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  1. However I am aware of the grammatical mistakes, the spelling mistakes and obvious blunders in my essays, I believe mistakes are mistakes and so please consider marking them just how an AWA rater would rate it - no leniency! Thank you very much. ISSUE: 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. Response: No matter the amount of time passed by, a deep rooted impact of the original arts and the thoughts can always be found at the places of their origin. Gathering the information is a crucial part of the task - especially when the task is to understand the important characteristics of a society because understanding a society is to understand its people, understand the origin of the activities that are carried out by these people such as the jobs they do, the resources they use on daily basis. Part of gathering this information also includes getting to know the environment the society was "born and brought up" in. Hence, in order to understand all these emminent aspects of the understanding a society, it is important to study its major cities. Naturally, birth place of a new society developes faster and more freely, making it the reflection of the society it brought to life. By studying such major cities surrounded by its culture, one gets the very important experience of seeing the life of its citizens first hand. It is rightly said that "Experience is a bigger teacher than anything else" - realizing what the social elements of a society in the first person is the best experience when it comes to understanding a society. Moreover, due to the not-so-ephemeral impacts left by the growth with time, the major cities usually hold the origins of the rituals and traditions of its society, very closely to itself. Studying the city, will indeed bring one closer to the real meaning and logical reasons behind such - sometimes peculiar - traditions. In addition to this, the major cities that have been central to the growth of their societies usually carry forward an unbiased and uninterrupted set of information, over time. Sometimes, however, the informatoin stored in the major centers of the societies may be corrupted by some foreign elements or may be missing due to drain of knowledge out of the cities. But with proper scientific validation, such lost information can not only be retrieved but also be connected rightly with any other missing pieces in the original story of a society. All in all, if one wants to understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must focus on studying its major cities. ARGUMENT: Woven baskets characterized by a particular distinctive pattern have previously been found only in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric village of Palea and therefore were believed to have been made only by the Palean people. Recently, however, archaeologists discovered such a "Palean" basket in Lithos, an ancient village across the Brim River from Palea. The Brim River is very deep and broad, and so the ancient Paleans could have crossed it only by boat, and no Palean boats have been found. Thus it follows that the so-called Palean baskets were not uniquely Palean. Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument. Response: The given argument has some critical assumptions due to which it is weak in nature. One such and very important assumptions, it has stated is the existence and the size of the Brim river in the ancient times. In no way the argument sufficiently provides the proof to the notion that Brim River existed during the same time from which the woven baskets are found to be. Even if the river existed during the same timeline, the depth and breadth of the Brim river back then are not confirmed to be the same as today's, with any scientific validation. Perhaps the river was shallow or had the both its shores closer, in which case the Paleans could have traveled to the other side of the river easily. If the dating of the river and the impact of its flow over time on its shores were to prove, for a fact, that the river was as healthy as it is currently, the argument would have held more credibility to be true. Secondly, the archaeologists claim to have discovered no Palean boats that may have helped the Paleans to cross the Brim river. However, this does not mean that no bridges over the river existed which may have been built by either the Paleans or the people from Lithos for the purpose of travel and trade across the river. If the assumption that no bridges existed is to be accepted with suffiecient proof, the fact that no boats ferried across the river, is still not proven. Maybe the people from Lithos were capable enough to construct a boat and used it to cross the river, who may have brought the Palean woven baskets to Lithos from Palea. If the history is proof of anything, it's that in ancient times also, people used to hire or buy vehicles for the purpose of trade, if they were not capable of building one on their own. Similarly, people from Lithos and Palea or either, may have bought one such boat that they used to cross the river which made the transfer of such baskets possible. Hence, failing to justify some of the assumptions on the basis of ground truth, the argument is not validated with sufficient proof.
  2. "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 amalgamation of varied aspects of life - social, economic, political, demographic, geographic. The study of major cities, while necessary, may not always be sufficient to understand the important characteristics of a society. A study of major cities could reveal multi-faceted view of the society. This study, essentially, could help bring out the overarching, interconnected themes or characteristics. For example, knowledge of social structures such as existence of a patriarchal system could lead us to answer economic questions such as - "Why are daughters not considered rightful owners of properties?" In a similar fashion, a geographic survey could reveal why certain sections of the population have a longer life expectancy than others, or why they are more immune to certain infectious diseases than other. Furthermore, a study of the political climate could unravel answers about the economic environment of the society - a politically unstable regime will most likely result in an economic crisis. One can, however, argue that simply focussing the lens on major cities might not always be enough to understand the important characteristics of a society, since smaller and maybe not-so-important cities add as much to the overall fabric of society as major cities do. More often than not, that is the case. However, it must be noted that major cities are more representative of the overall society - that is, they present an aggregated view of the entire region than present discrete chunks of information. Hence, a study of major cities could prove useful while trying to understand the important characteristics of the overall society. However, if one has adequate time and resources at her disposal, it will be more prudent to study both major and minor cities, to bring out more exhaustive results.
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