IELTS band 9 essay: death penalty

Here you can find advice how to structure IELTS essay and IELTS model answer for death penalty topic. Question type: advantages and disadvantages.

Here is the question card:

Some people advocate death penalty for those who committed violent crimes. Others say that capital punishment is unacceptable in contemporary society.

Describe advantages and disadvantages of death penalty and give your opinion.

So this is the advantage/disadvantage essay. In this essay you're asked about:

  1. Advantages of capital punishment
  2. Disadvantages of capital punishment
  3. Your opinion about it

Before writing this IELTS essay, you should decide what’s your opinion and then choose your arguments to describe pros and cons of death penalty. You don’t have to make up very complicate ideas. Even simple, but well-written arguments can often give you a band 9 for writing.

Some of the possible arguments:

  1. Disadvantages of capital punishment:
    • we have no rights to kill other humans
    • innocent people can be killed because of unfair sentences
    • even criminals deserve a second chance

  2. Advantages of capital punishment:
    • it prevents major crimes
    • it restores equilibrium of justice
    • it lessens expenses on maintenance of prisoners

How to structure my answer?

Surely, there are a lot of ways to organise this essay. But here is one possible way of structuring the answer to produce a band 9 essay:

Introduction: rephrase the topic and state your opinion.

Body paragraphs:

Conclusion: sum up the ideas from body paragraphs and briefly give your opinion.

Band 9 essay sample (death penalty)

Many people believe that death penalty is necessary to keep security system efficient in the society. While there are some negative aspects of capital punishment, I agree with the view that without it we will become more vulnerable to violence.

Death penalty can be considered unsuitable punishment for several reasons. The strongest argument is that we have no rights to kill other humans. Right to live is the basic right of any human being, and no one can infringe this right, irrespective of the person’s deeds. Moreover, innocent people can face wrongful execution. Such unfair sentences take away lives of innocent people and make other citizens lose faith in law and justice. And besides, sometimes criminals repent of their acts. In this case they should be given a second chance to improve themselves.

However, I believe that capital punishment is necessary in the society. Firstly, it is an effective deterrent of major crimes. The best method to prevent a person from committing crime is to show the consequences of his or her actions. For example, the government of Pakistan has controlled the rate of terrorism by enforcing death penalties for the members of terrorist organisations. Secondly, the governments spend large sums of national budget on maintenance of prisoners. Instead, this money can be used for the development of the society and welfare of the people.

To sum up, although capital punishment has some disadvantages, I think that it proves to be the best way of controlling criminals, lessening governmental expenses and preventing other people from doing crimes.

(257 words)

Useful vocabulary

capital punishment = death penalty

to commit a crime - to do a crime

deterrent of major crimes - something that prevents big crimes

to face wrongful execution - to be mistaken for a criminal and killed for that

to infringe someone’s right - restrict someone’s right, hurt someone’s interests

innocent people - people who are not guilty or responsible for crimes

to repent of something - to feel sorry for something

right to live is basic right of any human being

unfair sentence - not fair judgement