IELTS General Writing Task 2 — Practice Draft

Is freedom of speech necessary in a free society?

A One-Sided Opinion Essay
with a Direct Approach Introduction


Freedom of speech, or the right of expressing one’s ideas and opinions freely, is a human right. That said, it is my belief that the freedom of speech is clearly one of the foundations of a fully-matured democratic society. What is not so clear, however, is how to determine the boundaries of such a right.

The right of speech freely plays a fundamental role in democracy. By the free debate of ideas, the status quo can be challenged, companies pressed to improve their services, and governments taken down, just to cite a few examples. It seems safe to assume, thus, that the more developed the democracy is, the less restraint the speech will be. That is, in advanced democracies, restrictions of speech are often discouraged.

Whilst this is certainly true, some interventions seem to be legitimate under some circumstances. This is in the case of hate speech, for instance. The extent of which such restrictions are imposed, however, might differ depending on the context. Taking Brazil as an example, where homophobia is a pressing issue, more severe laws specifically targeting hate speech against homosexuals have recently been implemented, attaining some degree of success. Understandably, this kind of measure might be dispensable in most advanced democracies.

Thus, that freedom of speech is fundamental for the well-being of a free and democratic society is evident. Yet, albeit granting such a right seems to be the consensus, a number of measures turn out to be needed in some scenarios. The real challenge, however, appears to be being able to delimit the coverage of these restrictions appropriately.