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In this lesson, you will find

  • a sample IELTS essay on museums
  • a vocabulary exercise to help you write the essay

The sample essay

Should museums and art galleries be free of charge for the general public, or should a charge, even a voluntary charge, be levied for admittance? Discuss this issue, and give your opinion.

One very complex issue in today’s world is the funding of museums and art galleries. While there is an argument that they should be free to the general public and funded by governments, I also believe that there is also a case for saying that they should charge an entrance fee like other attractions.

Those who argue that museums should be free typically make one of two arguments. The first argument is that institutions like museums are a public service and therefore there should be free access to the man in the street. If, for example, there was a charge only the wealthy could afford to enjoy works of art. The second, and related, argument is that if they did levy a charge fewer people would go to museums. This would be serious as they are educational institutions and standards would fall.

In contrast, there is only one major argument on the other side of the debate. This is that both museums and art galleries need to charge an entrance fee if they are to survive in the modern world. Governments do not have sufficient funds to subsidise all such institutions and there are other priorities for public money. Therefore these galleries and museums need to charge their customers not only to survive but to update their exhibitions and make new purchases. By way of illustration, the Tate Modern in London could not have been founded without revenue from admissions.

My personal position is that there is no clear answer to this question as there are such strong arguments on both sides. Perhaps it is possible for some museums and galleries to charge fees and for others not to. It will depend on the situation of the individual museum or gallery.

Learn to write this essay

Some of the most important vocabulary for IELTS essays comes from the Academic Word List. I suggest you try this exercise that shows you the words in this essay from the Academic Word List

Academic word list exercise