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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of rules and laws from the real IELTS writing exam.

For access to my exclusive sample answer Ebooks, learn more about my Patreon here, my online courses here, and my writing correction service here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Rules and Laws

Society is based on rules and laws. It could not function if individuals were free to do whatever they wanted to do.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many believe that the rule of law is the only reason society does not
descend into anarchy. I am in agreement as idealistic, revisionist views of human nature do not take into account the full pre-history of humanity.

Those who have a more hopeful view of mankind argue the modern progression towards compassion and tolerance. Humans are not necessarily violent and prone to criminal activity. The last hundred years has seen tremendous advances in areas ranging from civil rights to voting to more inclusive social policies. There is therefore a chance that even if society removed or reduced laws governing behaviour, individuals would continue to behave responsibly out of a renewed understanding of what it can mean to be human. These claims are bolstered by the existence of certain small communities in isolation where there is relatively little or no crime.

However, modern values are the product of a refinement of humanity over centuries that still requires reinforcement. The laws against violent crimes, for example, were enforced with brutal penalties for thousands of years in countries around the world. Only in the last two hundred years, have most nations reformed punishments to be either imprisonment or fines. The harsher penalties of the distant past might be outdated, but the current ones still deter potential criminals. The best evidence of this is that people today still attempt to commit crimes despite advances in forensic science and nearly ubiquitous surveillance cameras. It takes little imagination to see realise many more would lean towards breaking the rules in the absence of punishments altogether.

In conclusion, laws and regulations are crucial barriers to the excesses of human nature and cannot be wished away with a good conscience. This does not, however, imply they must be unnecessarily strict.

Analysis

1. Many believe that the rule of law is the only reason society does not
descend into anarchy. 2. I am in agreement as idealistic, revisionist views of human nature do not take into account the full pre-history of humanity.

  1. Paraphase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write your opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who have a more hopeful view of mankind argue the modern progression towards compassion and tolerance. 2. Humans are not necessarily violent and prone to criminal activity. 3. The last hundred years has seen tremendous advances in areas ranging from civil rights to voting to more inclusive social policies. 4. There is therefore a chance that even if society removed or reduced laws governing behaviour, individuals would continue to behave responsibly out of a renewed understanding of what it can mean to be human. 5. These claims are bolstered by the existence of certain small communities in isolation where there is relatively little or no crime.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Include specific details.
  4. Make a logical argument.
  5. Support it with a specific example.

1. However, modern values are the product of a refinement of humanity over centuries that still requires reinforcement. 2. The laws against violent crimes, for example, were enforced with brutal penalties for thousands of years in countries around the world. 3. Only in the last two hundred years, have most nations reformed punishments to be either imprisonment or fines. 4. The harsher penalties of the distant past might be outdated, but the current ones still deter potential criminals. 5. The best evidence of this is that people today still attempt to commit crimes despite advances in forensic science and nearly ubiquitous surveillance cameras. 6. It takes little imagination to see realise many more would lean towards breaking the rules in the absence of punishments altogether.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Start an example.
  3. Develop the example.
  4. Continue developing the same example.
  5. State any evidence related to your argument.
  6. Conclude with a strong sentence.

1. In conclusion, laws and regulations are crucial barriers to the excesses of human nature and cannot be wished away with a good conscience. 2. This does not, however, imply they must be unnecessarily strict.

  1. Summarise your ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many believe that the rule of law is the only reason society does not
descend into anarchy. I am in agreement as idealistic, revisionist views of human nature do not take into account the full pre-history of humanity.

Those who have a more hopeful view of mankind argue the modern progression towards compassion and tolerance. Humans are not necessarily violent and prone to criminal activity. The last hundred years has seen tremendous advances in areas ranging from civil rights to voting to more inclusive social policies. There is therefore a chance that even if society removed or reduced laws governing behaviour, individuals would continue to behave responsibly out of a renewed understanding of what it can mean to be human. These claims are bolstered by the existence of certain small communities in isolation where there is relatively little or no crime.

However, modern values are the product of a refinement of humanity over centuries that still requires reinforcement. The laws against violent crimes, for example, were enforced with brutal penalties for thousands of years in countries around the world. Only in the last two hundred years, have most nations reformed punishments to be either imprisonment or fines. The harsher penalties of the distant past might be outdated, but the current ones still deter potential criminals. The best evidence of this is that people today still attempt to commit crimes despite advances in forensic science and nearly ubiquitous surveillance cameras. It takes little imagination to see realise many more would lean towards breaking the rules in the absence of punishments altogether.

In conclusion, laws and regulations are crucial barriers to the excesses of human nature and cannot be wished away with a good conscience. This does not, however, imply they must be unnecessarily strict.

Answers

the rule of law laws, rules, and regulations

descend into anarchy havoc, no law

I am in agreement I agree

idealistic hopeful

revisionist views opinions based on what happened already

human nature the way people are

take into account consider

full pre-history of humanity past of humans before it was recorded

hopeful view optimistic ideas

mankind humanity

progression advancements

compassion and tolerance caring

necessarily violent must be cruel

prone likely to

tremendous advances lots of progress

ranging from including

civil rights political rights within a society

voting choosing your government officials

more inclusive social policies laws including more types of people

removed or reduced gotten rid of or cut down on

governing controlling

behave responsibly act well

renewed understanding new conception of

claims arguments

bolstered supported

existence appearance

certain small communities in isolation small, untouched societies

relatively little comparably small

modern values contemporary views

product result

refinement getting better

reinforcement make stronger

enforced made to work

brutal penalties cruel repercussions

reformed changes

imprisonment put in prison

fines have to pay money

harsher penalties more severe punishments

distant past a long time ago

outdated no longer relevant

deter potential criminals stop people from committing crimes

despite regardless of 

forensic science crime scene science

nearly ubiquitous surveillance cameras cameras all around

it takes little imagination to easy to imagine

lean towards breaking the rules inclined to not follow rules

absence lack of

altogether totally

crucial barriers important restrictions

excesses going too far

wished away made to disappear

good conscience not feeling bad about

imply means

unnecessarily strict too mean

Pronunciation

ðə ruːl ɒv lɔː 
dɪˈsɛnd ˈɪntuː ˈænəki
aɪ æm ɪn əˈgriːmənt
aɪˌdɪəˈlɪstɪk
rɪˈvɪʒənɪst vjuːz
ˈhjuːmən ˈneɪʧə
teɪk ˈɪntuː əˈkaʊnt
fʊl priː-ˈhɪstəri ɒv hju(ː)ˈmænɪti
ˈhəʊpfʊl vjuː
mænˈkaɪnd
prəʊˈgrɛʃən
kəmˈpæʃən ænd ˈtɒlərəns
ˈnɛsɪsərɪli ˈvaɪələnt
prəʊn
trɪˈmɛndəs ədˈvɑːnsɪz 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm
ˈsɪvl raɪts
ˈvəʊtɪŋ
mɔːr ɪnˈkluːsɪv ˈsəʊʃəl ˈpɒlɪsiz
rɪˈmuːvd ɔː rɪˈdjuːst
ˈgʌvənɪŋ
bɪˈheɪv rɪsˈpɒnsəbli
rɪˈnjuːd ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ
kleɪmz
ˈbəʊlstəd
ɪgˈzɪstəns
ˈsɜːtn smɔːl kəˈmjuːnɪtiz ɪn ˌaɪsəʊˈleɪʃən
ˈrɛlətɪvli ˈlɪtl 
ˈmɒdən ˈvæljuːz
ˈprɒdʌkt
rɪˈfaɪnmənt
ˌriːɪnˈfɔːsmənt
ɪnˈfɔːst
ˈbruːtl ˈpɛnltiz
rɪˈfɔːmd
ɪmˈprɪznmənt
faɪnz
ˈhɑːʃə ˈpɛnltiz
ˈdɪstənt pɑːst
aʊtˈdeɪtɪd
dɪˈtɜː pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈkrɪmɪnlz
dɪsˈpaɪt
fəˈrɛnsɪk ˈsaɪəns
ˈnɪəli ju(ː)ˈbɪkwɪtəs sɜːˈveɪləns ˈkæmərəz
ɪt teɪks ˈlɪtl ɪˌmæʤɪˈneɪʃən tuː
liːn təˈwɔːdz ˈbreɪkɪŋ ðə ruːlz
ˈæbsəns
ˌɔːltəˈgɛðə
ˈkruːʃəl ˈbærɪəz
ɪkˈsɛsɪz
wɪʃt əˈweɪ
gʊd ˈkɒnʃəns
ɪmˈplaɪ
ʌnˈnɛsɪsərɪli strɪkt

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many believe that t___________________w is the only reason society does not
d___________________y. I_________________t as i_________c, r_________________s of h______________e do not t_________________t the f____________________________y.

Those who have a more h_________________w of m___________d argue the modern p__________________n towards c______________________________e. Humans are not n___________________t and p________e to criminal activity. The last hundred years has seen t_________________________s in areas r_________________________________s to v_______g to m______________________________s. There is therefore a chance that even if society r________________________d laws g_________________g behaviour, individuals would continue to b_____________________y out of a r_________________________g of what it can mean to be human. These c_________s are b_______________d by the e______________e of c________________________________________n where there is r_______________e or no crime.

However, m_______________s are the p____________t of a r_____________t of humanity over centuries that still requires r_______________t. The laws against violent crimes, for example, were e___________d with b____________________s for thousands of years in countries around the world. Only in the last two hundred years, have most nations r_____________d punishments to be either i________________t or f________s. The h___________________s of the d_______________t might be o____________d, but the current ones still d___________________________s. The best evidence of this is that people today still attempt to commit crimes d________e advances in f___________________e and n________________________________________s. I_____________________________o see realise many more would l___________________________________s in the a_____________e of punishments a_______________r.

In conclusion, laws and regulations are c________________s to the e____________s of human nature and cannot be w_____________y with a g___________________e. This does not, however, i__________y they must be u____________________________t.

Listening Practice

Watch the video below and use these activities to practice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUTYSyd3LR0&ab_channel=YesTheory

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and practice with these ideas:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/chauvin-did-what-trump-asked-him-do/612574/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Truth in Crime

  1. Why do witnesses of crimes sometimes disagree in their accounts?
  2. How can modern technology help solve crimes?
  3. Will teaching children to be honest reduce crime in the future?
  4. Should there be more severe penalties for crimes like libel?
  5. How will the detection of lies change in the future?

Writing Practice

Write about the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Many researchers believe that we can now study the behaviour of children to see if they will grow up to be criminals, while others disagree.

To what extent do you think crime is determined by genetics?

Is it possible to stop children from growing up to be criminals?

https://howtodoielts.com/ielts-essay-crime-and-human-nature/


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