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

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Children & Crime

Some people believe that children that commit crimes should be punished. Others think the parents should be punished instead.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real Past IELTS Exam

Some today are calling for parents to be held responsible for crimes committed by their children. In my opinion, there are exceptions but many cases merit greater punishment for parents.

Those arguing against this reform point out that parents are not always culpable. There are numerous instances of loving parents who raise their child well but social problems still manifest from a young age. This is often the case if the child suffers from a mental illness such as schizophrenia or a dissociative disorder. These conditions may stem from simple genetics, in which case parents should not be punished, or from trauma the primary caregivers are unaware of. For example, if they have been abused at school or by a relative then it follows logically the offending, rather than innocent, party should be brought to justice.

Despite the important exceptions above that courts must sort through, parental abuse and neglect should be punishable. Studies have shown that most young children who commit crimes have been abused in some way by their parents. Serial killers are an extreme but useful case in point. Nearly every serial killer begins antisocial behaviour from a young age, including the criminal torture of animals. There are also no known examples of serial killers coming from happy homes; they are all the product of varying degrees of abuse from their parents. This is clear evidence that parents play the pivotal role in molding the psyche of young children. As children grow up and have more influences this may change but for young children, parents are chiefly responsible and courts should recognise this fact.

In conclusion, there are some cases where parents may not be at fault for criminal acts by children but in most situations they are the driving force. Trying parents for their child’s crime and seeking treatment for the children would therefore be a modern, progressive, and positive reform.

Analysis

1. Some today are calling for parents to be held responsible for crimes committed by their children. 2. In my opinion, there are exceptions but many cases merit greater punishment for parents.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay.
  2. Write a clear opinion that you will repeat later. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those arguing against this reform point out that parents are not always culpable. 2. There are numerous instances of loving parents who raise their child well but social problems still manifest from a young age. 3. This is often the case if the child suffers from a mental illness such as schizophrenia or a dissociative disorder. 4. These conditions may stem from simple genetics, in which case parents should not be punished, or from trauma the primary caregivers are unaware of. 5. For example, if they have been abused at school or by a relative then it follows logically the offending, rather than innocent, party should be brought to justice.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific details.
  4. Continue to develop them and don’t switch to another main idea.
  5. Use specific examples to support your main idea.

1. Despite the important exceptions above that courts must sort through, parental abuse and neglect should be punishable. 2. Studies have shown that most young children who commit crimes have been abused in some way by their parents. 3. Serial killers are an extreme but useful case in point. 4. Nearly every serial killer begins antisocial behaviour from a young age, including the criminal torture of animals. 5. There are also no known examples of serial killers coming from happy homes; they are all the product of varying degrees of abuse from their parents. 6. This is clear evidence that parents play the pivotal role in molding the psyche of young children. 7. As children grow up and have more influences this may change but for young children, parents are chiefly responsible and courts should recognise this fact.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea for the idea that you agree with.
  2. Use research to support your opinion if possible.
  3. Use a specific example.
  4. Develop the example.
  5. Keep developing it and don’t switch to a new one.
  6. Generalise from the example back to your main idea.
  7. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, there are some cases where parents may not be at fault for criminal acts by children but in most situations they are the driving force. 2. Trying parents for their child’s crime and seeking treatment for the children would therefore be a modern, progressive, and positive reform.

  1. Repeat your opinion and summarise your main ideas.
  2. Add a final thought or detail to support your opinion.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Some today are calling for parents to be held responsible for crimes committed by their children. In my opinion, there are exceptions but many cases merit greater punishment for parents.

Those arguing against this reform point out that parents are not always culpable. There are numerous instances of loving parents who raise their child well but social problems still manifest from a young age. This is often the case if the child suffers from a mental illness such as schizophrenia or a dissociative disorder. These conditions may stem from simple genetics, in which case parents should not be punished, or from trauma the primary caregivers are unaware of. For example, if they have been abused at school or by a relative then it follows logically the offending, rather than innocent, party should be brought to justice.

Despite the important exceptions above that courts must sort through, parental abuse and neglect should be punishable. Studies have shown that most young children who commit crimes have been abused in some way by their parents. Serial killers are an extreme but useful case in point. Nearly every serial killer begins antisocial behaviour from a young age, including the criminal torture of animals. There are also no known examples of serial killers coming from happy homes; they are all the product of varying degrees of abuse from their parents. This is clear evidence that parents play the pivotal role in molding the psyche of young children. As children grow up and have more influences this may change but for young children, parents are chiefly responsible and courts should recognise this fact.

In conclusion, there are some cases where parents may not be at fault for criminal acts by children but in most situations they are the driving force. Trying parents for their child’s crime and seeking treatment for the children would therefore be a modern, progressive, and positive reform.

Answers

calling for wanting

held responsible be tried in court

committed did

exceptions cases that don’t apply

many cases merit most situations deserve

arguing against don’t believe

reform change

culpable responsible

numerous instances many examples

raise their child well bring up a kid in a good way

social problems can’t interact with others well

manifest become real

this is often the case if usually happens when

suffers from a mental illness have a mental disorder

schizophrenia a serious mental illness

dissociative disorder suffering a trauma and then a condition from that

conditions environment

stem from come from

genetics what you are born with, your nature

trauma problems in life

primary caregivers parents or whoever takes care of you

unaware of know about

abused getting hurt

relative someone in your family

follows logically naturally

offending guilty

innocent not guilty

party person

brought to justice tried in court, punished

important exceptions above key cases mentioned before

courts where you are tried for a crime

sort through work through

parental abuse and neglect parents hurting or not paying attention to their kids

punishable can be punished (adjective)

in some way through some method

serial killers people who kill multiple victims

extreme serious

useful case in point important example

nearly every almost all

begins antisocial behaviour starts to behave badly

criminal torture of animals hurting animals

no known examples no instances of

coming from happy homes raised well

the product of varying degrees of abuse the result of different levels of abuse

clear evidence obvious support

play the pivotal role important part

molding the psyche influencing their mind

influences what effects you

chiefly responsible mostly accountable

recognise this fact be aware of

at fault their responsibility

driving force main influence

trying parents putting parents on trial

seeking treatment therapy

modern new

progressive modern

positive reform good change

Pronunciation

ˈkɔːlɪŋ fɔː 
hɛld rɪsˈpɒnsəbl 
kəˈmɪtɪd 
ɪkˈsɛpʃənz 
ˈmɛni ˈkeɪsɪz ˈmɛrɪt 
ˈɑːgjuːɪŋ əˈgɛnst 
ˌriːˈfɔːm 
ˈkʌlpəbl
ˈnjuːmərəs ˈɪnstənsɪz 
reɪz ðeə ʧaɪld wɛl 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈprɒbləmz 
ˈmænɪfɛst 
ðɪs ɪz ˈɒf(ə)n ðə keɪs ɪf 
ˈsʌfəz frɒm ə ˈmɛntl ˈɪlnɪs 
ˌskɪtsəʊˈfriːniə 
dɪˈsəʊsɪətɪv dɪsˈɔːdə
kənˈdɪʃənz 
stɛm frɒm 
ʤɪˈnɛtɪks
ˈtrɔːmə 
ˈpraɪməri ˈkeəˌgɪvəz 
ˌʌnəˈweər ɒv
əˈbjuːzd 
ˈrɛlətɪv 
ˈfɒləʊz ˈlɒʤɪkəli 
əˈfɛndɪŋ
ˈɪnəsənt
ˈpɑːti 
brɔːt tuː ˈʤʌstɪs
ɪmˈpɔːtənt ɪkˈsɛpʃənz əˈbʌv 
kɔːts 
sɔːt θruː
pəˈrɛntl əˈbjuːs ænd nɪˈglɛkt 
ˈpʌnɪʃəbl
ɪn sʌm weɪ 
ˈsɪərɪəl ˈkɪləz 
ɪksˈtriːm 
ˈjuːsfʊl keɪs ɪn pɔɪnt
ˈnɪəli ˈɛvri 
bɪˈgɪnz ˌæntɪˈsəʊʃ(ə)l bɪˈheɪvjə 
ˈkrɪmɪnl ˈtɔːʧər ɒv ˈænɪməlz
nəʊ nəʊn ɪgˈzɑːmplz 
ˈkʌmɪŋ frɒm ˈhæpi həʊmz
ðə ˈprɒdʌkt ɒv ˈveəriɪŋ dɪˈgriːz ɒv əˈbjuːs 
klɪər ˈɛvɪdəns 
pleɪ ðə ˈpɪvətl rəʊl 
ˈməʊldɪŋ ðə ˈsaɪki(ː) 
ˈɪnflʊənsɪz 
ˈʧiːfli rɪsˈpɒnsəbl 
ˈrɛkəgnaɪz ðɪs fækt
æt fɔːlt 
ˈdraɪvɪŋ fɔːs
ˈtraɪɪŋ ˈpeərənts 
ˈsiːkɪŋ ˈtriːtmənt 
ˈmɒdən
prəʊˈgrɛsɪv
ˈpɒzətɪv ˌriːˈfɔːm

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Some today are c___________r parents to be h__________________e for crimes c_________________d by their children. In my opinion, there are e_____________s but m_________________t greater punishment for parents.

Those a__________________t this r__________m point out that parents are not always c__________e. There are n_____________________s of loving parents who r________________________l but s_________________s still m____________t from a young age. T________________________f the child s____________________________s such as s_________________a or a d______________________r. These c_____________s may s____________m simple g____________s, in which case parents should not be punished, or from t__________a the p_________________________s are u_________________f. For example, if they have been a_________d at school or by a r__________e then it f____________________y the o____________g, rather than i____________t, p_______y should be b_____________________e.

Despite the i______________________________e that c_________s must s______________________h, p__________________________t should be p______________e. Studies have shown that most young children who commit crimes have been abused i________________y by their parents. S__________________s are an e_____________e but u________________________t. N_______________y serial killer b______________________________r from a young age, including the c_______________________________s. There are also n_________________________s of serial killers c___________________________s; they are all t_________________________________________e from their parents. This is c__________________e that parents p_____________________e in m________________________e of young children. As children grow up and have more i______________s this may change but for young children, parents are c_____________________e and courts should r_____________________t.

In conclusion, there are some cases where parents may not be a___________t for criminal acts by children but in most situations they are the d____________________e. T_________________s for their child’s crime and s_____________________t for the children would therefore be a m__________n, p_______________e, and p___________________m.

Listening Practice

Here is a TedTalk on this topic:

Reading Practice

Read from The New York Times about this topic:

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Age

Do you like your current age?

What was the biggest decision you made in your life?

At what age are people happiest?

IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

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

Although families have influence on a children’s development, factors outside the home play a bigger part in their lives nowadays.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

IELTS Writing Exam

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