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Unpaid community service for high school students | Cambridge IELTS 9 Writing Essay


IELTS Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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

Write at least 250 words.




Unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes | IELTS Essay Answer

The concept of community service for young people while at school would certainly bring some benefits to elements of local communities. There are arguments both for and against such a scheme. In general, I believe it is not a bad idea but only if implemented well and it would probably require support from parents to be successful.

The fact that such a programme would be compulsory may cause problems for many people. As we know it is difficult to make children do things they don’t want to do or are not interested in. Enforcing participation in schemes like this may require a lot of supervision and manpower which would ultimately make the programme more expensive than simply keeping the children in school where it is easier to control them. Would any benefits from the scheme be worth this extra expense by education authorities? Careful analysis would be required to make sure it was worth it.

An easier, and possibly more beneficial solution, might be to introduce such a scheme, but on a voluntary basis, with possible incentives for children participating such as financial credit for courses in technical colleges or towards university degree tuition charges. This might help motivate some children to participate and would reflect the real world scenario of effort and reward.

Any time children spend serving the community during school time would imply that some current school activities would be sacrificed in order to provide sufficient time for pupils to participate in such a programme. Which subjects would be cut or reduced to achieve this?

The idea of compulsory community service has a lot of potential value and the downside is somewhat limited to children simply not enjoying their participation in the programme. However, children do not currently enjoy all activities at school so that is nothing new. The success of such a programme would certainly depend heavily on how it is set up, implemented, the activity options provided, and the duration of the programme.

IELTS Band 9 Writing Criteia

Task Achievement

  • fully satisfies all the requirements of the task
  • clearly presents a fully developed response

Coherence & Cohesion

  • uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention
  • skilfully manages paragraphing

Lexical Resource

  • uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features
  • rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’

Grammatical Range & Accuracy

  • uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy
  • rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’







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