We have already looked at how to write a letter giving suggestions and making a complaint. In this free lesson we are going to study how to approach a letter in which you have to make a request.
Here is an IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 prompt (instruction):
You stayed at your friend’s house when you participated in a conference in a different city. You left a file with important documents in your friend’s house. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter:
Begin your letter as follows: ‘Dear…...,’
Before you write anything you need to break the question down and plan your response. In the test this should take you around 5 minutes. The more time you spend planning the better you will write.
Understand the Prompt
It's very important we understand what the task is asking us. Check with the questions below.
Choose an answer for each question or statement below
|I am writing to about the temperature of the room in the King’s Hotel from the 14th-20th of August this year. I booked and paid for the room in your famous hotel on the internet and was expecting excellent quality and service. , the temperature in London was unusually high and the room, located close to the kitchens, was uncomfortably hot. It was so hot that I could not sleep and the heat made me quite dehydrated and sick. I was unable to enjoy my stay and had to change hotel.|
|, I complained to the reception staff but they were unhelpful. I asked to be changed to another room but I was not allowed to change, there were obviously rooms available. , I asked to speak to you directly, but the staff made excuses about why I couldn’t speak with a manager. After 2 nights at the King’s Hotel, I felt fed up and quite unhealthy. make the most of my holiday to London, I moved across town to the Queen’s hotel, where I was given a room with AC and the staff were very pleasant and helpful.|
|I that you reprimand your reception staff and give them further training for how to deal with this type of problem. I would also be for a full refund for the nights of the 16th-20th August in which I had to stay at a different hotel.|
|I hearing back from you and receiving my refund.|
|Mr. B. Phillipson|
|1.||Do you know the name of the manager?|
|2.||What city was the hotel in?|
|3.||Was the room too hot or cold?|
|4.||Did you solve the problem or move to another hotel?|
|5.||Does the writer want a refund or something else?|
Match the Phrase with the Function
You have been living in a rental apartment for the past year. Recently a new neighbour moved in and has been making a lot of noise, which disturbs you. You have not yet met the neighbor.
Write a letter to the new neighbour. In your letter:
- explain the situation
- describe why it bothers you
- suggest a solution
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write any address.
Begin your letter as follows:
Learn about Functional Language in Letter Writing here.
Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
- give contact details for when you are away
- give instructions about how to care for your pet
- describe other household duties
You do NOT need to write any addresses.
Begin your letter as follows:
- By far the best way to prepare is to do writing practice. With us you can receive personalized feedback from a highly qualified and experienced tutor at IELTSTutors.org, so contact us today and let’s work together to achieve your IELTS goals.
- Before writing anything make sure you understand what you have to write about. Think about; who you are writing to, why you are writing to them and what will be the outcome of the letter, e.g. do you expect the person to write back or meet with you?
- Is it a letter of complaint, application for a job or course, suggestion, or thanks? Think about what language you can use in English to express each function.
- Be prepared to use your imagination to create names or situations.
- You will be given 3 points to include in your letter. Make sure you give equal attention to each of the three points in order to get a good Task Achievement band score.
- Write in paragraphs. Each paragraph must have a clear topic. Each point which you must include (see above) can be a separate paragraph so your letter should have 3 paragraphs. Doing this will boost your band score for Coherence and Cohesion.
- It is very important to get the tone correct when letter writing in English. This means you must decide how formal the writing should be before you start writing. A letter can be formal, semi-formal, or informal. If you are writing to someone you don’t know or someone at work or in a position of importance, such as a professor or manager, then you must write formally. If you are writing to a close friend, then you should write informally. Getting the tone correct is important for Task Achievement.
- If you don’t know the name of the person who you are writing to then use ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ as your salutation (greeting).
- If the letter is formal, state why you are writing using a sentence like this ‘I am writing to you regarding ___________’.
- If you know the person you are writing to and the letter is informal, it is polite to ask how someone is or wish them well, e.g. ‘Dear Tim, I hope this letter finds you and your family well’.
- If you expect a reply from the person then add ‘I look forward to hearing from you’ before you end the letter.
- If the letter is formal and you don’t know the person’s name you can end your letter ‘Yours faithfully’ but if you know their name you should use ‘Yours sincerely’.
- In the body of the letter try to use some vocabulary which is specific to the topic. For example, if the topic is complaining about a hotel room you could use hotel vocabulary such as accommodation, en-suite, reception, etc. Using specific vocabulary will boost your band score for Lexical Resource.
- Make sure you write at least 150 words. When you do practice tasks always count how many words you write so you get an idea about how much writing you have to do in the test.
- Don’t take longer than 20 minutes because you need more time for doing Task 2. When you practice, be strict with yourself. The best practice is timed practice under exam conditions. You might find it difficult in the beginning but it will help you to achieve your IELTS goals.
There you have it, 15 tips from IELTSTutors.org to help you improve your writing for General Training Task 1. What do you think? Any tips you want to share with us? Please leave a comment below.
Now let's go to this lesson about writing a letter offering advice.
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About The IELTS Test
Academic Writing Task 1
Academic Writing Task 2
Cause And Effect
Coherence And Cohesion
Complete The Notes
Complete The Table
Frequently Asked Questions
General Training Reading
General Writing Task 1
General Writing Task 2
Listening Section 1
Listening Section 2
Listening Section 3
Listening Section 4
Problem Solution Essay
Speaking Part 1
Speaking Part 2
Speaking Part 3
True / False / Not Given