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IELTS Writing Sample #130

Essay Tip

The words to what extent mean the same as how much. That is, your answer will express one of these attitudes:

1) I agree completely
2) I agree partly and disagree partly
3) I disagree completely.

Many students feel that they need to present a strong argument for or against an idea or proposition. This is not true. Even if the words to what extent do not appear in the question, it is always acceptable to agree or disagree partly with a proposition.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Recent figures show an increase in violent crime among youngsters under the age of 18. Some psychologists claim that the basic reason for this is that children these days are not getting the social and emotional learning they need from parents and teachers.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

It does seem to be true that parents find teachers have lost the authority they used to have, especially in the eyes of teenagers. They are no longer seen as models for behavior: hard work, politeness and other positive qualities are seen as old fashioned. Many young people have no respect for these qualities or the people who represent them. In fact, I think when young people today are so rebellious that it's possible that both parents and teachers are afraid to exercise their authority. However, I do not agree that this is the basic reason for the increase in teenage violence.

While I believe it is true that a lack of social and emotional learning contributes to the problem. Other factors are surely involved: economic factors, for example. If a child comes from a poor family and they live in low-quality housing in all undesirable area, this is sure to affect the child, however loving the parents are.

There is also the question of who your friends are. I believe that when you are in your teens your friends have more influence on you than your parents or teachers. At that age, you want to be part of a group, or even a gang, and this might lead to breaking the law in a number of ways.

In conclusion, while I agree that lack of social and emotional learning from parents and teachers is a factor in the growth of teenage violence, I do not believe that it is the only or main cause.

(255 words)


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