In preparation for IELTS I want to write on "It is important for children to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early age. Punishment is necessary to help them learn this distinction. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion"

I want to say that although I think sometimes punishment is important, it should not be severe punishment that would affect a child physically or mentally. So if I say in the introduction as "In my opinion, I believe that although sometimes punishment is necessary to guide the children in the right path it should be well thought, accepted and reasonable punishment" do I sound as partially agreeing? OR am I being away from the topic?


First, stay away from expressions like "in my opinion." It's your essay; this is understood, increases word count, and takes time if the essay is in an exam situation.

Second, this is a topic with a GREAT DEAL of social science research. If you have an unlimited time frame, this is the sort of thing you can at least get as far as Wikipedia. Some of the data is conflicting. This can be part of your conclusion.

Third, a great outside-the-box argument would suggest an approach in which children don't require very much discipline or punishment because they've been given appropriate guidance. (I have kids.) Things like stability, structure, exercise, love, a voice in family decisions, lessons in charity and generosity and peaceful resolution of problems, safety, empathy, and compassion reduces discipline issues probably 80-90%.

Specific to your question, your introduction sounds like a conclusion. An introduction should define your question and clarify your end points (e.gs. this or that, this and that, or this or that or some other entity). In your sentence, it appears you are being on-topic and in agreement.

However, in consideration of above, I'd rewrite your sentence more simply: If punishment is necessary to educate children in the difference between right and wrong, it should be thought out, agreed upon by both partners, and proportional to the offense. Again, this sounds more like a conclusion rather than an introduction.


A good essay is supposed to offer new perspectives and clear argumentation. You are expected to demonstrate clarity of thought and the ability to think "outside of the box".

With these in mind, I wouldn't be preoccupied about sticking to either/or limits; rather the contrary.

Perhaps a good strategy for your argument would be to create a differentiation between "punishment" and "disciplining", unpacking then your for/against arguments for each.

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