You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.

Nationalism, the strong sense of loyalty, pride, and devotion to one’s nation, has played a significant role in shaping history, politics, and societies around the world. Rooted in a collective identity, nationalism fosters a shared sense of belonging among individuals within a nation, promoting unity and a common purpose.

One of the positive aspects of nationalism lies in its ability to inspire patriotism and a commitment to the welfare of the nation. It can serve as a unifying force, bringing together people of diverse backgrounds under a common flag, anthem, and set of values. Nationalism has historically been a driving force behind independence movements and the establishment of sovereign states.

However, nationalism can also have negative implications when taken to extremes. Excessive or exclusive nationalism may lead to ethnocentrism, discrimination, and hostility towards those perceived as outsiders. History has witnessed instances where extreme nationalism fueled conflicts and wars, emphasizing the importance of balancing national pride with a commitment to global cooperation and understanding.

In the contemporary world, the concept of nationalism is evolving, shaped by globalization and interconnectedness. Striking a balance between a healthy sense of national pride and recognizing the interdependence of nations is crucial for fostering cooperation, peace, and sustainable development on a global scale.

In conclusion, nationalism, when channeled positively, can be a unifying force that strengthens social cohesion and national identity. However, it requires thoughtful consideration to avoid pitfalls of exclusion and confrontation, emphasizing the importance of a nuanced and inclusive approach to national identity in the complex tapestry of our interconnected world.