to Europeans for racial, economic, or political reasons? Why were these people preferred as laborers to aboriginal Australians, for example?
  • Of course, you'll also want to show exactly what impact these workers had on Australian society, and try to do so in a way that discusses economics, culture, and even politics. 

 

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