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Lesson 5: Idea > Cause/Effect task type

Example Task You should spend about 40 minutes on this question. Many countries today are experiencing high levels of migration from rural areas to cities. What are the causes of this trend, and what effects does it have on the existing city dwellers? Give reasons for your answer, and provide ideas and examples from your […]

Example Task

You should spend about 40 minutes on this question.

Many countries today are experiencing high levels of migration from rural areas to cities. What are the causes of this trend, and what effects does it have on the existing city dwellers?

Give reasons for your answer, and provide ideas and examples from your own experience. You should write at least 250 words.

 

Explanation of the task

This is an IDEAS > CAUSE/ EFFECT type essay. It asks you to think of some causes of the situation, and also some effects. It does not ask for your opinion about whether something is good or bad. You should introduce the topic, then describe two or three causes, then two or three effects. There should be a short summary at the end.

 

Model essay

Migration from the countryside to cities is certainly a topical issue, as so many nations are seeing this pattern today. There are three main causes, and two key impacts, which I will outline now.

The main cause is probably the lack of employment available to rural people. Rural industries, ranging from agriculture to food production and animal breeding, have all been rationalized and made far more efficient in recent years, meaning that fewer people are needed to staff them. Furthermore, the growth of employment opportunities in the cities means that people, especially youngsters, are tempted to move there by higher wages and the prospect of reliable work. Finally, many countries still have a weaker infrastructure in rural areas, especially in terms of transport and economic activity. For example, if a country dweller is unable to find public transport to get to work locally, that person will inevitably consider moving to a city where the infrastructure is far better established.

Regarding the effects felt by the urban residents, perhaps the main impact is on accommodation. An increased urban population drives up the cost of buying or renting a home, leading to possible hardship for people who had assumed that prices would remain stable. We can see this clearly in major conurbations such as London, Sao Paolo or Delhi, where property prices are extremely high and continue to rise. The other main effect on the existing city population is the vastly increased competition for job opportunities, especially at a less skilled level. For instance, drivers, shop workers and hospitality staff find themselves competing for work with new arrivals who are often prepared to work for less. This can lead to a reduction in wages and consequent decline in standard of living, especially when combined with the increased cost of housing.

To sum up, the causes of this trend are primarily to do with employment, and the effects are felt in terms of wages and accommodation.

(323 words)