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Should different ways of punishment such as community service should be encouraged?
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June 2, 2012
5:49 am
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Should different ways of punishment such as community service should be encouraged?


The discussion of which should be the most suitable punishment for a crime is an endless one. In some countries the law is lenient and does not sentence people when the crime is considered to be not serious, whereas in other countries someone can end up in jail, because they stole a loaf of bread.  

Undoubtedly, people must be held responsible when they are committing a crime and hurt another human being in any way, but we should take into consideration the nature of the crime committed and if imprisonment would be an effective way of helping someone understand their mistake.

I believe, that community services can be an effective type of punishment in some particular minor crimes, especially, when the criminal is a young person, he shouldn't be tainted by spending time in prison. On the other hand, people attest that, in the majority of cases, minor crimes are just the beginning and if these people do not get the punishment they deserve, their criminal actions will escalate and only get worse. But is prison the way to do that? I think not. Prisons are not the rehabilitation institutions they are supposed to be, so even if we imprison these petty criminals it is quite possible that they will end up to be worst.

 To sum up, I believe that we should give those people a second chance and help them become better by supporting them and not casting them on the side. Community service can be an effective penalty and governments should reinforce that king of action in order to decrease the criminal rates, which are extremely high.

June 2, 2012
5:52 am
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Hi everyone, 

I am about to sit the IELTS exam on next Saturday and I would appreciate any feedback..

something went wrong with the paragraphs when I submitted my essay (I blame copy paste) [Edit: fixed now!]

thanks in advance

best of luck to everyone

June 2, 2012
9:48 am
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hello, cliouba1,

we write some essays for your topic which you can easily find out in the main page of the forum.

have a look at them and give comments.

here are my comments for your essay.

 

introduction para is not good. it does not have thesis statement, so it is difficult to have overview about your writing. 


The discussion of which should be the most suitable punishment for a crime is an endless one. In some countries the law is lenient and does not sentence people when the crime is considered to be not serious, whereas in other countries someone can end up in jail, because they stole a loaf of bread. in this essay, i will....  (explain what you are going to write in the body paragraph)


the main ideas in your body part are not clear.

you should use more simple sentences instead of complex ones. 

 

Undoubtedly, putting lawbreakers into jail is sometimes necessary, but we should take into consideration the nature of the crime committed. people must be held responsible when they are committing a crime and hurt another human being in any way, but we should take into consideration the nature of the crime committed. and if however, in my opinion imprisonment would be is not an effective way of helping someone understand their mistake. (you may add ideas bout the disadvantages of using sentencing)

I believe, that it is widely believed that community services can be an effective type of punishment in some particular minor crimes. Especially, when the criminal is a young person, he shouldn't be tainted by spending time in prison. On the other hand, however, some people attest that, in the majority of cases, if minor crimes are just the beginning and if these people  are not sentenced into prison get the punishment they deserve, their criminal actions will escalate and only get worse. But is prison the way to do that? I think not. i think Prisons are not the most effective rehabilitation institutions as they are supposed to be, so even if in some cases, governments we imprison these petty criminals it is quite possible that they will end up to be worst.

 

your conclusion is better than intro and body. you should pay attention to make ideas logical.

 

 To sum up, I believe that we should give those people a second chance and help them become better by supporting them and not casting them on the side. Community service can be an effective penalty. I believe that we people should give those people minor criminals a second chance and help them become better by supporting them and not casting them on the side.  and governments should reinforce that punishment king of action in order to decrease the criminal rates, which are extremely high. 

..........move forward and succeed.............

June 2, 2012
7:18 pm
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Thanks rose2802,

your comments are really helpfull... i ll keep those in mind

June 13, 2012
1:20 pm
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Hi Cliouba!

Thanks for this essay, and welcome to Writefix!

And thanks to Rose2802 for your comments.

Cliouba, I hope your exam went well! Please let us know your score when you get it -  you can post it in the results forum. It will help other people to see what their level is based on your essays.

I agree with Rose2802 that you should try to use more simple sentences instead of very complex ones. This will also help you to eliminate many comma errors.

She also suggested using a thesis sentence at the end of your introduction, and I agree with her 100%. You can read more about Thesis sentences here.

Rose2802 suggested using "It is widely believed that" instead of your "I believe that." I prefer your version - it's an opinion essay and you should feel free to give your opinion. There's no need to use passives unnecessarily.

Generally, however, I agree with her comments and you will notice that we both have the same general trend of shortening sentences. In your case you have very few grammatical errors in these structures, but the longer the sentence, the more difficult it is for readers. Check out the second readability link above and you will see your long sentences highlighted.

You have the ability to write - now use it to write lean effective sentences!

Word Count and Sentence Length

Your essay is 270 words long, which is good, but it has a very high average sentence length of 27 words per sentence. I recommend that you get this down to between 12 and 15 words per sentence.

You can check average sentence length, word count, and many other useful statistics by using one of the two readability links at the top of this page-  this one at read-able.com, or this one at online-utility.org.

As I say, I recommend having an average sentence length of between 12 and 15 words per sentence. Longer sentences tend to have more mistakes in punctuation, agreement and structure, as well as being more complicated for the reader.  Aim for a mix of sentences - long and short, with different structures (simple, complex and compound) one or two questions.

Because of your long average sentence length, you only have 10 sentences. A more typical IELTS essay would have about 20 sentences.  

To make things easier for your reader, you should reduce the number of ideas per sentence and reduce the number of phrases in your sentences.

Shorten/Simplify

You wrote:

Undoubtedly, people must be held responsible when they are committing a crime and hurt another human being in any way, but we should take into consideration the nature of the crime committed and if imprisonment would be an effective way of helping someone understand their mistake.

This is a 46-word monster. It’s correct though. Well done! But why not write a shorter version?

Here’s a shorter possible rewrite

Undoubtedly, people must be held responsible when they commit a crime or hurt another person. However, we should consider the nature of the crime and whether imprisonment would be effective in helping the offender understand their mistake. (37 words, 2 sentences, average sentence length 18.5 words)

Here’s another 38 word monster

In some countries the law is lenient and does not sentence people when the crime is considered to be not serious, whereas in other countries someone can end up in jail, because they stole a loaf of bread.  (38 words)

Here’s one possible rewrite:

In some countries the law is lenient and does not sentence people for minor crimes, whereas in others someone can end up in jail just for stealing bread.  (28 words)

OR

In some countries the law is lenient and does not sentence people for minor crimes. In others, however, very minor offenses mean jail.  (23 words, 11.5 words per sentence on average)

Shorten/Simplify/ Repeated Subject

You wrote:

I believe, that community services can be an effective type of punishment in some particular minor crimes, especially, when the criminal is a young person, he shouldn't be tainted by spending time in prison. (34 words)

Here’s one possible rewrite:

I believe that community service can be effective for minor crimes, especially if the offender is young and would be at risk in prison. (24 words)

 Commas

You have a few comma and punctuation errors.

  • someone can end up in jail, because they stole a loaf of bread.  → (here the example is necessary and there should be no comma): someone can end up in jail because they stole…
     
  • crimes, especially, when the criminal is a young person, he → (too many commas):  crimes, especially when the criminal is young and would…
     
  • I believe, that community services can be an effective type of punishment  → I believe that community services can be an effective type of punishment  (don’t separate the verb (“I believe” from its object)
     
  • On the other hand, people attest that, in the majority of cases, minor crimes are just the beginning and if these people do not get the punishment they deserve, their criminal actions will escalate and only get worse.  (too many commas)

Use commas more sparingly. If in doubt, leave them out.

Here’s one possible rewrite:

Many people feel that minor crimes are just the beginning. If criminals do not get the punishment they deserve, their crimes will only get worse.

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

You wrote:

even if we imprison these petty criminals it is quite possible that they will end up to be worst. (19 words)

Here’s one possible rewrite:

If we imprison these petty criminals, they may become much worse. (10 words)

You wrote:

I believe that we should give those people a second chance and help them become better by supporting them and not casting them on the side.

Here’s one possible rewrite:

I believe that we should give those people a second chance and help them become better by supporting them and not casting them aside.

Short Sentences are Effective

I really like this pair of sentences

But is prison the way to do that? I think not.

They are short and very effective, particularly after all the other long sentences.

Great Sentence

I love this sentence

Prisons are not the rehabilitation institutions they are supposed to be.

Conclusion

You wrote:

Community service can be an effective penalty and governments should reinforce that king of action in order to decrease the criminal rates, which are extremely high. (26 words)

The last clause is not needed. Don’t introduce new ideas in the conclusion. Here’s one possible rewrite:

Community service can be an effective penalty and help governments to reduce crime rates. (14 words)

Overall, Cliouba, you have some really great skills in structuring sentences and very few grammatical errors. To improve your writing further, try writing less. Less is often more, and elegance is often found with economy.

June 13, 2012
1:32 pm
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Thanks Rose2802 for your comments! Much appreciated.

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