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Should there be fixed punishment for crimes, or should each case be treated individually?
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May 18, 2012
9:43 pm
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In our present age, providing a secure society has become a concerning area for each government. It is obvious that there should be tough ways of punishment compatible with each crime. But in the meantime, whether it is a blessing or a curse has sparked a heated debate.

Some people argue that, an individual who commits a crime has done it under series of circumstances. In the other words, they believe that when a trial imposes sentences on someone criminal, his or her previous motivations should be considered. For example, Amnesty International Organization’s 2008 report about social security worldwide shows that, poverty and illiteracy are two the most important factors, leading people to commit a crime in their lifetime. Moreover, this group of people convinced that the lack of education about legal punishing laws plays an important role in the violations among people. Mass media programs to familiar people with the results of any illegal movement can effectively reduce the people’s tendency to show aggressive behaviors. Undoubtedly, it can prevent jails to be filled with people.

But besides, the other group of people insists on this idea that each person should be responsible for his or her own actions, right at the time they take place. They claim that the role of governments to support judicial systems is started to fade. This is an immensely powerful view that fixed punishment is the only way to stop growing rate of crime in every corner of the world. In addition, this group argues that it is essential to establish and apply heavy penalties and retributions for different crimes, to protect societies from civil disorder.

In conclusion, I think that existence of tough measurements and fixed punishments is pivotal to guarantee the societies’ security. Considering motivations of an individual will increase the potential of chaos among people. In my point of view, there should be very effective regulations to improve the security level in communities.

May 24, 2012
7:04 pm
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writefix
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Hi Shahab

Here are a few comments on your essay.

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • In our present age → Today,
  • providing a secure society has become a concerning area for each government → providing a secure society is a major concern of most governments.
  • Undoubtedly, it can prevent jails to be filled with people. → It can prevent jails from filling up/from being filled up.   

Shorten and Simplify

You wrote:

Moreover, this group of people convinced that the lack of education about legal punishing laws plays an important role in the violations among people. (24 words)

Let’s leave out 'the people' and just give the situation

The lack of awareness of penalties or punishments can contribute to crime. (11 words)  OR 
When everyone knows the penalty, fewer people commit crimes (9 words)

You wrote:

They claim that the role of governments to support judicial systems is started to fade.

This is unclear to me. It needs another sentence or an example to explain it. Do you mean this? 

Crime in many countries is increasing because governments are not supporting the judicial system

Make sure you support your ideas. Have a look at the official IELTS descriptors for Task 2 Writing here, under Task Response and unsupported ideas.

Reference

You wrote:

 But in the meantime, whether it is a blessing or a curse has sparked a heated debate.

What does ‘it’ refer to? What is the meantime -  is something happening?

Here’s another example:

You wrote:

But besides, the other group of people insists on this idea that each person should be responsible for his or her own actions, right at the time they take place. (30 words)

Who does ‘this other group of people’ refer to? It’s a new paragraph, so it’s good to specify. Avoid pronouns. You could say “People in favor of fixed punishments…”

Alternatively you could just say ‘others’ or ‘other people’:

Other people think offenders must face responsible for their actions, whenever or however they occur. (15 words)

Standard (Generic) Phrases

You wrote:

But in the meantime, whether it is a blessing or a curse has sparked a heated debate.

This sentence could be used in a million essays -  avoid this type of sentence. There is no mention of the topic. Where is this 'heated debate'? Why is it that all IELTS topics seem to be ‘hotly debated,’ ‘controversial issues’ or ‘matters of debate’? They aren’t. Some of them are very boring indeed. 

Two recommendations:

  • Leave out these tired, old, standard, generic phrases  (You can see more examples here and here.)
  • Make every sentence specific to the essay

Introduction

You wrote:

In our present age, providing a secure society has become a concerning area for each government. It is obvious that there should be tough ways of punishment compatible with each crime. But in the meantime, whether it is a blessing or a curse has sparked a heated debate.

Here’s one possible rewrite with a clearer thesis sentence:

Most legal systems have a variety of options for punishing offenders. But how much freedom should be left to judges? In this essay I will ask if judges should able to reduce or increase punishments based on the circumstances, or if all offenders should receive the same penalty.

In a four-paragraph (Intro, Para 2, Para 3, conclusion) essay, this thesis sentence will help the reader to expect Paragraph 2 to be about flexibility, and Paragraph 3 to be about fixed penalties. Try to have a thesis sentence in every introduction. 

Commas

Be careful with commas. If you are not sure about them, leave them out.

  • Some people argue that, an individual who commits a crime…→ Some people argue that an individual who commits a crime…
  • Amnesty’s report shows that, poverty and illiteracy are two the most important factors, leading people to commit a crime →
    Amnesty’s report shows that poverty and illiteracy are the two most important factors leading people to commit a crime.

Quotes

Avoid quotes, and don’t quote ‘experts.’

I downloaded the Amnesty International Report for 2008. The only mention of illiteracy is about high rates in Sierra Leone. I could not find any mention anywhere on their website of a relationship between illiteracy and crime. There is no need to make up data. It’s an opinion essay - your opinion is fine, thanks!  

It’s not a research paper, a thesis or a term paper. Just give us your opinion! There’s no need to hide or back up your opinion with pseudodata such as ‘scientists have shown,’ ‘experts claim,’ ‘famous psychologists suggest,’ ‘research has shown,’ etc.

Task 1 is for reporting data or facts: Task 2 is for opinion. Give your opinion, and you will be answering the requirement for the question.

Nouns (Nominalizations)

You wrote:

Considering motivations of an individual will increase the potential of chaos among people

There are a lot of nouns and noun phrases (nominalizations) here. This makes the sentence very heavy or dense. Let’s simplify by making it longer (yes! longer!) and less dense and replacing nouns with verbs or adjectives:

If we have to consider all the motivations for a crime, it will be impossible to enforce our legal system.  (20 words)  OR

Our legal system would be chaos without fixed punishments. (9 words)

There’s more about nominalizations and dense sentences here.

Shahab, I recommend overall that you keep trying to simplify your writing. Don’t feel that it is necessary to put in all those horrible tired old phrases. Just say what you think, give examples, and keep it simple!

May 25, 2012
6:01 pm
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Hi writefix!

Thank you for your help. the last two sentences were very impressive for me! I should have wrote for your website earlier!

I just took my speaking exam. tomorrow is the day! I'm gonna write more examples untill tonight and read other samples.

by the way, really thanks for the time you spent to type corrections on my essay. 🙂

May 25, 2012
7:41 pm
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Hi Mr.Enda,

 

I really like your feedback given on our essays. I'm afraid if we make our sentences short as you mention we cannot  already reach 250 words . Moreover, I think in a  long sentence we can better apply grammar ponits instead of short sentences.

May 26, 2012
12:03 am
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writefix
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Hi Brian!

I don't think you will have any problem reaching 250 words! Anyway, try -  don't make all your sentences short, just try for an average of about 12-15 or so words per sentence. At a typical 20 sentences, that's between 240 and 300 words. Use it as a guide, not a fixed rule. 

 

But I do like short sentences!

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