IELTS Writing Sample #178

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic.

Many childhood diseases can now be prevented through the use of vaccines.

Should parents be made by law to immunise their children against common diseases or should individuals have the right to choose not to immunise their children?

You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

You should write at least 250 words.

IELTS Writing Tip

Sample answers to the tasks in the Practice Tests are provided in the Answers Section. Please do not read these until you have attempted the tasks. Remember that these are suggestions only and that your answers may be equally valid. It is valuable to discuss your answers with other students.

Sample Band 9 answer

The question of whether we should oblige parents to immunise their children against common diseases is a social rather than a medical one. Since we are free to choose what we eat or drink or how much exercise we take, why should the medical treatment we decide to undergo be any different?
(Introduction poses a new question to introduce the topic)

Medical researchers and governments are primarily interested in overall statistics and trends and in money-saving schemes, which fail to take into consideration the individual's concerns and rights. While immunisation against diseases such as tetanus and whooping cough may be effective, little information is released about the harmful effects of vaccinations, which can sometimes result in growth problems in children or even death.
(Concessional argument)

The body is designed to resist disease and to create its own natural immunity through contact with that disease. When children are given artificial immunity, we create a vulnerable society, which is entirely dependent on immunisation. In the event that mass immunisation programmes were to cease, the society as a whole would be more at risk than ever before.
(Writer's opinion stated plainly and forcefully-as fact)

In addition there is the issue of the rights of the individual. As members of a society, why should we be obliged to subject our children to this potentially harmful practice? Some people may also be against immunisation on religious grounds and their needs must be considered when any decisions are made.
(Main idea with supporting arguments)

For these reasons I feel strongly that immunisation programmes should not be obligatory and that the individual should have the right to choose whether or not to participate.
(Personal opinion to sum up. Re-statement of original question in own words.)

(254 words)

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