Sample essay: capital punishment (discuss both views and give your opinion)

capital punishment sample essay pin.pngAnother day, another essay sample for you. This one on the tricky subject of capital punishment…

Actually, I was meaning to write something about how to think of ideas for your essays so this kind of fits in. What I wanted to say was that, in my view, the best way to generate ideas is to become familiar with the kind of topics you might find in IELTS writing. There are maybe 10 – 20 topics that come up all the time (I have written about that here and also here), so if you research those you will or should have something to write about. Now, as I wrote in a recent post the quality of the ideas themselves don’t really matter, in that they do not have to be original or interesting, as long as you have something to say that matches the criteria of cohesion/coherence and task achievement that will be fine.

Take this example below, again, I wrote it in a short space of time without a plan as I had a student to teach and I needed an example for her essay question. I know I always say you need a plan, but I can usually knock something together relatively quickly as I have opinions on most matters. Anyway, it’s not too bad and should serve as an example for you…I won’t post the structure as you should know it by now and you can find it here in any case.

The question is…

Some people believe that capital punishment should never be used. Others, argue that it should be allowed for the most serious crimes

Discuss both views and give your opinion

It has been argued that the death sentence should be permissible for certain serious crimes, while others would argue it should never be used at all. In my view capital punishment should never be an option, this essay will discuss the humanity of the death sentence, and also the possibility of implementing it incorrectly.

From one perspective capital punishment is the most humane sentence for very serious crimes such as murder. If we consider the alternative, life imprisonment, then surely a quick and painless end is better than spending the rest of your life locked up. For example, if a person were convicted of murder then depending on their age, they might have anywhere from 20 to 50 plus years in prison to look forward to. The prospect of such a life behind bars with no possibility of release would be tantamount to severe mental cruelty and would be seriously inhumane.

However, others would argue that capital punishment should never be permitted. One reason often given is that the sentence is, of course, irreversible in case of a mistake being made or of a miscarriage of justice. I would agree that the possibility of injustice is too high to risk therefore. For example, one of the main reasons why capital punishment was abolished in England in the 1960s was a series of cases where innocent people were wrongfully executed and later found to be innocent.

In conclusion, despite its humane nature, capital punishment is irreversible and as such mistakes could be made in its implementation. This being so, I believe that sentencing criminals to death should never be permitted in a civilised society.

272 words