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GRE Essay: major cities study to learn characteristics of a society

KMeghji 8 / 20 7  
May 13, 2014   #1
To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.


A society is an amalgam of cultures and lifestyles. To study a society it is necessary to study all of its characters; education, entertainment, food, and religion. The major cities are usually a hub of resources and opportunities hence people from all socioeconomic background arrive and develop these cities bringing along their languages, religions, cuisine, and entertainment sources. Although the major cities may not represent the true population, these can still provide a beneficial approximation of a society.

Education is what defines a society in today's world. I have seen in my own city, an infinite number of schools, colleges and universities in both government and private sector. Of course, the public schools and colleges are comparatively less progressive than those in private sector but, for universities, the case is reversed. It is due to adequate funding from the government for the research and development purpose. The conditions of these educational institutes more appropriately reflect the overall literacy of the population.

The socioeconomic background of people can be studied viewing the job types and daily expenditures of individuals and families. In cities, the careers may vary from clerical positions to executive ones. Apart from the working class, businessmen, industrialists, politicians, all inhabit these cities and present the economical chart that may exist. In our country, villages mostly present the agricultural setup and hence most working class is constituted by farmers. The towns more often are full of people trained in a particular skill for e.g. football sewing in the city of Faisalabad. Hence these towns and villages may not be an appropriate representation of the whole society.

The language, arts and literature is what unites the diverse members of society despite of their educational, religious and economical differences. The national language, provincial languages, and variety of dialects almost all can be found in the major cities. Most of the city dwellers are bilingual and many even multilingual who thereby support and promote the literature.

It may be argued that the condition in these major cities highly vary from those observed in smaller cities, towns and villages. This is particularly true for underdeveloped and developing countries. The most important difference is of traditional values observed in towns and villages. Major cities around the globe present a similar freedom loving environment however, that is not true for the smaller dwellings. Human rights specially children and women rights are often ignored and violated in these areas and are in a significant way, representative of the social thinking.

The major cities may not truly reflect the overall society but it does provide us an easy manner to study and analyze a society. Studying minor cities and towns may only provide knowledge regarding the local population. The only other option would be to study each and every town and village setting, which is almost impossible.

(Please grade on a scale of 1-6)

dumi 1 / 6,928 1592  
May 14, 2014   #2
.... Well, I see very little relevance of this para to your essay topic which is -

You do not talk anything about the major cities through out this whole body para. I think it is very very important for you to maintain a proper alignment between your writing and the topic throughout your essay. Otherwise, the reader would feel your writing is out of topic :(
OP KMeghji 8 / 20 7  
May 14, 2014   #3
Thank you for your advice Dumi. I actually wanted to tackle one character at a time. Starting from education might have seem more off-topic. I have tried to rewrite the whole paragraph. Please do tell me if it seems to fit better. Also, kindly grade it on a scale of 1-6 so I know where I stand.

"A few major cities may provide a better insight to a society than numerous towns and villages. For example, the educational institutes found in these cities; their physical conditions, quality of education and faculty may reflect the literacy level of the society. Similarly, the progress of public versus private institutes, the educational expenses, and the population ratio in higher education may reveal the trends found generally."
Pahan 1 / 1,906 553  
May 14, 2014   #4
....let me too give my inputs for this ;
... well, the first line is fine as it directly relates to your topic. But your example is some what vague. Your topic is more focused on the fact that major cities provide people a good understanding about its society. So, talking about educational institutes in major cities is some what a vague evidence. Educational institute, for example the universities, do not necessarily represent the features of that particular society because they can even be branches of some foreign entities and can have the influence of those societies.
OP KMeghji 8 / 20 7  
May 20, 2014   #5
That is something I did not think about while writing the paragraph. I'll think of something else to include instead.

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