IELTS Task 2: Two views and an opinion

monkey-juggling-cartoon-icon-vector-illustration-graphic-design-81531248In this type of essay it is important to remember the golden rule – Give the monkey his banana. You are required to do three things in this essay. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. So what’s the best approach? Some teachers advise a three paragraph essay, with your own opinion in the third paragraph, but, in my experience, this makes for scrappy paragraphs with unclear topic sentences and points lost for poor structure. The more paragraphs you have, the more likely that one of them will contain a structural error.

The following example shows a clear way to address this kind of question:

Some people think that strict punishments for driving offences are the key to reducing road accidents. Others, however, believe that other measures would be more effective in improving road safety. Discuss both of these views and give your own opinion.

 As the number of cars on the roads increases, the number of traffic accidents is also one the rise, particularly in developing countries where the pace of change has been very rapid. To reduce the number of accidents on our roads, it has been suggested that strict punishments are crucial to deter unsafe driving. On the other hand, it is argued that there are more effective methods to address this issue. In my opinion, both strict punishments and other strategies can be equally effective. This essay will examine both views.

The argument that strict punishments can reduce road accidents has some validity, particularly in the case of rogue drivers who deliberately flout the law. Repeat offenders for drink-driving, for example, need to be dealt serious consequences, such as imprisonment. This not only acts as a deterrent for other irresponsible drivers, but also teaches the offender an important lesson and keeps them off the road whilst they are learning it.  Strict punishments have proven to be quite effective in some other instances. For example, very large fines were introduced in Australia when the law was introduced to make it mandatory to wear seat belts when driving.  A high rate of compliance was achieved within a short time frame because of this.

Although strict punishments can help to reduce the incidence of traffic accidents, there are other strategies that are considered by some to be more effective. Most importantly, people need to be taught how to drive safely and they need to practice before they are allowed on the road. Young drivers account for a very high percentage of traffic accidents, which suggests that experience on the road plays a part in accident prevention. The introduction of mandatory log books to make sure that new drivers gain some road experience before driving alone is an example of how governments are implementing this measure. Another way to prevent accidents, at least in Australia, would be to abolish the international driver’s license. Too many people from overseas are involved in accidents because they have neither the experience of driving on Australian roads nor the knowledge of Australian road rules

In conclusion, although strict punishments are one good strategy for lowering the incidence of traffic accidents, I believe that improved driver education and licensing laws are also equally important and effective tools. Combining punishments with a number of strategies is probably the most effective way to get results.


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