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  • Nick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Teenagers and Crime


Question: Some people who have been in prison become good citizens later. It is often argued that these are the best people to talk to teenagers about the dangers of committing a crime. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Band 8+ Sample Answer:


(Intro) It is true that some criminals, who have been imprisoned for long periods because of their illegal actions, become law-abiding citizens after that. That’s why many believe that those are the most appropriate individuals to talk to youngsters to discourage them from committing crimes. I completely support this idea.


(Body 1) To begin with, I believe that ex offenders are the most effective individuals to persuade teenagers not to follow in their footsteps. This is because they are more credible than other possibilities. Firstly, young people are more likely to accept advice from someone speaking from his or her real-life experience, because these accounts are more believable and engaging. For example, they can share the reasons why they became criminals in the first place,., as well as helping youngsters to know in more detail about why they were arrested and treated by the police, and how harsh the prison conditions were during their time in prison. I believe that hearing a range of such ‘success stories’ from well chosen rehabilitated ex-cons would strongly dissuade teenagers from engaging in illegal acts.


(Body 2) Despite the effectiveness of using ex-criminals, people have suggested using alternative methods. Firstly, teenagers can learn the dangers of committing a crime or leading a life or crime by watching hollywood movies or documentaries about real life crime and criminals. These films, however, are considered more entertaining than educational and run the risk of glorifying these activities. Furthermore, teachers or better still police officers could give students suitable information and tell cautionary tales. However, teenagers may be less persuaded by stories from these people, and they are no substitute for a face to face meeting with a real ex-offender, who is a clear authority on the topic.


(Conclusion) To conclude, based on the arguments above, I believe that letting ex-prisoners talk to youngsters is the best way to discourage them from committing crimes, because they are the most effective and credibleHowever where this is not possible, schools should arrange for students to watch an filmed interview with a reformed criminal. (336 words).


Essay: Student Essay, fully corrected and upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS Examiner.

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