In my previous post (#59) on my top twelve writing tips for TOEFL preparation, the issue of "presenting the balanced view" came up, and I would like to elaborate on that and invite your comments on the topic. To make my post more interactive and less boring, I would showcase a part of my student's essay and suggest one way of how you can express your view without being called an extremist.
Many people find it advantageous to live in a big city, while others find small towns more suitable for their needs. Living in big cities and small towns both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Nowadays people choose to live in big cities for a number of reasons. The standard of living in big cities is considered to be higher than in smaller ones. First of all, it implies the high level of health care system that allows people to get quick and effective medical service. Secondly, there is a great variety of educational institutions where young people obtain profound knowledge and get competitive career opportunities. Besides, the job options in metropolitan areas are known to be to a much larger extent. [...]"
These are the first two paragraphs of the essay, however, there is still no personal opinion stated. This may raise the examiner's eyebrows. Introducing your point of view as early as possible is essential, but how can you do it? Here is an idea: