top of page

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

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.

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

Get your personalised IELTS Essay Feedback from a former examiner

Download IELTS eBooks, get everything you need to achieve a high band score

Sample Essay 1

The debate surrounding the appropriate response to lawbreaking—whether by way of punishment or a warning—stirs considerable discourse. Advocates of a lenient approach argue for the educational benefits of warnings over punitive measures. This essay contends that while the severity of the crime should dictate the response, minor offenses can often be more effectively addressed with warnings, fostering learning and rehabilitation.

Firstly, warnings for minor infractions serve an educational purpose, guiding individuals back onto the right path without the stigmatizing effects of punishment. For example, a first-time traffic violation might result more effectively in corrective behavior through educational traffic courses rather than fines or points on a license. Such measures not only inform the offender about the dangers of their actions but also allow for personal growth and understanding, ultimately contributing to safer communities. This approach prioritizes rehabilitation over retribution, recognizing that human errors can be opportunities for learning rather than just occasions for punishment.

Secondly, the use of warnings for minor offenses can alleviate the burden on the judicial system, reserving resources for more serious crimes. Over-reliance on punitive measures for every legal transgression can lead to an overwhelmed legal system, where jails are overcrowded and court calendars are congested. By issuing warnings for less serious offenses, the system can focus on rehabilitating serious offenders, thus ensuring a more efficient allocation of judicial and correctional resources.

In conclusion, while the nature and severity of the offense should guide the response, warnings, in lieu of punishment, can often offer a more constructive solution for minor infractions. This approach not only aids in the educational development of the individual but also enhances judicial efficiency. By fostering a system that values rehabilitation and understanding over automatic punishment, society can create an environment where minor missteps are seen as opportunities for growth, thereby contributing to the overall health and safety of the community.

Download IELTS eBooks, get everything you need to achieve a high band score

Sample Essay 2

In contemporary society, the approach to handling lawbreakers oscillates between reprimand and punishment. This essay contends that, depending on the context and the severity of the offense, issuing warnings can be more beneficial than immediate punitive measures. Key discussion points will revolve around the effectiveness of warnings in minor offenses for rehabilitation purposes and the impact of punishment on repeat offenses.

Firstly, warnings serve as a preliminary step in the correctional process for minor infractions, offering individuals a chance to amend their behavior without the stigma of a criminal record. This method acknowledges human fallibility and supports the notion of second chances. For example, a first-time offender caught for a minor transgression, such as a traffic violation, might be more inclined to adhere to rules if given a warning coupled with educational guidance, rather than a fine or jail time. This approach not only aids in the individual's understanding of the law but also fosters a sense of personal responsibility and societal respect.

Secondly, the punitive system often fails to deter repeat offenses and can exacerbate criminal tendencies. Research indicates that prisons often serve as breeding grounds for further criminal activity, where inmates learn more sophisticated means of breaking the law. In contrast, restorative justice models that focus on warnings and community service can reintegrate individuals into society, equipping them with skills and support systems to avoid future infractions. Such measures not only reduce recidivism rates but also alleviate the burden on penal systems and taxpayer resources.

In conclusion, while punishment is necessary for maintaining law and order, its indiscriminate application can lead to negative outcomes. A balanced approach, favoring warnings for minor offenses, can promote rehabilitation and prevent the cycle of reoffending. This strategy underscores the importance of discernment in law enforcement, advocating for measures that support rather than penalize, fostering a more harmonious and just society.

Download IELTS eBooks, get everything you need to achieve a high band score

Sample Essay 3

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.

Get your personalised IELTS Essay Feedback from a former examiner

Download IELTS eBooks, get everything you need to achieve a high band score


bottom of page