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 been centers of education and research for long. Through the activities of acquiring, conserving, researching and exhibiting a myriad of tangible items like artefacts and specimens, we can confirm that museums are of great educational value. Of late, this notion has been challenged by some people, who 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 value from a particular site. People working for museums are usually trained to interpret those collected specimens to the general public. Viewing these items allow 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 educational purposes.
In addition to the way it operates, a museum is distinguished from any other operator in the entertainment industry in various aspects. First and foremost, museums are usually not-for-profit. An admission fee is charged only in some selected museums. It barely targets any specific visitors like an entertainment business usually does. Instead, it is supposed to be open to the general public. Besides, the criteria for selecting displayed items is not based on their commercial values but is per the line of items they mainly concentrate. For instance, a history museum would focus only on those items that are of historical importance, although those items might not have significant market value.
However, to some extent, the remarkable development of museums lately can be attributed to some entertainment purposes. Similar to other academic institutions, museums have to recoup their budget. Therefore they have resorted to operating more activities to attract more visitors, like an additional entry fee to compensate for the costs. In addition to the conventional services, such as exhibiting selected articles for public viewing, and organizing lectures, a museum is also interested in such entertaining activities like documentary broadcasting, musical or dance performances. Art museums, for instance, bear a close resemblance to art galleries, in exhibiting an enormous range of artworks. Museums falling in this category give pleasure to the visitors and can be taken as a provider of knowledge and entertainment.
As outlined above, there are many benchmarks against which a museum can be distinguished from a recreation provider. They are more of educational value than just being places of amusements.
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