IELTS WRITING 2 PRACTICE TEST 26
Some people think that museums’ main function is to educate people, the others suggest that they can also serve for entertainment purposes. What is your opinion?
BAND 8.0 SAMPLE ANSWER
Museums have long been considered as center of education and research. Through the activities of acquiring, conserving, researching and exhibiting a myriad of tangible items like artefacts and specimens, it is not doubtful to confirm that museums are of great education value. However, this notion has been challenged by some people recently, who tend to think that museums are operated for recreation as well. From my point of view, a museum can serve multi – purposes although education seems to account for a substantial part.
No one can deny that museums impart knowledge to visitors through various methods. One of them is collecting and displaying objects of historical, scientific or artistic side from a particular site. People working for museums are usually trained to interpret about those collected specimens to the general public. Viewing these items allows visitors to acquire knowledge of a specific subject, such as art, history, technology and environment. Another approach that can be taken by a museum is to invite specialists to lecture regularly about various fields, which is instructive as well. An entertainment business, by comparison, hardly serves such education purpose.
In addition to the way it operates, a museum is distinguished from any other operator in the entertainment industry from some other aspects. First and foremost, museums are usually not-for-profit. Although sometimes charging an admission fee, very often a museum has free entrance, and does not get involved in any profitable activity. It barely targets any specific visitors like an entertainment business usually does. Instead, it is supposed to be open to the general public. In addition, the criteria of selecting displayed items does not based on their commercial values but according to the line of items they mainly concentrate on. For instance, a history museum would focus only on those items that are of historical value, although those items might not have significant market value.
However, to some extent the remarkable development of museums lately can be related to some entertainment purposes. Similar to other academic institutions, museums have to balance their budget. Many museums therefore have resorted to operate more activities with a view to attracting more visitors, in order for an additional entry fee to compensate for the costs. In addition to the conventional services, such as exhibiting selected for public viewing, and organizing lectures, a museum is also interested in such entertaining activities like documentary broadcasting, musical or dance performances, most of which are related to the culture of its host region. Art museums, for instance, bear a close resemblance to art galleries, in exhibiting an enormous range of artworks. Museums falling in this category give visitors pleasure, and can be taken as provider of both knowledge and entertainment.
As outlined above, there are many benchmarks against which a museum can be made different from a recreation provider. It is indeed almost impossible to give the extreme confirmation to the functions that museums nowadays are serving.