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Discursive Writing Class 12th English

discursive writing year 12

As per the new syllabus of the CBSE Board, we are sharing Discursive Writing For class 12th to help the board students with their writing skills and attempt several questions in the 12th board examinations. Discursive Writing for class 12th is a very important topic from the point of view of 12th board examinations to help the students with the writing skills of 12th board.

Discursive Writing Class 12th English: Introduction

Discursive writing expresses opinions. It can be argumentative, i.e. may give reasons, explanations, or explore cause and effect relationships. Passages of this kind are analytical. Sometimes the author presents his views with excellent depth of reasoning or force of argument to convince the reader of his point of view. Such texts have great persuasive power.

(a) Argumentative

1. Read the passage given below. 1. Although land, sea, and air pollution has been well documented, the latest and least recognized version is the swelling tide of noise engulfing urban and rural areas. This has long-term implications for the ecology, health, and productivity of a fast developing country like India.

2. Unlike other pollutants, noise lacks visibility, seldom registering on the consciousness, except as a trifling irritant to be dismissed at will and therefore less likely to be perceived as a threat. Available data indicate that noise does pose a threat to health and is known to have caused several complications. Declining productivity among workers in specific industries has been directly correlated with noise levels, particularly those under constant exposure to the menace.

3. The first-ever survey of the impact of noise on health, conducted by All India Institute of Medical Sciences has established that noise not only impairs the physical and psychological functioning of the human organism but also causes nausea, vomiting, pain, hypertension, and a lot of other complications, including cardiovascular complaints.

4. A study by Chennai’s Post Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences confirms such conclusions. In 50 percent of industries, it was found that workmen exposed to higher intensities of noise in occupational capacities were often irritated, short- tempered, impatient, and more likely to resort to agitation and disrupt production. This was true of units in heavy industrial pockets in and around the four metropolitan centers.

5. Recreational noise, another ugly facet, is becoming more widespread in cities and towns. Loudspeakers are turned at total volume during marriages, festivals, jaguars, and musical programs, particularly at night, without the slightest consideration for others. Even at 50 dB, sound can awaken a person from a deep slumber. As experiments have shown, loudspeakers with output from 60 to 80 dB cause the pupils of a slumbering person to dilate, increasing oxygen intake and resulting in palpitation. The effect is more pronounced in narrow lanes. TV sets are played at total volume at prime time, invariably disturbing neighbors. Noise making seems to have become the latest status symbol, be it an election campaign, slogan shouting, or advertising ownership of a TV set.

1.1 Based on your reading of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the best of the given choices.

Question (a) What is the difference between noise and other pollutants? (i) Noise is not resented. (ii) Noise is regarded as a minor irritant and dismissed. (iii) People are not aware of noise as a pollutant. (iv) Noise can be found in rural and urban areas. Answer: (ii) Noise is regarded as a minor irritant and dismissed. Question (b) What are the diseases connected with the impact of noise? (i) hypertension and cardiovascular problems. (ii) nausea, vomiting, pain. (iii) impaired physical and psychological functioning. (iv) all of the above. Answer: (iv) all of the above. Question (c) Recreational noise is created during (i) public speeches. (ii) revelries and excursions. (iii) sports events. (iv) weddings, festivals, and jagrans at night. Answer: (iv) weddings, festivals, and jagrans at night. Question (d) In what way can create noise be considered a status symbol?

(i) by playing loud music. (ii) by showing off one’s TV with a loud sound. (iii) by making speeches. (iv) by talking loudly. Answer: (ii) by showing off one’s TV with a loud sound. Question (e) Invariably paragraph 5 means (i) often. (ii) sometimes. (iii) almost constantly. (iv) rarely. Answer: (iii) almost constantly. Question (f) Engulfing in paragraph 1 means (i) completely drown. (ii) surrounded. (iii) covered. (iv) divided by a gulf. Answer: (ii) surrounded.

1.2 Answer the following. (a) The swelling tide of noise pollution has long-term implications on the health and productivity of a fast developing country like India. (b) Noise not only impairs the physical and functioning of the human organism but also causes nausea, hypertension, and other complications. (c) Loudspeakers with output from 60 to 80 dB causes the pupils to dilate, increasing oxygen intake, resulting in palpitation. [True/False] (d) TV sets played at total volume at prime time invariably entertain neighbors. [True/False] Answer: (a) ecology (b) psychological (c) True (d) False 1.3 (a) Find a word that means the same as ‘recorded’ (para 1). (b) Find a word that means the same as ‘high blood pressure (para 3).

Answer: (a) documented (b) hypertension

2. Read the passage given below. 1. The Hangul deer or the Kashmiri stag is a species of red deer. The Hangul is one of the most famous animals in Jammu and Kashmir. It inhabits the dense forests of the state. Striking in appearance, the Hangul derives its name from ‘han’, which is the local name for the horse chestnut tree, the fruit on which the deer feed on.

2. Scientifically known as Cervuselaphus hangul, Hangul is the only surviving race of the red deer family of Europe in the sub-continent. The Hangul deer’s coat is brown with slight speckles, and each of its antlers consists of five points.

3. Much at home in the forest, the deer can be seen in the lower valleys of Dachigam National Park on the foothills of the Zabarwan range on the outskirts of Srinagar for most of the year, though a more significant number of their species, can be seen from October to March. Typically found in small groups of two to eighteen, Hanguls use the forests of the Dachigam Valley as an essential feeding ground and move to the higher slopes to graze. Individual stags are more likely to be seen feeding on the hill slopes. They move about quite a lot from one area to another in their search for good forage. Hangul eat various plants such as Fraximushockeri, Jasminum humile, Hemerocallisfulva and perennial herbs, depending on the season.

4. In March and April, the stags shed their antlers and begin moving up the mountains to the alpine meadows and pine forests of Upper Dachigam between 2500 to 3500 meters. They return to the lower valley in September, by when a new set of antlers begin to grow. The natural predators that attack Hanguls are leopards and Himalayan black bears.

5. In the past, Jammu and Kashmir had a large and vibrant population of Hangul deer. However, hunting and loss of habitat from deforestation and the building of dams have significantly curbed the wild population of Hangul deer. During the 1940s, their number was believed to be around 3,000 – 5,000. As per the latest census in 2008, only 160 are left. A captive breeding center is planned to be commissioned at Shikargah, Tral in south Kashmir, for the captive breeding of Hangul, which will be eventually released in the wild.

6. In the last few years, the government has spent crores of rupees on different projects related to the conservation of Hangul in Jammu and Kashmir. A Habitat Research Study has been initiated in Kashmir in which satellite collaring of Hangul will be used to understand their movement patterns and habitat, both in and outside the Dachigam National Park. In addition, a massive improvement in conducting the census program of Hangul has been undertaken whereby satellite telemetry and high-definition field cameras are placed in the Park. Besides, an important research program has been launched to study the relic population of Hangul outside Dachigam National Park in collaboration with the Wildlife Trust of India.

7. The strict enforcement of wildlife acts and the setting up of new initiatives are anticipated to replenish this highly endangered species.

2.1 Answer these questions briefly. (i) What is the other name for the Hangul deer? (ii) What makes the Hangul deer stand out from others of its species? (iii) Why is the deer named so? (iv) How is the deer’s habitat conducive to its existence? (v) How does nature help prevent these stags from being preyed upon? (vi) What are the factors which prevent the population of this species from growing? Answer: (i) Another name for the Hangul deer is the Kashmiri stag. (ii) The Hangul deer stands out from others of its species in that it is the only surviving race of the red deer family of Europe in the Indian subcontinent. (iii) The Hangul derives its name from the word ‘han’, which is the local name for the horse chestnut tree, the fruit of which the deer feed on. (iv) The forests of the Dachigam valley are a vital feeding ground for the Hangul, while the higher hill slopes provide grazing fields for them. Various plants, such as the Fraximushockeri, Jasminum humile, Hemerocallisfulva, and perennial herbs that the deer feed on grow in abundance in the forest, thus creating a suitable habitat for the Hangul. (v) The natural migration pattern of the Hangul deer is such that they move up the mountains to the alpine meadows and pine forests of the Upper Dachigam around the same time as when they shed their antlers. They only return to the lower valley when a new set of antlers begin to grow. This prevents the Hangul deer from being preyed on by leopards and Himalayan black bears as it keeps them out of reach of these predators when they are defenseless without their antlers. (vi) Hunting and loss of habitat from deforestation prevent the population of the Hangul deer from growing.

2.2 Choose the correct option. (i) …………………………. is the scientific name of the Hangul deer. a. Jasminum humile b. Hemerocallisfulva c. Cervuselaphus hanglu d. Fraximushockeri Answer: c (ii) The word …………………………., in paragraph 5, means the opposite of ‘free’. a. captive b. vibrant c. curbed d. deforestation Answer: a (iii) The word “collaboration”, in paragraph 6, means …………………………. a. calibration b. partnership c. initiated d. none of the above Answer: b (iv) Each of the Hangul deer’s antlers consists of …………………………. points. a. three b. four c. five d. two Answer: c (v) The antonym for “dense” is: a. heavily populated b. sparse c. abundant d. inhibit Answer: b (vi) The antonym for “conservation” is: a. destruction

b. rehabilitation c. civilization d. creation Answer: a

3. Read the passage given below. 1. In the recent past, there has been thought given to the several problems the school education system faces. Starting with a focus on the Delhi region, one of the first discussion points has been to find ways to bring the lakhs of children who have so far been denied education into a workable school system. A further aspect of the same problem is to ensure a minimum dropout rate in school children (particularly girls). In Delhi, this has reached alarming proportions. Finding solutions for Delhi will help other areas as well.

2. A tool called ‘learning style inventory’ was used; it addressed to know how information of skills are learned, which factor makes an individual comfortable with learning skills or acquiring declarative knowledge. Different answers emerged. In dealing with factual knowledge, some people like to experience first, others to observe, yet others to experiment and still some who preferred to plunge into learning, leaving analysis for later.

3. It then became easy to discover which of the attributes made for better learning for an individual. The learning situation will benefit by understanding these differences. Two significant processes cover most people’s learning styles. These are as follows: Information gathering process and process of transforming information. The continuance of information gathering is bound by people who gather information through experiences at one end and by those who gather information through reading/listening on the other. The continuance of transformation of information is bound by people who internalize through watching/observing, on the one hand, and by those who learn while applying knowledge and doing something with it, on the other. Others fall somewhere in between. All this has a bearing at school because children have similar learning styles on these two axes.

4. There are four types of learners. Firstly, some children will absorb facts through experiences. They will readily share their thoughts with others. The second type of learner will take unrelated facts and try to seek order in them in using independent judgment. They will prefer to be exact in their knowledge and correctly apply as per their understanding. The next type of learner is the pragmatist. They use their abilities to problems solving. Such a person – is a valuable type to function in a group. The fourth type of learner belongs to the world of action. Everything is brought down to the level of concrete observation and doing.

5. With some awareness of how children react in different ways, teachers may find effective methods of teaching.

3.1 based on your reading of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the best of the given choices. Question (a) Mention two significant problems that the system of school education is facing. (i) Enrolling children in school, promoting girls’ education. (ii) Preventing dropping out, providing textbooks. (iii) Enrolling children, preventing dropping out. (iv) Providing school buildings, giving textbooks. Answer: (iii) Enrolling children, preventing dropping out. Question (b) What are the two main uses of learning style inventory? (i) to know how information of skills are learned and which factors lead to learning comfortably. (ii) factual knowledge and experience. (iii) analysis and observation. (iv) experiment and hands-on learning. Answer: (iv) experiment and hands-on learning. Question (c) Information can be gathered (i) through experience, reading and listening. (ii) through applying knowledge. (iii) through observing. (iv) through doing something with the knowledge. Answer: (i) through experience, reading and listening. Question (d) Which type of learner tries to be exact in his knowledge and apply it correctly? (i) First (ii) Second (iii) Third (iv) Fourth Answer: (ii) Second

Question (e) Addressed in paragraph 2 means (i) directed towards (ii) send to (iii) delivered a speech (iv) ready to Answer: (i) directed towards Question (f) Factual in paragraph 2 is the opposite of (i) based on experience. (ii) told by knowledgeable people. (iii) fanciful. (iv) found in books. Answer: (iii) fanciful.

We have shared Discursive Writing For Class 12th to improve the writing skills of the students appearing for the board examinations to help them with their writing skills to improve their comprehension, understanding of the text, attempt questions based on the reading of the passage and moreover solve multiple questions in the exam.

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Hi, I am Kavisha Bagga, a teacher by profession and a part-time blogger. I love sharing knowledge, which is why I have started this blog.

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  • Dec 10, 2019

3 Do's & Don'ts of Discursive Writing All HSC Students Must Know for Module C

Discursive writing is the new kid in town. It's also a bit of a saviour for all who are not confident with creative writing. It's also become all the rage with school assessment tasks. Although it is an "informal" piece of writing, don't be deceived. Keep reading to make sure you know what to watch out for in your discursive writing.

discursive writing year 12

Let's start with a NESA definition (bear with us, your English tutors don't know how else to start their blog posts)

Texts whose primary focus is to explore an idea or variety of topics. These texts involve the discussion of an idea(s) or opinion(s) without the direct intention of persuading the reader, listener or viewer to adopt any single point of view.


DON'T neglect structure

A discursive ultimately will follow the structure required for any "argument". It requires a thesis, context and topic sentences. Although the wording can be casual there is room to jump around your ideas a bit, in the end stick to the essay structure we all know and love.

DON'T neglect good grammar

Being "informal" does not mean "forget how English works". The requirements for good grammar, spelling and punctuation still apply here. Informal simply means you can ask rhetorical questions , perhaps engage in first person language , use metaphors, similes and other figurative language in your work.

None of those have anything to do with neglecting good grammar practices. So stick to your subject - verb complexes!

DON'T be afraid to argue against yourself 🗣

A discursive has requirements similar to a "discuss" or "evaluate" question in science. It's about considering all the perspectives in the equation. Do not be afraid to make a statement to challenge it. Do not be afraid to say something then question it with a hypophora (Is the hypophora an effective technique for discursives? You bet it is.)

Let loose, argue against yourself and see where your thoughts takes you. After all to be discursive means to be tangential in the thought. And if maths has taught us anything it would be the definition of a tangent.

DO get personal 💛

Applying your own point of view and experiences is a great way to spice up a discursive. Drawing examples from your own experiences and our modern world is a crucial part of every Module in the syllabus. Talk about how your texts translates to our everyday lives: where can we still see government control? Racial discrimination? Bullying of people who are "different"?

DO use humour 🤣and other techniques

Not a knock knock joke (although they are excellent with the right execution).

Feel comfortable in using some sarcasm, some irony and inject a bit more spice into your arguments. Use metaphors and similes in your writing! Use imagery and personification. The more you use the more you have in your reflection!

DO have a position by the end of the essay

So NESA says that discursive writing should not have the " direct intention of persuading the reader" (note the awesome quote integration in that sentence  😉).

But it doesn't mean you don't have an opinion. You're just letting that position organic come through with your language. You're effectively finessing your readers to feel a certain way. Definitely write with your own opinion. Just don't act as if it's the only opinion in the world (which is why you present some devil's advocate counter arguments against yourself).

🔎🔎🔎 Below is one of Orwell's essays in a style similar to what NESA describes as discursive. We have made some comments here in red about things worth noting. 🔎🔎🔎

George Orwell - You and the Atomic Bomb

Considering how likely we all are to be blown to pieces by it within the next five years, the atomic bomb has not roused so much discussion as might have been expected. The newspapers have published numerous diagrams, not very helpful to the average man, of protons and neutrons doing their stuff, and there has been much reiteration of the useless statement that the bomb ‘ought to be put under international control.’ [Note how he engages the audience with context and relatable facts] . But curiously little has been said, at any rate in print, about the question that is of most urgent interest to all of us, namely: ‘How difficult are these things to manufacture?’ [His final rhetorical question here is effectively his thesis. He is letting the reader know what the rest of the essay will be about]

Such information as we — that is, the big public — possess on this subject has come to us in a rather indirect way, apropos of President Truman's decision not to hand over certain secrets to the USSR. [This is an informal topic sentence. He is using the rest of the paragraph to support the idea that "there is a lot of misinformation on the topic"] Some months ago, when the bomb was still only a rumour, there was a widespread belief that splitting the atom was merely a problem for the physicists, and that when they had solved it a new and devastating weapon would be within reach of almost everybody. (At any moment, so the rumour went, some lonely lunatic in a laboratory might blow civilisation to smithereens, as easily as touching off a firework.) [Note the use of a simile and a light hearted example to convey the idea. But also, note the impeccable grammar]

Had that been true, the whole trend of history would have been abruptly altered. The distinction between great states and small states would have been wiped out, and the power of the State over the individual would have been greatly weakened. [His new topic sentence shows his position, how exciting] However, it appears from President Truman's remarks, and various comments that have been made on them, that the bomb is fantastically expensive and that its manufacture demands an enormous industrial effort, such as only three or four countries in the world are capable of making. This point is of cardinal importance, because it may mean that the discovery of the atomic bomb, so far from reversing history, will simply intensify the trends which have been apparent for a dozen years past [and here he just argues against his own fact, setting up for the next tangent he is about to go on] .

It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. [Note how his previous disagreement/questioning of his own ideas lead to this new point of digression. This is a great way to organise your paragraphs in your own discursive] . Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon — so long as there is no answer to it — gives claws to the weak. [an excellent metaphor for what he wants to convey]

The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. [Here we are expanding on the "claws" that was previously mentioned as the new idea. Really take note that this is how the organisation is mostly driven. It sounds casual but collected] . Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans — even Tibetans — could put up a fight for their independence [claws for the weak again] , sometimes with success. But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one. There are fewer and fewer foci of power. Already, in 1939, there were only five states capable of waging war on the grand scale, and now there are only three — ultimately, perhaps, only two. This trend has been obvious for years, and was pointed out by a few observers even before 1914. The one thing that might reverse it is the discovery of a weapon — or, to put it more broadly, of a method of fighting — not dependent on huge concentrations of industrial plant. [Once again, he sets up the idea that there is a trend in war and power for the entire paragraph. Then his final sentence provides an alternative view. Notice the pattern? Guess what he'll be talking about next?]

From various symptoms one can infer that the Russians do not yet possess the secret of making the atomic bomb; on the other hand, the consensus of opinion seems to be that they will possess it within a few years. So we have before us the prospect of two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds, dividing the world between them. It has been rather hastily assumed that this means bigger and bloodier wars [this actually tracks back to paragraph 3. He basically provided alternative perspectives for 2 paragraphs in order to return to his original position, this time with more gusto because he has supported it by now] , and perhaps an actual end to the machine civilisation. But suppose — and really this the likeliest development — that the surviving great nations make a tacit agreement never to use the atomic bomb against one another? Suppose they only use it, or the threat of it, against people who are unable to retaliate? In that case we are back where we were before, the only difference being that power is concentrated in still fewer hands and that the outlook for subject peoples and oppressed classes is still more hopeless.

When James Burnham wrote The Managerial Revolution it seemed probable to many Americans that the Germans would win the European end of the war, and it was therefore natural to assume that Germany and not Russia would dominate the Eurasian land mass, while Japan would remain master of East Asia. This was a miscalculation, but it does not affect the main argument. For Burnham's geographical picture of the new world has turned out to be correct. More and more obviously the surface of the earth is being parceled off into three great empires, each self-contained and cut off from contact with the outer world, and each ruled, under one disguise or another, by a self-elected oligarchy. The haggling as to where the frontiers are to be drawn is still going on, and will continue for some years, and the third of the three super-states — East Asia, dominated by China — is still potential rather than actual. But the general drift is unmistakable, and every scientific discovery of recent years has accelerated it.

We were once told that the aeroplane had ‘ abolished frontiers ’; actually it is only since the aeroplane became a serious weapon that frontiers have become definitely impassable. The radio was once expected to promote international understanding and co-operation; it has turned out to be a means of insulating one nation from another. The atomic bomb may complete the process by robbing the exploited classes and peoples of all power to revolt, and at the same time putting the possessors of the bomb on a basis of military equality. Unable to conquer one another, they are likely to continue ruling the world between them, and it is difficult to see how the balance can be upset except by slow and unpredictable demographic changes.

For forty or fifty years past, Mr. H. G. Wells and others have been warning us that man is in danger of destroying himself with his own weapons, leaving the ants or some other gregarious species to take over. Anyone who has seen the ruined cities of Germany will find this notion at least thinkable. Nevertheless, looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham's theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications — that is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of ‘cold war’ with its neighbors.

Had the atomic bomb turned out to be something as cheap and easily manufactured as a bicycle or an alarm clock, it might well have plunged us back into barbarism, but it might, on the other hand, have meant the end of national sovereignty and of the highly-centralised police state. If, as seems to be the case, it is a rare and costly object as difficult to produce as a battleship, it is likelier to put an end to large-scale wars at the cost of prolonging indefinitely a ‘ peace that is no peace ’. [Here his final position is restated. That the atomic bomb's power on the world is dependant on its production cost. He digressed throughout the essay but never jumped too far from these ideas. Remember: DON'T NEGLECT STRUCTURE]

💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼Take a note out of Orwell's book and smash your next discursive! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

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Select a different module, select a different course, english advanced – setting and symbolism in imaginative writing.

The activities in this resource will help you develop your skills in answering questions in the examination for module c.

English standard – setting and symbolism in imaginative writing

Exploring sample answers – an imaginative response and reflection.

This resource will support students to unpack a sample examination response from the 2019 HSC.

Finding inspiration for the discursive in the prescribed texts

This resource will exploring module c through the lens of discursive writing.

Practising discursive writing – resource 4

This resource will support students to practise writing discursively.

Staying focused on Module C – part 1 and part 2

Reviewing the key ideas in relation to sample examination questions.

Staying focused on module C part 3 components 1-4

Reviewing the key ideas in relation to examination questions

Supporting students with writing discursively in English Standard

This resource will support students to re-engage with the module statement for module c

Unpacking sample questions and discursive writing samples

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Year 12 common module study guides, lukewarm pride.

I was thirteen years old when my lack of overwhelming patriotism towards this country became apparent. Six years younger however, things were different.

“C’mere Gracie!” my uncle yelled from the backyard, distant voices getting louder as I rushed down the hallway. The air was heavy with BBQ smoke and John Farnham blaring in the background. I ran over to my uncle, giggling whilst he grabbed my hand twirling me around. “Listen to some Farnsy” he said jubilantly, a wall of beer breath slapping me in the face.

“You’re da voice try understand it” my young lips sloppily sung along, wanting to feel included. I remember thinking nothing of it yet, because I was seven and I hardly understood the concept of identity. I was completely unaware it was Australia Day altogether, and I only danced because I liked dancing.

It took me a while from the age of seven to notice my diminishing Aussie pride. But eventually, I reached the age of thirteen and the time came to visit the same old annual Australia Day party at my cousin’s house. This time it was the National Anthem.

My aunts and uncles sang proudly, belting out the lyrics word for word, chests heaving with patriotic sentiment.

“For those who’ve come across the seas, We’ve boundless plains to share”.

They were lyrics that felt slightly disingenuous and ironic to me after reading Melanie Cheng’s ‘Australia Day’. I have a pretty strong feeling that Stanley didn’t feel as welcome as the anthem implies he should, or if he ever received those ‘boundless plains’ that were supposedly shared with him as an Australian coming from Hong Kong. I remember sitting on the outdoor step, just watching them. I couldn’t help but feel confused. I mean, I wasn’t at all ashamed to be Australian but this felt like too much for me. So this time when he asked me to join him, I sort of just gave a half smile and shook my head.

Since that day, I have come to question my pride and whether or not it is justifiable for me to feel simply ‘comfortable’ as an Australian. Is there room on the vast spectrum between intense patriotism and neutrality for me to linger in the middle and just shrug my shoulders?

I feel a sense of comfort rather than an intense patriotism when it comes to my Australian identity. I mean, Australia is my home, and I appreciate the aspects of our culture, lifestyle, and values that contribute to that feeling of comfort. While I may not express overt patriotism, I believe that comfort is its own form of connection and acknowledgment.

Just a week ago I remember walking the streets of my suburb in the morning on the way to school and breathing in the muggy, December air. I turned my head to the approaching swell of ‘Livin’ on a prayer’ from a red Toyota Camry. Too focused on the blunt whirring of their broken aircon, I didn’t realise I began to involuntarily whisper along to lyrics I don’t even remember learning. The funny thing is, Bon Jovi is American. I often think about how much of an influence American pop culture has had on the construction of our Australian identity. It displaces my sense of belonging even more if I’m being honest as it causes me to contemplate how much of our culture has been built on the backbone of American and British culturally significant moments. Like is the phrase “chuck a shrimp on the barbie” even ours at this point? I mean I’m genuinely confused as to how ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ made its way into a Hungry Jacks Frozen Zooper Dooper Burties ad, but that’s irrelevant.

When I caught myself out, however, I sort of smiled. Experiencing little moments like this, I always notice an undeniable sense of ease that settles within me. It’s not so much a chest-swelling pride in being Australian, but rather a gentle acknowledgment of the unique cultural experiences and feelings that make up my home. In the absence of big displays of nationalistic passion, I find peace in the everyday rhythm of life here. It’s the “mornin’ ladies” from my neighbour to me and my sister, the shared understanding of colloquialisms, and the unspoken recognition of our distinct way of navigating the world. It’s the sprawling landscapes, the laid back community and the peculiarities that define us— they all contribute to a comforting sense of familiarity.

Whilst others might hoist flags and declare their unwavering patriotism, my connection with Australia is more understated, similar to how Stanley felt. Our experience with Australian culture collides in the sense of a passive and subconscious appreciation and feeling of belonging. It’s perfectly okay that although we both know the first fleet arrived at Botany Bay on 8 January 1788, we can still feel uncomfortable at our Australia Day BBQ’s. It’s more of a comfort that whispers in the background, a silent agreement between me and the land that I call home. In this comfort, I find acceptance—acceptance of the traits, the imperfections, and the evolving nature of our identity.

The lack of overwhelming patriotism doesn’t diminish the warmth I feel among the gum trees and the golden sunlight. It’s a different kind of connection—one that doesn’t demand flamboyant gestures. It’s the unassuming joy of calling Australia home, finding comfort in the everyday moments that define our identity, rather than relying on boisterous displays of national fervour.

So now, two years later at the age of fifteen, I look at myself in the mirror and I talk to my younger self. I talk to the thirteen year old girl who would constantly contemplate whether her feelings towards her country were reasonable or justified. Or whether or not there was a seat for her on the spectrum somewhere in between happily patriotic and neutral.

And I tell her that there is a spot for her.

And that she doesn’t have to belt out ‘Advance Australia Fair’ at the annual Australia day BBQ to feel comfortable and secure with her Australian identity.

Because maybe, humming along to Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds are Burning’ at 2am doing polynomials and functions homework is enough.

English Team Comment

While many students tend to struggle to build an original style and unique voice in discursive writing , Grace’s written expression is simply beautiful. Grace has thoughtfully and nimbly navigated the complexities and ambiguities of the Aussie identity. This piece is conceptually strong with a solid narrative arc. Grace’s personal essay tells as story that is heartwarming in its construction of pathos.

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