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Each essay topic has a reference to the key area(s) in the Study Guide so students understand the scope of the topic and expectations. It also includes essay tips, quotes from commentators, key ideas and contemporary examples. Essay
Formal language and social purpose
- Essay 1: Formal language is mainly used to clarify meaning, but it can also be used to obfuscate.
- Essay 2: Does political correctness unite us or divide us?
- Essay 3: Freedom of speech is a double-edged sword
- Essay 4: Formal language can both promote and prevent social harmony. To what extent do you agree?
- Essay 5: How have changing social attitudes influenced language use in Australia. Discuss.
- Essay 6: “All euphemistic language, including doublespeak, is at heart a lie to conceal truth and as such, should play no part in effective communication”. Discuss, referring to at least two subsystems in your response.
- Essay 7: Using language to negotiate positive and negative face acts
- Essay 8: Language is a tool for building but it is also a weapon
- Essay 9: Language is a powerful tool that influences social attitudes
- Essay 10: Discuss current social attitudes towards taboo language and swearing. How are these attitudes exemplified by modern language use?
- Essay 11: Formal Language and Power: formal language favours those in positions of power and influence. Discuss.
Standard Australian English and change
Offline and online forms of communication
Essay 1: The nature of digital communication, for better or worse, is changing the way we use the English Language.
Informal language and social purpose
- Essay 1: Informal language has a variety of functions in Australian society. What do you see are some of the crucial roles of informal language in contemporary Australia?
- Essay 2: Profanity is an emotive communicative tool which plays a variety of roles in contemporary Australian society. Discuss.
Identity – standard and non-standard varieties
- Essay 1: Some varieties of Australian English are more prestigious than others.
- Essay 2: Contemporary Australians use a number of overt and covert language norms to construct their identity.
- Essay 3: Standard Australian English must remain the most prestigious variety of English.
- Essay 4: An understanding of Standard Australian English is needed to be able to communicate in all contexts in contemporary Australian society. To what extent is this true?
- Essay 5: ‘How does language variation contribute to the development of a sense of identity?’
- Essay 6: How do evolving language features reflect varying individual identities?
- Essay 7: How is the language of young Australians changing to reflect our evolving national identity?
- Essays on national identity
Identity – individual and group identities
- Essay 1: Social identity is constructed primarily through language. Discuss referring to at least two subsystems.
- Essay 2: The language choices we make reflect who we are and the social groups to which we belong.
- Essay 3: Language is shaped by social attitudes
- Essay 4: Covert linguistic features help to establish solidarity
- Return to: Essays and contemporary examples 2021 for language variation
- References to linguists and relevant commentators (which ones?)
- A range of commentaries (formal/informal/spoken/written)
- Return to our Welcome Page: Overview of English Works Notes and Resources