This is amazing - three essays on this topic with different styles but some great ideas, great rewrites, and great comments. Thanks to Nick, Rose2802, Alison and Tommy for the fantastic job.
Instead of separate comments, I'll just write a few here in one post. It's a bit long, sorry!
Here's the layout of Nick's essay:
- Intro: some people say send all criminals to jail, others say alternatives to jail are possible, thesis sentence. Fine!
- Para 2: Criminals are a danger to society. (But I think the topic sentence needs to be stronger and to mention prison).
- Para 3: Rehabilitation is the answer, because crime is still increasing. Also, prison is expensive. Community service is also very good for young offenders (but this point also needs more explanation). You have good ideas in this paragraph - more ideas and clearer examples than in Paragraph 2
- Conclusion: Sort of gives two sides, and says we need to consider 'merciful alternatives' to prison. I'm happy with the ideas in it, but would like to make it much shorter.
Overall it has some good ideas and it's organized, but the conclusion should be shorter and Paragraph 2 (the first paragraph in the body) could be longer and have a better topic sentence.
Rose 2802 said Nick's essay had many long sentences - the average is 15.6, which is not too bad, although it's better to aim for between 12 and 15. Perhaps removing some of the longer ones in the conclusion will help along with simplifying some ideas.
Use Linking Words
I also agree with her suggestion of using some linking words such as 'therefore,' and 'moreover.' I also recommend the easy ones 'first,' 'second,' 'another point is that,' 'in addition,' or 'a final point is that.' Have a look at some of the linking words she uses herself in her essay:
Anufrancis, like me, was also confused by your topic for Paragraph 2. A better topic sentence here would have helped. She also wasn't happy with the link to the idea of rehabilitation in Paragraph 3.
Here's my suggestion for a topic sentence for Paragraph 2:
Many people are worried that allowing dangerous criminals to do community service will be a threat. OR
Many people think that community service is too lenient a punishment for major crimes.
(These are obviously two different ideas - it depends on the rest of your paragraph.) Perhaps a sentence like this might work as a topic sentence for Paragraph 3:
Community service can help to rehabilitate prisoners. particularly for minor crimes or young offenders, and this will lower the rate of re-offending.
Rose2802 then wrote her essay on the topic. I really like it. It's much simpler than Nick's and easier to read - maybe because of those linking words, even though the average sentence length is longer, at 16 words. Hmmmm!
Rose2802's essay has a different layout to Nick's, with two body paragraphs both in favour of alternatives to prison. Tommy wondered why you didn't deal with both sides. Many IELTS candidates worry about this - I am always happy to see good writing, and less worried about trying to get the perfect format.
Discuss Both Sides?
I know the question asks:
Some people think lawbreakers should be sent to prison. Others, however, think that there are better alternatives (for example, being made to do work which benefits the local community) for these whose crime are minor.
Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
I am not sure than many IELTS questions actually say "Discuss both these views." Even if your question does say to discuss both views, you can do it by saying that the other side is wrong, if you know what I mean. Have a look at Gilbert's essay for an example.
There's a lot in Rose2802's third paragraph - you have suggested dealing with the causes of poverty, so this might be going off-topic a little, even though I agree with you completely. But overall I really like the style and simplicity. Tommy Bui suggests that maybe you should have mentioned the word from the question ('community service') in the intro, and he's right: it will help you to keep absolutely on topic. See my suggested topic sentences above.
As Tommy points out, there are some grammar errors, but they don't impede communication.
Then Alison wrote her 5-paragraph essay which is similar in layout to Nick's - it looks at both sides. It's longer and has lots of examples. This is what is meant in the official IELTS descriptors for Task 2 Writing under Task Response for fully supported and developed.
Alison (or her spell-checker) made one tiny mistake which I really like: in Paragraph 4 she suggests letting 'pretty' criminals out to do community service. It's a nice idea, and I definitely agree with keeping the ugly ones in prison! (OK, I know it's just a typo for 'petty'!)
Questions in an essay?
Rose then asked if it's OK to use questions. Yes, I think it's absolutely fine. Don't worry about doing it once or maybe even twice in an essay, but don't overdo it. It can be very effective.
Some Good Rewrites
People show sufficient evidences that indicate a high rate of re-commitment among ex-convict which is the sources of the crime problems whether is major or minor.
Rose suggested this as one possible rewrite (I’ve edited itslightly):
Take ex-convicts for example: it is evident that a high rate of re-offending among ex-convicts is a major sources of crimes.
Here's another sentence Nick wrote:
In my view, I believe that both sides have their own purposes, but people need to respect the common good of the public.
In conclusion, both sides have their own reasons for their choice but I believe that people need to respect the benefits to the public.
Here’s a suggestion from Anufrancis for the same sentence:
In my view, I believe that both sides have their own pros and cons, but people need to implement adequate steps for the good of the public.
Again, thanks to you all and imagine what would happen if you were all in the same face-to-face class! Great work! I'm going to pin this essay to the top of the forum for a few days to show what working together means!