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GRE: Major cities can reflect some of the characteristics of a society


lilypad 1 / -  
Jun 10, 2019   #1

To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities



Major cities are often considered as the center of art, science, politics and civilization of a country. It is true that these major cities can reflect some of the characteristics of a society, thanks to its large population from different kinds of backgrounds, numerous landmarks, colourful activities and so on. For instance, if you want to learn about the hustle and bustle life of the new generation in IT industry, it will be a helpful idea to observe the major cities. Additionally, major cities are perfect for those who are interested in the development of services. Nevertheless, it is certainly not fair to simply assume that the most important characteristics of a society can be understood by only exploring these major cities.

It is of no doubt that there are countless giant differences between the poorest village and the most modern city in the same country or region. Take education as an example, the gap between rural area and cities can be huge because of lots of factors such as teachers' teaching experience, equipments of schools, even thoughts and ideas. It is highly possible to come to a false conclusion that the society has reached a well-developed education system if someone only study its major cities. The average level of education development in the country can be much lower than that in the major cities. Therefore, I strongly advocate that the imbalance between rural area and cities can never be neglected while studying the most important characteristics of a society.

Moreover, cities of different scale might have disparate situations beyond one's imagination. They might differ in history, culture and living habits, thus result in many different characteristics. Take Shanghai and Suzhou in China as an example. Shanghai is the economic center of China for many years and Suzhou is a rising star near it. Developments in Shanghai started much earlier than in Suzhou and thus makes Shanghai a much more international city. Meanwhile, the rapid development of Shanghai also causes this place overcrowed, a little dirty and noisy. Suzhou, on the other hand, learned from those modern cities and found its own way of development which is more environment friendly and high-tech. Now it is hard to tell which of the cities can better represent the newest trend of urban development in China. There're seven billion people in the world that you can not find a single person exactly the same as another, and you can never describe all of them by only studying an unrepresentative sample. So are the cities.

Studying important characteristics of a society can be a significantly hard and time-consuming job. Sometimes a man can spend his entire life on it but still doesn't think of his work as accurate. Even understanding only one single city can take years of work and involving because only though becoming one part of the city and building a life there can someone truly get to know the real appearance of the city.

Important characteristics of a society should be concluded with careful observation and an open mind. Otherwise, the conclusion will be not convincing and efforts devoted to this study will be meaningless. It is of great importance to bear in mind the diversity of a society while studying a country, and neither rural area nor some cities can represent the whole society.

Maria [Contributor] - / 366 173  
Jun 10, 2019   #2
@lilypad
First and foremost, I think that the essay needs a bit of work when it comes to the overall organization of thoughts. While I think that the way in which you have written is well-composed, the structure and flow needs to be polished. Having a direction, for instance, of the way that you want your thoughts to flow would generally help. What I have observed is that the composition is cluttered due to the lack of sketch. For example, if the second paragraph starts with explaining educational and economic gaps between the major cities, you can already begin to explain how Suzhou and Shanghai would be assisted through this. Start to explain how these two cities differ. Your concrete examples were focused in a vacuum in the third paragraph; redistributing them would help you create more depth in the initial parts while attempting to balance everything else.

Secondly, I highly suggest that you try to incorporate more specifics in your details. For instance, right from the bat in the first paragraph, it would be beneficial if you can showcase how specifically these cities have become the centers for arts, sciences, politics, and historical civilization. You can explain how they carried out cultural trademarks that have assisted a centered and "vacuum-sort" of growth in the cities. Why have countries specifically focused on developing these commercialized areas because of the background of the cities? What makes them truly special? Having more in-depth content and assessment of the situation would help you curate larger thoughts that'll help you in the long-run.

Lastly, the conclusion needs a little bit more work. Your overall remarks on how these cities are non-representative of the society neglects the arguments that you have made in the preceding paragraphs. What I would suggest is attempting to be more integrative with your analyses. With the examples you have given with regards to China, how exactly do you wish to go about representing the entire country? How have these examples helped you nurture your understanding of why major cities have to be studied? Be more directive and targeted with your concluding remarks.

Best of luck as always.


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