In today’s blog, we will be going over a Recent IELTS Writing Task 2 question that has come – Some people think that there should be a fixed punishment for each crime. Others feel that circumstances and motivation should be taken into account. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

We will first go through a sample student essay to understand how it has been written. We will then evaluate the essay upon parameters such as Task Response, Coherence & Cohesion, Lexical Resources and Grammatical Range. We will then discuss ways of brainstorming about this topic and proceed to write an ideal essay that will help us achieve the band score that we need.

IELTS Writing task 2 needs to be attempted carefully in order to do well in the main IELTS Writing test. The right amount of IELTS writing practice will help you perform exceptionally in the 2023 IELTS exam.

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Sample Student Essay

IELTS exam

Evaluation Of The Student Essay

The question here is asking the student to discuss both views and then give their opinion. 
The first thought that we have after we have gone through this sample essay is that the student is not very comfortable with the language. He does not understand grammar usage as well and has made a lot of mistakes while constructing sentences. Look at the last sentence – as well as the cause of offending the crime I accept the latter view as well.

In order to sound more fluent, the student has misused words. Offending means to offend someone whereas committing an offense refers to doing something that is morally wrong. These two words are not interchangeable.

Let us begin with the Task response.  In the Introduction, the student should have clearly stated what he was planning to do with the question. He has said that he will be discussing both views but hasn’t addressed the other part of the question. He is not coherent regarding his personal opinion.

Coming to the first paragraph, the student gave two supporting points and also concluded them properly in the last line.
In the second paragraph, he has just abruptly mentioned explanations and examples without logically organizing them. This paragraph does not convey any meaning as such and its central idea is unclear.

Finally, he is providing his personal opinion but the conclusion still remains unclear and is not properly summed up. 

Here, the student has ended up developing one point properly but hasn’t paid any attention to the other points. He should have also explained his point of view well.

Let’s take a quick look at the Band descriptor’s chart for Task Response

IELTS exam

We will be awarding him a 5.5 in Task Response based on the chart.

Coming to Coherence & Cohesion, we see that there is a lack of connectivity between paragraphs 1 and 2.  Though there is paragraphing, there is a general lack of overall progression as a lot of sentences have no proper connectivity.
Let’s take a look at the Band descriptor’s chart in order to understand which band can be given in terms of Coherence and Cohesion.

Coherence and cohesion
IELTS writing

We can give this candidate a band 5 when it comes to coherence and cohesion. 

Now, let us come to lexical resources and how appropriately the candidate has made use of them. Lexical resources don’t just assess the vocabulary but also how accurately the words used are. The topic here revolves around crime and punishment. The word ‘punish’ has been used multiple times instead of sticking to its synonyms. There is constant repetition of the same types of words throughout this essay. Words are tossed around even when they don’t make any sense and this makes it difficult to comprehend the lines.  There are grammatical errors too throughout the paragraphs.
Overall, the candidate has used words that are associated with the topic but they do not sit well with the sentences that he has framed. Let us consult the band descriptor’s chart to understand which band can be given to him.

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Band 6 Chart

IELTS writing taskBand 5 Chart

IELTS writingIf you notice, his essay has some attributes of band 6 and some of band 5. We will give him a band of 5.5

Lastly, we will be evaluating his grammatical range and accuracy.

Look at this paragraph- 

However, others are of the opinion that each crime should address individually since many factors can cause an offense and they are not always the same. To clarify, a person who is a shoplifter may do so not because of just pleasure in contrast to one who does the same offense to pay living expenses. So, their intentions are different and they should not be punished in the same way, or is a first-time burglar similar to a repeated one? As a result, each criminal act should be addressed individually.

The sentence ‘To clarify, a person who is a shoplifter may do so not because of just pleasure in contrast to one who does the same offense to pay living expenses’ does not make any sense.
The candidate has not expressed himself clearly here. Throughout the essay, he has put together words without any thought to the overall structuring. Let us take a look at the band descriptor for Grammatical Range and Accuracy to understand what we can give this candidate. 

Band 5

IELTS writing task 1This band description is apt for what the candidate has produced and so, we will be giving him a band 5 here.





Overall, the candidate would receive a band of 5.5

The candidate needs to improve all four parameters in order to achieve a band score of 8 or more. His task response needs to be better wherein he is required to understand the question and answer all parts of it in a proper manner. One main point , one supporting point and an example should have been provided. He also needs to work upon his coherence and cohesion. If he receives a band of at least 7 in both, his lexical resource and grammar will also fall in line. 

Essay Plan

Now, we shall delve into the brainstorming of the topic- Some people think that there should be a fixed punishment for each crime. Others feel that circumstances and motivation should be taken into account. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

What strikes you when you read the question? The question is clearly asking us to discuss both points of view and state our opinion. One paragraph of the essay will talk about how certain people feel that there should be a fixed punishment for every crime that is committed. The second paragraph will talk about the other section of people who feel that situations that compel people into committing crimes should be taken into account.

You will have to conclude by stating your personal opinion along with the reason for choosing the side that you choose. 

Remember that both the perspectives need to be discussed with well rounded points so that the essay seems freely flowing.

Ideal essay

IELTS Preparation

 Some people think that there should be a fixed punishment for each crime. Others feel that circumstances and motivation should be taken into account. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Situations that lead people into committing criminal activities should be considered before punishing them. However, some individuals feel that there needs to be a predetermined punishment for every offense. This essay will discuss both views and give reasons for my personal opinion. 

To begin with, following a disciplined and fixed approach for offenses reduces the rate of crime in a nation. If people are aware regarding the consequences of a felony, they will think twice before committing any wrongdoing. In Dubai, the authorities chop off the hands of anyone who dares to commit a crime of theft. This is why robberies and thefts are rare in Dubai. In Egypt, death penalties are given to those who commit rape and so, there are hardly any crimes against women there.

However, some crimes are committed as a desperate resort to make ends meet. Evils such as poverty, poor health or uneducation can drive people to steal or shoplift in order to sustain themselves and prevent dying. A single mother who has been out of work since months may shoplift from a convenience store in order to look after her children. Similarly, a man who has grown up as an orphan and is the sole breadwinner for his family may fall prey to gambling. Since he did not receive any education or upbringing , his circumstances need to be considered before he receives punishment.

To sum it up, I would like to reiterate that a wrongdoer’s background must be looked into before he is punished for a crime that he has committed. Pre-established retribution may lead to a drop in the crime rate but the intention behind the crime also needs to be investigated.

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