The Question

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Nowadays, it is better for children to grow up in the countryside than in a large city. Use specific reasons and examples to develop your essay. (Adapted  from the Official Guide to the TOEFL).

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The Sample Essay

         It is critically important that all children be raised in a supportive and healthy environment. In my opinion, it is more advantageous to raise young people in major city, than to raise them in a rural area.  I feel this way for two main reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

      First of all, cities include a vast number of academic and cultural facilities, all of which help the intellectual development of children.  A child who visits such places on a regular basis will undoubtedly become extremely interested in some of them. My own experience is a compelling example of this. When I was young I lived in a major urban area, so my parents could easily take me to a cultural event almost every weekend.  We attended book readings at the local library, art openings at many of the galleries throughout the city, and literary festivals during the summer. As a result of attending these outings I developed a strong interest in artistic expression, and decided to major in music at university. Now I enjoy a successful career as a recording artist. Had I not visited so many stimulating places as a youngster, I would not be thriving like I am today.

         Secondly, children who live in cities are exposed to people from many walks of life, while those in the countryside communicate with only one type of person.  Cities are usually magnets for new immigrants to my country, and are populated by individuals from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I think it is useful for children to have friends who come from different walks of life.  For instance, my young cousin is growing up in New York, which is the largest city in my country. By the time she was ten years old, she had made friends from five different continents. Although she is still just a college student, she is comfortable interacting with people who speak a variety of languages and who have religious beliefs that are different from her own. Moreover, she recently mentioned that she was able to find employment at a company looking for workers with an international perspective.  Accordingly, I think that people who live in cities can enjoy a variety of beneficial interactions.

       In conclusion, I strongly believe that it is better for children to grow up in cities than in rural areas.  This is because cities are home to a variety of educational venues, and because they have very diverse and cosmopolitan populations. (415 words)



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