In some essays you are simply asked to give your opinion or views. This leaves it fairly open in how to approach your answer.
However, as is always the case, you must spend some time analysing the question to make sure you are very clear about what you are being presented with.
Take a look at the question below.
Many people are too scared to leave their home because of a fear of crime.
Some people think that more should be done to prevent crime, whereas others feel that nothing can be done.
What are your views?
Fear of Crime
You could argue one side throughout your essay, but the best approach is to look at both sides of the issue to make sure you are fully answering the question. It is also easier to come up with more ideas if you look at both sides.
You should also decide which side you are going to agree with and make this very clear in your answer.
In this particular essay, the author's view is that more should be done to prevent crime.
This is presented in the second body paragraph (though another option would be to discuss both sides and present your own opinion only in the introduction and / or conclusion).
Take a look at the model answer below.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Many people are too scared to leave their home because of a fear of crime. Some people think that more should be done to prevent crime, whereas others feel that nothing can be done.
What are your views?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant
examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Write at least 250 words.
Over recent decades, there has been an increasing fear of crime in many countries. Although some think that there is little that can be done to reduce the levels of crime, I believe there are measures that can be implemented.
Those that believe that nothing can be done hold this view for several reasons. Firstlly, they think that a fear of crime is a state of mind perpetuated by the media. For example, we are constantly bombarded with negative news stories about crime and violence on our streets. Thus the belief is that whatever we do to reduce levels of crime, people will still be scared. Another belief is that crime is caused by wider structural issues in society that are too difficult to tackle, such as the growing income gap between the rich and the poor. Little then can be done about this issue in our capitalist societies.
However, I feel that there are solutions that will ensure people feel safer outside their homes. Governments can increase the numbers of police in local communities and more ‘neighbourhood watch’ schemes should be encouraged, both of which increase safety and deter crime. The media should also be encouraged to present more positive stories in the news about how crime is being tackled rather than the focus on the negative. In terms of the structural issues, governments should attempt to tackle issues of poverty through better income distribution.
To conclude, there is a widely held view that nothing can be done to prevent crime. In contrast to this opinion, I would argue that there are options available that would help prevent crime and therefore reduce the fear of crime.
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