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IELTS  7  Writing Model Essay (Free sample)

Test 2 Task 2 Question

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that there should be fixed punishments for each type of crime. Others, however, argue that the circumstances of an individual crime, and the motivation for committing it, should always be taken into account when deciding on the punishment.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Test 2 Task 2 Model Essay by an Expert Two

Should the punishment fit the crime, or should the background and motivation of the perpetrator be taken into account? This is an age-old issue which has major implications for how the justice system should operate.

Many people hold the belief that there should be a particular punishment for each crime, regardless of the motivations behind an individual committing the crime. In many ways, this is logical. No matter what the motivations for a crime are, the effect on the victim is the same, so arguably, the intentions do not matter. Regardless of how or why a person has been killed, for example, they are still dead, due to the actions of another person. According to this logic, the justice system should not take the criminal’s circumstances into consideration.

A more compassionate approach, however, would suggest that there is more need for human understanding in the punishments of crimes. Clearly, there should be different levels of blame for somebody who steals something in order to feed their struggling family, and somebody who steals something purely out of spite or greed. People who commit serious crimes such as murder may have been forced to do so by gang membership, for example, and many unfortunate people are led into crime by desperate circumstances.

My personal opinion lies somewhere between these two. A crucial question at the heart of this issue is what the purpose of punishment should be. In my view, the most important purpose is to discourage people from immoral behaviour. For this reason, it is important that the punishment fits the crime to an extent. However, there should also be room in the justice system to consider the situations of criminals, since compassion should also be at the heart of a country’s governance.

(292 words)

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