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People who break the law should be warned instead of punished. To what extent..(Band 9 Sample Essay)

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


In many situations, people who break the law should be warned instead of punished.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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


You should write at least 250 words.


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Task 2 Band 9 Essay Sample (In many situations, people who break the law should be warned instead of punished.)

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IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay

Some feel that lawbreakers ought to be entitled to a warning instead of strict sanctions. I strongly disagree with this statement, and I think only exemplary punishments can be deterrent for the future crimes.


Punishment is needed for most crimes. The various justifications for punishment typically include deterrence, rehabilitation, public safety, and justice itself. Of these, deterrence is the most often cited and effective measure to curb the future crime. Many criminals are aware of a severe punishment, which bars them from committing the crime, and this ensures a minimum degree of public safety. If a person knew they would only receive a warning for a more serious infraction, then there would almost undoubtedly be more crime. Even in the case of negligible offenses, stronger punishments that are not part of one’s permanent record would better curb future criminality.


Furthermore, it is seen to be too light if people only be warned after breaking any law, as some people might not take a verbal warning seriously, resulting in not getting the lessons learned. For example, there was a time when the Taiwan government promoted a traffic law around 10 years ago, stating that all scooter drivers should wear helmets when driving on the roads. After half a year later, the car accident rates remained the same and it was surprisingly found that near two-thirds of the motorbike riders still did not use any helmet during riding, resulting in many inevitable car accidents which could have been possibly prevented. The main reason behind this was the people who did not wear a helmet and got away with only a verbal warning; instead of being punished-either pay the financial penalty or go to prison. As a result, only a small proportion (33%) of the scooter drivers strictly followed this traffic rule during that time, and the rest simply ignored its presence.


To conclude, it is always a better idea to give punishments to the people who try to break the law, as only a strong penalty can make them remember not to repeat the crime and also helps them to minimise the potential hazards of all kinds to the society.


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