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[Requesting Review:] Learning society not through cities but

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[Requesting Review:] Learning society not through cities but [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2017, 01:11

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

T

A great deal of understanding on a society comes from studying its major cities, however, a greater deal comes from understanding its rural and suburban settlements. Perhaps due to the tendency of tertiary occupations to take the forefront in developed countries, one typically tends to judge a society by the state of its upper middle class citizens. An impressive infrastructure and organization can influence an outsider’s opinions on the city.

However, agriculture is the backbone of civilisation, and arguably the most fundamental strata upon which society is built. It caters to our most basic need, namely food. I believe no full understanding of a country can be developed without knowing how it treats its farmers.

If one were to inspect the British colonised cities in India during the 19th century, one would find a rather agreeable picture, one of wealth and well being. Typically the residents would be middle to upper class businessman who were favoured by the government. However, one only need to go to the villages to witness the startling contrast. Great losses were incurred by farmers during the British regime, due to insufficient remuneration and inhuman employment conditions. It was their resistance that formed a significant portion of the drive against the British in India.

Another famous incident is the Salt March where desalination workers protested against taxation of salt. The earliest uprising against the British by Indian soldiers was The Sepoy Mutiny. Though unsuccessful, it provided the foundation upon which India could build its freedom.

Even in recent times we find examples such as the ‘Chipko Andolan’, a forest conservation movement. It saw a large number of villagers and tribals coming together in ensuring the preservation of trees. Due to the passionate interest generated by the agrarian community, this movement soon saw backing from political figures.

Thus, villages provide a remarkable wealth of human potential. However, their importance is also in highlighting certain social evils that are rather rare in cities but still prevail in subtle forms. To comprehend the hidden dynamics of societies, one only needs to look at villages. For instance, the Japanese war crimes reflect a rather barbaric and ruthless attitude towards war victims. City dwellers would not reflect such values, however, the tradition of ruthless ‘samurai’ can be traced back through the suburbs and villages, where we are likely to find such attitude prevelant. Cities, rarely reflect orthodox traditions. In favour of globalisation, city planners tend not to include traditional elements in more than a cursory way. Since villages generally adhere to tradition, one can form a good idea of the culture and values that a country abides by.

I believe that cities offer the most polished up versions of society that one could find. Hence, in order to fully understand countries, one must explore the less visible community of villagers and tribals.
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Re: [Requesting Review:] Learning society not through cities but [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2017, 00:05
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TractableDog wrote:

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

T

A great deal of understanding on a society comes from studying its major cities, however, a greater deal comes from understanding its rural and suburban settlements. Perhaps due to the tendency of tertiary occupations to take the forefront in developed countries, one typically tends to judge a society by the state of its upper middle class citizens. An impressive infrastructure and organization can influence an outsider’s opinions on the city.

However, agriculture is the backbone of civilisation, and arguably the most fundamental strata upon which society is built. It caters to our most basic need, namely food. I believe no full understanding of a country can be developed without knowing how it treats its farmers.

If one were to inspect the British colonised cities in India during the 19th century, one would find a rather agreeable picture, one of wealth and well being. Typically the residents would be middle to upper class businessman who were favoured by the government. However, one only need to go to the villages to witness the startling contrast. Great losses were incurred by farmers during the British regime, due to insufficient remuneration and inhuman employment conditions. It was their resistance that formed a significant portion of the drive against the British in India.

Another famous incident is the Salt March where desalination workers protested against taxation of salt. The earliest uprising against the British by Indian soldiers was The Sepoy Mutiny. Though unsuccessful, it provided the foundation upon which India could build its freedom.

Even in recent times we find examples such as the ‘Chipko Andolan’, a forest conservation movement. It saw a large number of villagers and tribals coming together in ensuring the preservation of trees. Due to the passionate interest generated by the agrarian community, this movement soon saw backing from political figures.

Thus, villages provide a remarkable wealth of human potential. However, their importance is also in highlighting certain social evils that are rather rare in cities but still prevail in subtle forms. To comprehend the hidden dynamics of societies, one only needs to look at villages. For instance, the Japanese war crimes reflect a rather barbaric and ruthless attitude towards war victims. City dwellers would not reflect such values, however, the tradition of ruthless ‘samurai’ can be traced back through the suburbs and villages, where we are likely to find such attitude prevelant. Cities, rarely reflect orthodox traditions. In favour of globalisation, city planners tend not to include traditional elements in more than a cursory way. Since villages generally adhere to tradition, one can form a good idea of the culture and values that a country abides by.

I believe that cities offer the most polished up versions of society that one could find. Hence, in order to fully understand countries, one must explore the less visible community of villagers and tribals.


Hi there, here are my notes on your essay:

What I thought your thesis was: agriculture, it's important!
Quality of ideas: Good! I though it was great that you expanded a lot of the agriculture basis as a counterpoint to the prompt and then focused on this point throughout. This was great in terms of preventing meandering thoughts and superfluous ideas.
Organization: Though it was apparent after the second read that you were presenting your body paragraphs as examples to your thesis, often times it helps to ease the reader in to the argument if you made a nod to your examples in the introduction.
Writing Style: Also good.
Grammar & Usage: Good
Summary: I would overall give this essay a 4-5. Though your grasp of grammar and diction are good, your essay lacked some structure in terms of building a paper that flowed well.

In addition, the shifts in narration style was distracting. Typically, a rule of thumb in writing (as I learned) is to never use the word "I" to represent your ideas as making a statement in the first person narrative is redundant to the paper itself. "I think" is also usually avoided for the same reason.

It's clear in this essay that you spent a majority of your time building the body paragraphs, which is a good tactic. However, I would urge spending more time on your outline at the beginning of the essay and then using that to form the structure of your introduction and conclusion at the end.
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Re: [Requesting Review:] Learning society not through cities but [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2017, 05:34
Jennytran333 wrote:

Hi there, here are my notes on your essay:

What I thought your thesis was: agriculture, it's important!
Quality of ideas: Good! I though it was great that you expanded a lot of the agriculture basis as a counterpoint to the prompt and then focused on this point throughout. This was great in terms of preventing meandering thoughts and superfluous ideas.
Organization: Though it was apparent after the second read that you were presenting your body paragraphs as examples to your thesis, often times it helps to ease the reader in to the argument if you made a nod to your examples in the introduction.
Writing Style: Also good.
Grammar & Usage: Good
Summary: I would overall give this essay a 4-5. Though your grasp of grammar and diction are good, your essay lacked some structure in terms of building a paper that flowed well.

In addition, the shifts in narration style was distracting. Typically, a rule of thumb in writing (as I learned) is to never use the word "I" to represent your ideas as making a statement in the first person narrative is redundant to the paper itself. "I think" is also usually avoided for the same reason.

It's clear in this essay that you spent a majority of your time building the body paragraphs, which is a good tactic. However, I would urge spending more time on your outline at the beginning of the essay and then using that to form the structure of your introduction and conclusion at the end.


Thank you very much for your feedback. I think I have understood the gist and will try to incorporate it:
1. I'll stick to third person narrative as much as possible.
2. I'll use more connectives. "As an illustration..." or "For instance."
3. Apart from content generation, I need to also focus on the flow of the argument, the structure of the paragraphs and the overall layout. For instance, I could have used more connectives to indicate the general intention of a para and also to link between paras.

Thanks again.
Re: [Requesting Review:] Learning society not through cities but   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2017, 05:34
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