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IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 - Purpose of prison


Rachel26HJ 3 / 6 2  
Nov 28, 2013   #1
Some people think that the only purpose of prison is to punish criminals. Others, however, argue that it has other purposes as well. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Essay:
Prison, as a treatment of criminals, has been serving the purpose of punishing criminals for centuries. Some people believe that it is the only purpose of prison, while others argue that the purposes of prison should not be limited to punishment. Personally, I am in favour of the latter opinion.

Originally, people developed prison system to punish criminals. As an old saying goes: What goes around comes around. The consequence of committing a crime is the loss of freedom and long-term imprisonment, so that prisoner can reflect on their actions. In some cases, prisoners are sentenced to serve the prison to death, meaning they will never have the chance to go back to normal life, which is a life time punishment. However, as the development of prison system, nowadays it becomes serving more than one purpose and undertakes multi-roles in the society.

Firstly, reforming criminals becomes an important duty of prisons. In order to reduce the re-offending rate and help those prisoners to go back to society, some prisons offer training programs to equip the prisoners with employment skills. Furthermore, as part of the prisoners have mental issues or being addicted to drugs or alcohol, some counselling programs are provided to rehabilitate them. Therefore, prison is also in a role of helping and reforming offenders, rather than serving solely as a punishment tool.

Secondly, prison provides security to the society. As being locked in the prison, criminals are not allowed to pose threats to others anymore, ensuring the stability and safety of the society. Otherwise, parents would be so worried when their children running around in a park and people would be so scared of taking cash out of ATM.

In conclude, prison not only serves as a punishment tool, but also taking important roles in reforming offenders and providing security to the society.

Please give some feedback to the essay above in terms of the structure, coherence, cohesion and task response. If it is possible, please let me know the rough mark I could get in IELTS (Band 6, 7 or 8?). Thank you very much!

Pahan 1 / 1,966 553  
Nov 28, 2013   #2
Prison, as a treatment of criminals, has been serving the purpose of punishing criminals for centuries. Some people believe that it is the only purpose of prison, while others argue that the purposes of prison should not be limited to punishment. Personally, I am in favour of the latter opinion.

Good introduction - it contains all necessary features :)

Originally, people developed prison system to punish criminals. As an old saying goes: What goes around comes around.

It's better you started off with the reason that you use to justify your opinion. In fact this whole paragraph does not provide substantial justification to say why you hold that opinion. You say that prison should do more than punishing criminals. Then use your body paragraph to tell the reader why you think so. Then give an example to support your reason. You need to align your writing more with the prompt
OP Rachel26HJ 3 / 6 2  
Nov 28, 2013   #3
Thanks so much for your reply! I am always struggling of the structure of my essays.

Originally, people developed prison system to punish criminals.

In terms of the second paragraph, I agree with you that, it is better to start with the reasons that support my opinion, which is prison should do more than punishing criminals.

However, do you think I need to use at least one paragraph to discuss the first statement in the task ("some people think that the only purpose of prison is to punish criminals")? Since the task requires me to discuss both views. And if I need to write such a paragraph, rather than putting it at the start of my body paragraph, should I put it at the end of my body part?


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