GP Essays: Common mistake #3

20 02 2011

Pay due attention to additional terms or any embedded context in the question. Examiners put such terms/phrases there for a reason – they aren’t simply there to make the question longer or to give you extra information; they need to be dealt with. With this in mind, it might be helpful to ask yourself:

1) What would I argue if the additional terms / embedded context were absent?

Once you have an answer, ask yourself:

2) How would I modify my argument to show an awareness of the additional terms /embedded context?

If you find that your argument is the same for both questions 1 and 2, it is likely that you’re missing part of the question requirements.

For example:

In a world where borders are vanishing, is it futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity?

First, ask:
1) What would I argue if the additional terms / embedded context were absent? In other words, if it read:
“Is it futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity?”

In this case, you might argue that no, it is not futile because there is value in Singapore persisting in building a national identity (then proceed to explain the value)
e.g. “SA national identity helps to build social cohesion, which is important in a multi-racial country like Singapore. Thus, Singapore must persist in building a national identity.”

[Note: the above example does not meet question requirements yet]

Next, ask:
2) How would I modify my argument to show an awareness of the additional terms /embedded context? In other words, considering the full question:
“In a world where borders are vanishing, is it futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity?”

Here, you might argue that no, it is not futile because there is value in Singapore persisting in building a national identity, despite the fact that we might now also identify ourselves as global citizens (then proceed to explain why the two concepts (national identity vs a global identity) are not mutually exclusive and why national identity is still relevant in a globalised world).
e.g. “A national identity helps to build social cohesion, which is important in a multi-racial country like Singapore. Although cohesion might be achieved by our common identification as global citizens, being able to build a common national identity – over and above our common global identity – is likely to foster social cohesion even more effectively as it gives us one more thread of connectedness to our fellow citizens”

[Note: This now meets question requirements]

Task 1:

Write a thesis statement that answers the question, “In a world where borders are vanishing, is it futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity?” Your thesis statement must show an appreciation of the requirements behind the embedded context (“in a world where borders are vanishing”). You may choose to agree or disagree with the question.

 

Task 2:

Read the sample essays (see “Sample essays” on the sidebar) on this question. Pick out the arguments raised, and highlight how the embedded context was included in the argument.

Example 1:
Argument:
Building a national identity is futile because it is impossible, given that we are constantly influenced by other cultures which erode our Singapore culture.
Embedded context:”given that we are constantly influenced by other cultures which erode our Singapore culture”

Example 2:
Argument: Globalisation has resulted in the rise of soft power. However for Singapore to excercise soft power, she must have a national identity – making it crucial that Singapore persists in building one.
Embedded context: “Globalisation has resulted in the rise of soft power.”


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35 responses

22 02 2011
Ryan + Jeremy

Globalization has caused the building of national identity to fail in Singapore.

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

What is the characteristic of globalisation / what is it about globalisation that has caused this?

22 02 2011
Wallace & Cheng Ding

TASK 1: In a world where borders are vanishing, it is futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

This is just the stand. The thesis requires your stand, PLUS reasons for your stand.

22 02 2011
Handsome, ugly, very ugly

Task 1 , It is important to continue building a national identity even in a borderless world, as there is no conflict globalisation and building national identity.

22 02 2011
Shermin and Elaine

Argument: Increasing influence from the media has made it futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity. Media has become prevalent due to globalisation.
Embedded context: ” Media has become prevalent due to globalisation.”

22 02 2011
Ryan + Jeremy

Due to the increased interconnectedness between countries, Singapore’s identity has been diluted with foreign cultures which have prevented the building of national identity in singapore.

22 02 2011
Li Xu ^^

Task 1:
Globalisation has in fact made the building of a national identity crucial. Due to the presence of disappearing boundaries, we must find ways to distinguish ourselves and make our presence known in this ever interconnected world.

22 02 2011
Ezra Aik

Building a national identity can be seen no more than a futile attempt because it can be said to be an outdated and maybe even selfish concept of protecting certain interests within a set of borders thus creating a sovereign nation. As we move into a globalized world together, we should take national identities as merely a bit of banter, something that once divided us something that some might give up their life for, but doesn’t divide us anymore as we enlarge our peripherals to see the need to put aside differences and the tools that created all these differences for the greater interest of the world.

22 02 2011
Aden yo and jason lou (drug dealer)

Task 1: “In a world where borders are vanishing, is it futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity?”

Globalisation is inevitable. This is especially true for singapore as she relies heavily on international trade, thus exchange of ideals are prevalent in Singapore’s society. Thus, it is futile to resist this change

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

You’ve made reference to globalisation, but not national identity!

22 02 2011
Wallace & CHengding

In a world where borders are vanishing, it is futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity. This is because resisting the social, economic and political influences of globalisation will bring adverse effects to Sg. Due to Singapore’s lack of natural resources, the only way for us to prosper is through the optimal utilisation of the only resource we have, the human resource. Hence, if singapore attempts to resist these agents of globaliseration, Singapore will suffer heavy losses and be instead a very backward country with starving people enjoying their national identity. TF, singapore has to sacrifice it’s national identity so as to embrace globalisation with open arms and enjoy the benefits that globalisation endows upon this little sunny island.

22 02 2011
Wallace & CHengding

our natural identity is that of having to rely solely upon the human resourc

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

Possible, but this means that you’re assuming “resisting the social, economic and political influences of globalisation” necessarily means we can’t have a national identity. Can’t we embrace globalisation and national identity? Why not?

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

So note that the above issues will have to be dealt with in your main body.

22 02 2011
jon soong

As a result of globalization, the world is turning into a more homogeneous place which is being overrun by western cultures. However borders are not vanishing as nations will always have it’s characteristics which are unique to the place. this makes the attempt to continue building on this national identity is all the more important for Singapore because as country needs to hold on to it’s place as a little red dot has to have it’s own culture which is unique to itself

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

The coherence is lacking – “homogeneous place” seems to contradict “However borders are not vanishing”. And the link between “all the more important” and your previous statement (“borders are not vanishing”) is not clear. Oveall, I’m not quite sure what you point is.

22 02 2011
Yu Cheong and Chun Chie

Task 1: In a world where borders are vanishing, it is futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity. Due to the rise of foreign powers, like China and the US, their cultures are influencing our daily lives. Therefore, as more foreign powers are rising up, thus it is futile for Singapore in building a national identity.

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

Content ok, but language could be improved to show this idea better:

Since we live in a world where borders are vanishing, it is futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity. This is because the rise of foreign powers, like China and the US, has resulted in their cultures influencing our daily lives. We are already influenced and there is no turning back. Because of this, it is futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity.

22 02 2011
Wallace & CHengding

老师,这个网络很难看,可以换设计吗 ?

22 02 2011
Aden yo and jason lou (drug dealer)

Globalisation is inevitable. This is especially true for singapore as she relies heavily on international trade, thus exchange of ideals are prevalent in Singapore’s society. Due to the overwhelming influence of different cultures in singapore, we need to incoporate a homogeneous culture to participate in the globalised economy. Thus , it is futile to resist this change.

22 02 2011
darrylsimjj

In the 21st century, the world is globalised and borders are vanishing rapidly . With the process of globalisation, the people of the world now shares a homogeneous identity, hence borders are diminishing in terms of social cohesion and connectivity across the world.
Singaporeans need a social identity as it is a small nation in terms of population and resources. The need for Singapore to stand out in the Global market, with all its more developed and mature Economic powerhouses such as USA and UK, is pivotal. Singapore’s national identity creates a unique Impression in a increasing globalised and homogeneous global identity.

Singapore also needs a national identity so that its citizens create a cohesive society. Despite the whole worlds population increasing share a homogeneous identity, local citizens require an identity closer to home, quite literally, to related and to motivate singaporeans to strive economically.

22 02 2011
Wallace & CHengding

老师,我很喜欢你的教导。你是世界上最好的英文老师。 我长大了要跟你一样 :)      我爱你!

22 02 2011
Aden yo and jason lou (drug dealer)

Thus , it is futile to resist this change as our national identity is lost and irrelevant in this globalised world

22 02 2011
Clare

As the integration of globalisation persist in our country, our national identity has been compromised. Globalisation is a powerful force that no country can resist and fighting it would therefore be a losing battle. With advancements in technology and communications, there is a greater interconnectedness between countries and therefore the integration of cultures is inevitable and therefore this has encouraged a homogenous culture across the world. Hence, the loss of national identity in a borderless world is unavoidable and to prevent this from happening is useless.

22 02 2011
jon soong

As a result of globalization, the world is turning into a more homogeneous place as western cultures continues to make a larger impact on the world. This makes the attempt to continue building on this national identity is all the more important for Singapore because as country needs to hold on to it’s place as a little red dot has to have its own culture which is unique to itself.

22 02 2011
Matthew

In a world hit by the onslaught of globalisation, it is futile for Singapore to build a national identity as we become global citizens and gain a global identity instead. As such, it is hard to succeed in building for Singapore to build a national identity. Also, Singapore has succeeded in becoming one of the most developed nations in the world due to our openess in receiving globalisation – with its benefits and problems – which has led to an increasing number of Singaporeans viewing themselves as global citizens, people who are open to change and are prepared to embrace it. Hence, by building a national identity, we are shying away from globalisation and its benefits (such as economic benefits) and we should avoid the building of a national identity as it actually puts Singapore at a disadvantage. Therefore, to a small extent, it is futile for Singapore to persist in building a national identity.

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

You’ve contradicted yourself, so your stand isn’t clear – in the first line, you argue that is is futile, but in your last line, you argue that it is only futile “to a small extent” – meaning it’s largely NOT futile!

22 02 2011
yaoyi

Today, with more interconnectiveness and the exchange of culture, of products and even of human resources in the world,the problem of the lost of national identity, which can be the lost of an important soft power of a country, is increasingly frequently being raised due to the power of globalization. Singapore, a country has been undoubtly influenced much by the vanishing of borders due to its dependency on resources from other country and its mixed population, is said to be furtile to persist in building a national identity.

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

This needs to be clearer – “because our identity has already been influenced and eroded by global culture, it is futile to persist…”

22 02 2011
yaoyi

Today, with more interconnectiveness and the exchange of culture, of products and even of human resources in the world,the national identity, which can be an important soft power of a country, is increasingly being influenced and eroded by global culture. Singapore, a country has been undoubtly influenced much by the vanishing of borders due to its dependency on resources from other countries and its large population of migrant workers, is said to be furtile to persist in building a national identity as no much national identity is perserved.

22 02 2011
Adrienne de Souza

Rephrased for expression:
Today, with more interconnectedness and a greater exchange of culture, products and even of human resources in the world, national identity (which can be an important way of exerting soft power), is increasingly being influenced and eroded by global culture. Singapore is a country which has undoubtly been influenced much by vanishing borders, due to its dependency on resources from other countries and its large population of migrant workers. Thus far, Singapore has managed to preserve little of her national identity – making it futile to persist in building a national identity.

22 02 2011
Tan wenjian

A national identity differenciates one nation from another. It is crucial to have an outstanding characteristic in order to gain a foothold in the world today, where national borders are vanishing and the world becoming more interconnected. This is especially so in Singapore’s context, where we are disadvantaged in many aspects, such as the lack of natural resources. Therefore in order to stand out from other nations, it is definitely not futile for Singapore to continue to persist in building her national identity in such a globalised world.

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