Is it better to live in a city or not?


You have already made a list of points both for and against living in a city:

FOR

AGAINST

Near medical services

Polluted air

Near schools, colleges, universities

Noise

Near cinemas, theatres, restaurants etc

Accommodation is expensive

Shops open 24 hours a day

A high crime rate

Now you are going to use these points to write a short essay.

TASK 1

A well-made paragraph usually starts with a topic sentence. This contains the main idea or argument of the paragraph. It is followed by a few illustrations or examples that support it. In the case of your essay on city life, the topic sentences in the body of the essay will cover the points in the table above.

  • Write topic sentences based on each of the points in the table. Here is an example:

In a city you live near medical services.

Try to vary your sentences so that they do not all have exactly the same pattern.

TASK 2

The structure of your essay is going to be as follows:

  • Paragraph 1 (INTRODUCTION)
  • Paragraph 2 (Near medical services …) ü
  • Paragraph 3 (Near schools ...) ü
  • Paragraph 4 (Near to entertainment facilities …) ü
  • Paragraph 5 (Shops always open …) ü
  • Paragraph 6 (Dirty air …) û
  • Paragraph 7 (Noise …) û
  • Paragraph 8 (High rents …) û
  • Paragraph 9 (A high crime rate …) û
  • Paragraph 10 (CONCLUSION)

Of course, if you prefer, you can deal with the disadvantages first.

You still need to plan an introduction. Basically, this will state that there are both advantages and disadvantages to city life. However, it will sound rather weak if you simply write: "There are both advantages and disadvantages to living in a city". It will make a stronger impact if you start with a striking statistic. For example:

According to the United Nations Population Fund, 47 percent of the world’s population live in cities and the figure is rising steadily.

You can follow this with a summary of the main arguments contained in the body of the essay. You should present these in the order they will appear later.

  • Continue this opening paragraph
  • by adding points from your table. Present them in the same order as the plan above.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, 47 percent of the world’s population live in cities and the figure is rising steadily. This situation has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, people in cities are near ….. On the other hand, …..

TASK 3

Let us save the conclusion for later. (Basically, it will sum up the main arguments again and evaluate them – in other words, you will give your opinion about living in a city.)

First, you will try to write the body paragraphs – paragraphs 2-6 in the plan above. Each paragraph already has a topic sentence. The challenge now is to support it with illustrations or examples. For example (paragraph 2):

In a city you live near medical services. These include health centres, hospitals and pharmacies. Most people can reach a doctor in less than 15 minutes and there is an emergency ambulance service.

Now write illustrations/examples for your other paragraphs (3-6). You will need to use some linking words/phrases, such as the following:

    • For example, …
    • For instance, …
    • … also …
    • In addition, …
    • Furthermore, …
    • What is more, …
    • Another argument in favour of city life is that …
    • Another disadvantage of living in a city is that …
    • Similarly, …

TASK 4

Finally, you need a conclusion:

In conclusion, there are several problems about living in a city. These include ..…. Nevertheless, there are attractions too. Cities have excellent medical facilities, ..… On the whole, I think these advantages outweigh the disadvantages and because of them people will continue to move to cities. With better planning we should be able to reduce the problems.