Ielts writing


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  • You are incorrect in your assessment of how to write an argument essay for IELTS. There are 3 ways; fully agree, fully disagree, or sit on the fence. For a fully agree essay BOTH paragraphs contain the reasons WHY you agree. There is no need for a concession paragraph and in fact this would lose marks for incorrect format. If you fully disagree, both paragraphs must defend this point of view. If you sit on the fence, then you have one paragraph which accepts the situation, and one that does not - the final paragraph would discuss why there are two sides .
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Ielts writing

  1. 1. IELTS WRITING - Dr.HasibIELTS WRITING TASK -2In Writing Task 2 you receive a topic and you have to write an essay of 250 words.This task has more weight than Writing 1. It also takes longer – 40 minutes, whenWriting 1 takes only 20 minutes.The topic of essay can be one of 3 possible types: i. Argument topic: appears in exam in 75% cases ii. Persuasion topic: appears in exam in 20% cases iii. Narrative: appears in exam in 5% casesAny essay you write on any topic must have structure – you receive (or lose ) points forit. Structure means at least 4 paragraphs. First paragraph is introductory, the next two orthree is the actual essay – its body, and the last one for conclusion.The first thing to do is to understand what kind of topic is before you.Next: For argument – you need to explain both sides and agree with one of them For persuasion – you need to present another point of view and say which one youagree with and why For narrative/discuss a problem – you need to explain it, discuss and offer solution anddiscuss it too.No matter what type of essay you are writing, you must provide some facts, evidence andinformation. When you explain the problem – evaluate it; say when/where/who for it isespecially difficult. If you present an idea of solution – discuss it; say what its good andbad sides are. Add examples from your own experience to support what you’re saying. 1
  2. 2. Difference between an Argument and Persuasion topic:Argument topic Persuasion topic1.Question pattern: 1.Question pattern: Most Argument topic will end with this Most Argument topic will end with this line: Discuss both sides & what is line: To what extent do you agree or your opinion?” disagree with this statement?” Or For instance: “Some people say that Is it a positive or negative development? self employment is better than a job in company or an institution. For instance: Societies ought to enforce Discuss both sides & what is your capital punishment or Are there opinion?” alternative forms of punishment that would be better used. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?”2. Answering Argument topic: 2. Answering Argument topic:Should be answered in 4 paragraphs: Should be answered in 4 paragraphs: a) Introduction--- 1st para a) Introduction--- 1st para b) Body---- 2nd & 3rd para b) Body---- 2nd & 3rd para c) Conclusion---- 4th para c) Conclusion---- 4th paraA) Writing Introduction: A) Writing Introduction: Never mention your opinion (the You must mention your opinion (the argument/issue you are supporting) argument/issue you are supporting) in the introduction/1st paragraph. in the introduction/1st paragraph.B) Writing body: B) Writing body:  2nd paragraph must contain the  2nd paragraph must contain the argument you are not supporting argument you are supporting  3rd paragraph must contain the  3rd paragraph must contain the argument you are supporting argument you are not supporting  Start 2nd paragraph with the  Start 2nd paragraph with the sentence: On the one hand… sentence: To begin with/it is a fact that……  Start 3rd paragraph with the sentence: On the other hand…  Start 3rd paragraph with the sentence: However, there are arguments against….. 2
  3. 3. C) Writing Conclusion: C) Writing Conclusion:Rules of Writing conclusion of Almost the sameArgument topic:1. Summarize what was said before, do not add new information.2. Argument topic wants your opinion, & conclusion is the part of your essay where you MUST mention the side you are taking. You must mention why you are taking this side & also mention why you arent taking opposing side. While doing this you should simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly or repeat all your examples) and briefly describe your feelings about the topic. All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences, which do not need to follow any set formula. 3
  4. 4. Argument topic:IELTS Essay plan:Essay topic: Some people think that if women were to rule theworld, there would be less violence in it. Do you agree ordisagree with this statement?Introduction paragraphIn the introduction you can first state that there are people who think that women have aless violent nature than men and for this reason suggest that women would make theworld a less violent place if they were in power. Then you could mention that putting thewomen in charge wont necessarily have that effect, because there are arguments for andagainst.First body paragraph 3 points against women in power• Ruling the world takes some cruelty that women might not have• Having more submissive nature than men, women can create even more violence• Women are not decisive enough to enforce order and thus reduce violenceSecond body paragraph 3 points in favor of women in power• Women have less violent nature• Women have less tolerance for violence• Women are very concerned with making the world a safer place for the sake of the kidsConclusionState your personal opinion (lets assume that youre in favor of women in power), thensummarize what was said in the second paragraph.SAMPLES OF ARGUMENT TOPICS:SAMPLE 1:Some countries require that school children are taught one foreign language, whileother countries do not require any foreign languages to be taught. Discuss theadvantages of both approaches and give youropinion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
  5. 5. Today, language is the most important tool for communication and relation betweenpeople all around the word. Different countries have different languages and there aremore the 95 languages in the world. In some countries, school children do learn a foreignlanguage during their educational years. The advocates of this view argue that teachingone foreign language is valuable for school going children. Others, however,disagree believe that teaching foreign language at primary/secondary schoolcould have negative impact on school going children. So it is a matter of debate. On the one hand, people in favor of not to teach any foreign language at childrenschools argue that, students are overloaded with learning more than one language andthey will have problem for learning main subjects. In addition, the official languages oftheir country get threatened by learning foreign language. For instance, now-a-days weobserve that our original language is getting mixed with foreign slangs and it isconsidered as a big impediment to our literature. On the other hand, some people argue that school children should be taught oneforeign language is better. Firstly, people generally believe that existence of aninternational language in the world plays an essential role in research, relation andcommunication. For example, when one searches a subject on the net, she or he must begood at English, because most of the websites are in English. Secondly and moreimportantly, for students who are going to study abroad, it is necessary to know otherlanguage especially English. For example most of the universities require IELTScertificate for enrollment. According to the survey of Iran Ministry of Education andTraining, 75% of successful students are bilingual. In addition, a student who knows aninternational language is very comfortable in understanding when he or she participates atan international seminar or conference. Lastly, in the overseas trips, knowing a foreignlanguage is necessary. For instance, one in the foreign country needs to communicatewith other people for accommodation, dining, and buying goods etc.. In conclusion, it is debatable whether learning one foreign language at schoolis required or not, as both critics advocates seem to have plenty of arguments insupport of their views. In my opinion, teaching one foreign language at schools isworthy. In spite of the fact that teaching just one language in school can preserve thetraditional culture and original language; considering the fact of internationalcommunication, further education in other countries and overseas travels, I prefer learningan additional foreign language at school.N.B: Try to memorize those bold lines and use in every argument topics 5
  6. 6. SAMPLES OF PERSUASION TOPICS:SAMPLE 2:Societies ought to enforce capital punishment or Are there alternative forms ofpunishment that would be better used. To what extent do you agree or disagree withthis statement?” Capital punishment is the killing of a criminal for a crime that he has committed.Previously most countries employed this method of punishment but nowadays it is muchless widely used. People in favor of capital punishment argue that it is mandatoryfor societies to stop crime, others, however disagree support alternativepunishments. I personally do believe that societies today should use capitalpunishment. To begin with, it seems to me if a criminal is killed for his or her crime, thenSociety will feel better about it’s security. In spite of the fact that killing a dangerouskiller regrets the people, they assure they will not see such as this offence in future. Thelast survey that has done by UCN in 2005 illustrates that families felt more social securityif an offender is killed regarding social principle rules. Secondly and more importantly,when capital punishment is used for one, other criminals get threaten and they will not dosimilar offence/crime. People generally believe that a criminal will never do the samecrime for which one was given death penalty. Last but not least, by using the rule of thecapital punishment for the crimes in the society so far will be reduced. For instance,according to the statistics from Justice Ministry of Iran, because of executing one personin 2007, 5% of crimes were reduced significantly. Consequently, we can see less crimecompared to the other times. There are arguments against capital punishment. Many people feel it is Inhumane- we shouldnt sink to the level of criminals. People can be wrongly convicted andexecuted. If a man is in prison, he can be released if later proved not guilty. If he is dead,there is nothing that can be done. There are alternative punishments available. For badcrimes prison life sentences can be given with criminals imprisoned for the rest of theirlives. I can understand this point of view but I cannot agree with it. All in all, from what has been discussed above, I firmly hold that societies oughtto enforce capital punishment for crimes such as killing a great number of people but forparticular case, using psychological hospitals, prisons and financial booking are the betterways.N.B: Try to memorize those bold lines and use in every persuasion topics 6
  7. 7. Some people say that the Internet is making the world smaller by bringing peopletogether. To what extent do you agree that the internet is making it easier for peopleto communicate with one another?Nowadays internet is becoming very popular mean of communication. Right from schoolchildren to old people, anybody can use internet as it is easy and efficient. Today,nobody needs to write letter and post it, as internet has many options for instantcommunication.On one hand, there are number of advantages of internet communication. Firstly,Internet has number of websites providing electronic mail (email)facility. Email reaches to the recipient at the same time you send it. So it is way fasterthan traditional postal mail or currier. Secondly, these websites also offer online chattingfacility wherein one can get instant response from person at the other end. Thirdly, onecan use webcam and have face to face interaction irrespective of where the otherperson is around the globe.On the other hand, there are number of disadvantages of internet communication.Young generation today, is addicted to the use of internet. It is observedthat youngsters are wasting their time in chatting with their friends abroad. Hence theyhave no time to talk to their parents or siblings. This has not only hindered the familycommunication but also affected the mental health and studies of youngsters. Today,because of social networking sites on internet youngsters are sharing their personalinformation with strangers which I think may result in fatal fraud. In addition, all of us areaware of the negative impact of porn sites on young generation.In conclusion, internet is better option of communication, but it should beused in proper way. Internet communication is definitely the best option. But it is up tothe users how to use it efficiently.Appropriate style tone for both writing task 1,2The following are the basic features of formal style:• All verbs forms must be written in full: do not write contractions such as can’t, don’t,etc.• Do not use abbreviations such as info for information or ads for advertisements.• Avoid using the active voice and the first person singular; in a formal letter you shouldwrite: ‘A copy of the receipt will be forwarded to you as soon as possible’ instead of ‘Iwill send you a copy of the receipt asap.’• Avoid using informal intensifiers such as really, so, absolutely; use extremely, highly,entirely, fully instead.• Avoid using phrasal verbs which tend to be used in informal writing and conversation;for example, use seek a job instead of look for a job; most phrasal verbs are idiomatic innature, that is, their meaning cannot usually be inferred from their individual parts.• Avoid using informal discourse markers and link words such as besides or by the wayand use incidentally instead. 7
  8. 8. • Do not use set phrases and idioms, for example, ‘I am not going to pay you a penny’instead of ‘Your fee will not be paid.’• Avoid ellipsis (leaving out words), for example, leaving out the subject I in ‘Hope tohear from you soon.’A more academic style will contain all of the features for formal style listed above. Inaddition, you should do the following:• Employ more tentative rather than assertive language by:• using possibly and probably in front of verbs and noun phrases: ‘This is possibly causedby...’ or ‘This is probably the most important factor.’• using the modal verbs may and might ‘This may be the most important factor.’• using appears to and seems to: ‘This appears to be the most important factor.’• avoiding always and every, and replacing them with often and many much.• Use formal vocabulary, for example, discuss rather than talk about.• Use more formal grammar, for example by:• Using There as a subject: ‘There is a serious risk of...’• using It as a subject: ‘It is very difficult to...’• Use an impersonal style by avoiding the use of personal pronouns, for example by:• Using one as a subject: ‘One may ask whether...’ (One is a formal version of You)• Using the passive voice: ‘Many things can be done to...’ to avoid using land we• Avoid using rhetorical questions: ‘Smoking is dangerous. But is banning it such a goodidea after all?’• Avoid the overuse or misuse of certain logical connectors, especially besides,furthermore and moreover. Besides is informal, and both furthermore and moreover meanthat the following information is more important than the information before. Use Inaddition or also instead.DOs and DONTs:  Make sure that you read all of the information in the questions very carefully and respond appropriately.  Make sure that you follow all instructions including the number of words that you need to write.  Make sure that you stop Writing Task 1 after 20 minutes to allow enough time to answer Writing Task 2.  Remember that Writing Task 2 carries more marks, so you need plenty of time to answer it.  Make sure that, for Task 1, you use figures or data from the question paper accurately.  Make sure that you plan your ideas before you begin to write. For Writing Task1, stop to locate and select the most important pieces of information. For Writing Task 2, take time to organise your ideas and argument.  Be sure to provide supporting evidence for any of your claims or views in Writing Task 2. 8
  9. 9.  Leave time to check your answer for careless mistakes at the end. Try to check for spelling mistakes, verb and subject agreement, singular/plural nouns, tense mistakes and problems of fluency.  Make sure that all of your ideas are relevant to the question.  Try to avoid repeating the same words, phrases and ideas too often. Try to use a range of vocabulary.  Try to make sure that you do not repeat the same idea too often, make sure you explore different ideas to provide a well-balanced response.  Make sure you write as clearly as possible.  Make sure that you produce organized and linked paragraphs and that the style of your language is academic.  Dont copy from other people’s work.  Dont write less than the required number of words.  Dont repeat task instructions in your writing.  Don’t use note form or bullet points.  Don’t leave out any required information.  Don’t waste your time learning essays by heart to use in the exam. You will be penalized for this and you will waste valuable time that could be spent developing good writing skills.  Don’t simply copy words and phrases from the question paper; try to use your own words at all times by paraphrasing the question.IELTS Writing: telling the difference between formal and informalMany of you have asked me about the difference between formal and informal writing inIELTS and this tells me that it’s a common problem. So here is what you need to knowabout the styles of writing in IELTS.If you are preparing for the Academic IELTS module, both Task 1 and Task 2 in theWriting test are formal. For General Training candidates, Task 2 in Writing is alwaysformal, and Task 1 can be formal or informal.As you know, Task 1 for GT module is a letter, and if the topic asks you to write tosomeone you know, that is an informal letter – as opposed to writing to someone youdon’t know; which is formal.The difference between formal and informal styles is mainly in the vocabulary. Informalwords are the ones used in everyday conversations and formal are used in books,contracts, business letters and essays. If the task requires formal writing – avoid usinginformal vocabulary. If the task requires informal writing, such as a letter to a friend,avoid using formal ‘heavy’ words. 9
  10. 10. Apart from the vocabulary in formal writing it is best to avoid words like “I”, “you”,“we”, unless you are expressing an opinion. For example in an essay instead of writing“You would find it difficult to get a job without proper qualifications”, write somethinglike “One would find it difficult to find a job without proper qualifications”, or you couldwrite “Finding a job without proper qualifications would be rather difficult”.For those of you who don’t live in an English speaking country and don’t speak Englishon daily basis it will be difficult to tell the difference between formal and informalvocabulary, which is why I compiled this short list of words. You could memorize it anduse in your writing while practicing – this way the chances you will use the correct wordin the exam increase.Formal InformalInform me Let me knowCancel DropContact Get in touchObtain GetApologise Say sorryPostpone DelayRequest Ask forCompensate Make upEstablish Set upDiscover Find outHandle Deal withInvestigate Check up onTolerate Put upIncrease Go upChildren KidsMany / Much A lot ofMany / Much Heaps of 10
  11. 11. IELTS writing: using transitional phrasesTransitionsTransitional words and phrases are what gives your essays coherence, we need them tojoin sentences and thoughts together. Look at the lists below. These are transitionalphrases that you can memorize and keep in your arsenal for the IELTS writing module.AGREEMENT: also, plus, in addition, further, furthermore, moreover, additionally, toadd to that, next, in accordance with, accordingly, in agreement, finally, for instance, forexample, in exemplification, exemplifying that, in fact, factually speaking, in terms of,and so forth, looking at the nexus between, in coordination with, along those lines,collectively speaking, generally speaking, indeed, undoubtedly, obviously, to be sure.CONTRAST: however, contrastingly, in contrast, on the contrary, on the other hand, Toput it into perspective, from a different angle, nonetheless, nevertheless, but, yet, a catchto this is, sadly enough, as a hindrance, looking at the holdups, oddly enough, instead, indirect opposition, still, and rather.RESULT: as a result, as a consequence, consequently, thus, therefore, hence, thereby,resulting in, ultimately, in the end, finally, in the overall analysis, in hindsight, inretrospect, retrospectively, vicariously, the long term effect, as a short term result,significantly, as a major effect, effectively, heretofore, hereafter, thereafter, in short,generally, over all, concluding4 ways to get in trouble with your IELTS Writing tasksIf you have an IELTS exam this weekend, this post can literally save your score. Manypeople getin trouble with their IELTS Writing for no reason, just because they don’t realize some thingsarenot acceptable in IELTS letters, essays or reports. Here is a number of ways you can get introublewith your IELTS writing tasks:1. Using informal English in the IELTS Writing tasks.Informal English is OK for your Speaking test – it is not OK for your Writing test. Eventhough notevery informal word gets penalized, the more formal your style is, the better your score willbe. Todemonstrate the difference, informal expression “loads of / tons of” should be replaced with“many”or “much”; “fed up with” should be replaced with “lost his patience”, etc. 11
  12. 12. 2. Using contractions.Contractions are “it’s” instead of “it is”, “I’ve” instead of “I have”, “we’re” instead of “weare”(these are only a few examples). Contractions are a bad, bad thing to use in your essay, theydon’tsave you much time and can cost you marks. Do me a favor and forget about contractions inyourIELTS writing. Write “should not” instead of “shouldn’t”, “could not” instead of “couldn’t”,“would not” instead of “wouldn’t”. You get the idea.3. Using slang.You can use slang any time talking to your friends, but this is the only place where it belongs,in aconversation between friends. Keep it out of your IELTS essays, letters or reports. You can’twrite“dunno” instead of “don’t know”, “wanna” instead of “want to” or “gonna” instead of “goingto”.4. SMS-like spelling.We all are typing SMS messages, chatting on Skype and the like, and there is a bunch ofshorterways to write longer words. We type “u” instead of “you”, “c” instead of “see”, “IMHO”instead of“in my humble opinion”. None of these can appear in your IELTS work, unless you arespecificallytrying to mess up and get a lower score than you deserve. You need to write the full word andspellit correctly, period.I hope this post has caught you in time to prevent any of the above mistakes. Good luck withyourexam!IELTS Writing task# 1:Rules of letter writing:1 The Opening Greeting of the LetterYour letter will probably need to be a reasonably informal letter to a friend or a semi-formal letter. The opening of your letter should reflect which one you are writing.A friendly letter will open with Dear followed by a name which should then be followedby a comma, eg: 12
  13. 13. Dear John,A semi-formal letter will also open with Dear and then be followed by a name, (if youdecide that in the situation you would know the name) or by Sir (if its a man), Madam (ifits a woman) or Sir/Madam if you dont know, eg:Dear Mr. Phillips,Dear Mrs. Phillips,Dear Sir,Dear Madam,Dear Sir/Madam,The question also might specify how you are to begin so follow what it says.2 The Opening Paragraph of the LetterIn a semi-formal letter, I feel it is important to state the reason for the letter straight away.You could use the following to help you:I am writing to ask/ tell//inform you that...I am writing to ask/inquire...I am writing with regard to...I am writing with reference to...I am writing in connection with...I am writing in response to...In reply to your letter, I am writing to... (if the question indicates that youhave had a letter)If the letter is a less formal one to a friend then you should open the letter in a friendlierway. EG:Dear John,Hi there! Its been so long since Ive heard from you. I hope you are doing well and I hopeall you family are doing fine. Im pretty good in spite of working hard. Anyway, thereason Im writing is...3 The Substance of the LetterIve already gone into detail about answering the question fully and using yourimagination to produce a realistic letter fulfilling all functions so I wont repeat that.Through great experience with IELTS, I can say that questions tend to ask you to docertain things. Here I will give you some ideas about some language to use in thesubstance of the letter which will help you to answer the task well.Asking for HelpI would like you to...I would be grateful if you could... 13
  14. 14. I need to ask your advice about...Id like to ask for information about...What Im looking for is...ComplainingIm writing to express my dissatisfaction/annoyance/ about...Im writing to express my anger at...I am not happy about...... is not what I expected/was expecting.I want to know what you are going to do about this situation.NB When complaining, dont get too angry. Ive had students who really became tooheated in their complaints. In a polite semi-formal letter, this should not happen. Also, donot over-exaggerate. If its a reasonably small and understandable problem, do say thatyoure not satisfied but show that you understand and stay calm in your expressions.ThankingIm very grateful for...Id like to thank you very much for...I very much appreciated...ApologizingIm very sorry that/about...Please forgive me for...Id like to apologize about...Please accept my apologies4 Ending your LetterFirst of all, in English we often end letters before the sign off with certain phrases. Thesecan be included in most letters and will make your letter seem realistic and polished. Fora formal letter, you could use:If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thanking youin advance for your help, I look forward to hearing from you soon.For a more informal letter you could use:If you need to know anything else, just get in touch with me as soon as you can. Thanks alot for your help and I hope to hear from you soon.Be careful though! IELTS examiners quite rightly look for writing that has beenmemorised and just repeated so, if you use expressions like the ones above, make surethat they fit in with the rest of your letter.Finally youll need to sign off your letter. For a formal letter use:Yours faithfully, ORYours sincerely, 14
  15. 15. Remember the commas (it makes a good impression on the examiner if you use goodpunctuation) and spell sincerely correctly (a lot of people dont!).For an informal letter, love is not always appropriate though English speakers use it a lot.Better would be to use:Regards,Yours,Best wishes,Other Hints for the IELTS General Training Task 1 WritingDONT copy any part of the question in your answer. This is not your own work andtherefore will be disregarded by the examiner and deducted from the word count. Youcan use individual words but be careful of using chunks of the question text.Dont repeat yourself or the same ideas. This gives a bad impression and the examinerrealises that it isnt adding to the content of your letter.If you are weak at English grammar, try to use short sentences. This allows you to controlthe grammar and the meaning of your writing much more easily and contributes to abetter cohesion and coherence mark. Its much easier to make things clear in a foreignlanguage if you keep your sentences short!Think about the tenses of your verbs. If youre writing about something that happened inthe past, your verbs will need to be in the past tenses. If youre arranging something in thefuture, you will need to use the future tenses. If its a habitual action, youll need thepresent simple tense and so on. If you have time, a quick check of your verbs at the endof the exam can help you find errors.As I just said, if you have finished the exam with time to spare, DONT just sit there!!Check what you have done. If you have time after the check, check again. And so on....Dont be irrelevant. Although you can use your imagination to expand on your answer, ifany part of your letter is totally unrelated to the question and put in to just put up theword count, then the examiner will not take it into account and deduct it from the wordcount.If you want to improve, theres no secret. Practice. Practice. Practice. You wont get bettersitting and doing nothing. Even good English users need practice for the IELTS exam. Itcould make all the difference between your getting the band that you need, and gettinghalf a band less than you need and having to wait 3 months to do the exam again.Finally, there are no correct answers or methods. Here Ive given you some ideas to guideyou and hopefully to help you but the questions can be answered well in different ways.Good luck! 15
  16. 16. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..IELTS Vocabulary: Writing a letters1~B. D ear Sir / M adam.~ s2~ A. T hank you for your letter.~s 3~C. I would li ke to c ompl ain about the ser vic e I rec ei ved at your hotel rec entl y.~s 4~C. As you r equested, I encl ose my c urricul um vitae.~s 5~A. I woul d be grateful if you would s end me mor e infor mation.~s 6~C. l look forward to hearing fr om you s oon.~s 7~A. T hank you for your attention i n this matter.~s 8~C. r efer to your or der of 12 J anuar y.~s 9~B. If you would li ke any more infor mation, pl eas e do not hesitate to contact me.~s10~B. Yours si nc erel y.~s 11~A. Yours faithfull y.s1~B. D ear Sir / M adam~s 2~A. T hank you for your letter .~s3~C. I would li ke to complai n about the s er vic e I rec ei ved at your hotel rec entl y.~s 4~C. As you req uested, I enclos e my c urriculum vitae.~s5~ A. I woul d be grateful if you woul d s end me more infor mation.~s 6~C. l l ook forwar d to heari ng from you s oon.~s7~ A. T hank you for your attenti on i n this matter.~ s8~C. refer to your order of 12 Januar y.~s9~ B. If you woul d li ke any mor e infor mation, pl ease do not hesitate to c ontac t me.~s 10~ B. Yours sinc erel y.~s11~A. Yours faithfull y.s12~ a. Fals e. For mal letters s hould be as brief and to the point as possi ble~s 13~a. F alse.~s14~a. F alse.~s15~a. F alse. It is not necessar y to include your name~s 16~ a. Tr ue (In s ome countries , writing abbr eviated dates c oul d be c onfusi ng. In Britain, 1/4/00 is the 1 April. In the USA i t is the 4 J anuar y).~s 17~ a. Tr ue.~s18~ a. F als e. ( A letter whic h is not br oken i nto par agraphs can be diffic ult and confusing to read. You s houl d have at least thr ee par agraphs: Paragraph 1: explai ning why you are writi ng. Par agraph 2+: details. Fi nal paragraph: acti on to be taken - e.g., I look for ward to hearing fr om you soon)s12~ a. .......................................................................~s 13~ a. .......................................................................~s14~ a. .......................................................................~s15~a. .......................................................................~ s16~a. .......................................................................~s 17~a. .......................................................................~s18~ a. .......................................................................A. Below, you will see eleven common situations that people encounter when they are writing aformal letter. Choose the sentence or phrase (A, B or C) that would be most appropriate in eachsituation.1. You are writing a letter to the headteacher of a school or college, but you dont know theirname. How do you begin your letter?A. Dear headteacher.B. Dear Sir / Madam.C. Dear Sir.2. You have received a letter from the manager of a company which buys computer componentsfrom your company, and you are now replying. What do you say?A. Thank you for your letter.B. Thanks a lot for your letter.C. It was great to hear from you.3. You recently stayed in a hotel and were very unhappy with the service you received. You arenow writing to the manager. What do you say?A. I had a horrible time at your hotel recently.B. I would like to say that I am unhappy about your hotel.C. I would like to complain about the service I received at your hotel recently.4. You have sent a letter of application to a college, together with your curriculum vitae which thecollege requested. What do you say in the letter to explain that your curriculum vitae is attached?A. You asked for my curriculum vitae, so here it is.B. As you can see, Ive enclosed my curriculum vitae.C. As you requested, I enclose my curriculum vitae.5. You have applied for a job, but you would like the company to send you more information.What do you say?A. I would be grateful if you would send me more information.B. I want you to send me more information.C. Send me some more information, if you dont mind.6. In a letter you have written to a company, you tell them that you expect them to reply. What doyou say?A. Write back to me soon, please.B. Please drop me a line soon.C. l look forward to hearing from you soon.7. In a letter you have written, you want the recipient to do something and are thanking them inadvance of their action. What do you say?A. Thank you for your attention in this matter.B. Thanks for doing something about it.C. I am gratified that you will take appropriate action.8. The company you work for has received an order from another company and you are writing to 16
  17. 17. them to acknowledge the order and let them know when you can deliver. What do you say?A. About the order you sent on 12 January for...B. I would like to remind you of the order you sent on 12 January for...C. refer to your order of 12 January.9. In a letter, you explain that the recipient can contact you if they want more information. Whatdo you say?A. Give me a call if you want some more information.B. If you would like any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.C. If you would like any more information, why not get in touch?10. You began a letter with the recipients name (e.g., Dear Mr. Perrin). How do you end theletter?A. Yours faithfully.B. Yours sincerely.C. Best wishes.11. You did not begin the letter with the recipients name (see number 1 above). How do you endthe letter?A. Yours faithfully.B. Yours sincerely.C. Best wishes.B. Look at these sentences and decide if they are true or false.1. Formal letters are always longer than informal letters.a. False. Formal letters should be as brief and to the point as possible2. In a formal letter it is acceptable to use colloquial English, slang and idioms.a. False.3. In a formal letter it is acceptable to use contractions (e.g., Ive instead of I have).a. False.4. In a formal letter you should include your name and address at the top of the page.a. False. It is not necessary to include your name5. In a formal letter, you should always write the date in full (e.g., 1 April 2000 and not 1/4/00).a. True (In some countries, writing abbreviated dates could be confusing. In Britain, 1/4/00 is the1 April. In the USA it is the 4 January).6. In a formal letter, you should always put your full name (e.g., James Harcourt and not J.Harcourt) after your signature at the bottom of the letter..a. True.7. Formal letters do not need to be broken into paragraphs. It is acceptable to write them as onecontinuous paragraph.a. False. (A letter which is not broken into paragraphs can be difficult and confusing to read. Youshould have at least three paragraphs: Paragraph 1: explaining why you are writing. Paragraph2+: details. Final paragraph: action to be taken - e.g., I look forward to hearing from you soon) 17
  18. 18. SAMPLE OF WRITING TASK 1:1. Writing task 1 (a letter): Complaint letter:Write a letter to a restaurant manager complaining about the food and the service during yourrecent visit,When you dined in with your family on a special occasion. In your letter:- Describe the problems that you had,- Say what were the consequences of these problems,- Specify an action you would like the manager to takeDear Sir/Madam, I am one of your customers bearing the customer number: 546. I am writing thisletter to complain about the food and the service during my anniversary that was held inyour restaurant on November, 16th. As you know, last week, I reserved the restaurant for my 8th anniversary and Iinvited about 50 persons. Unfortunately, not only the quality of the food was poor butalso the service of the staff was unsatisfactory. The numbers of waiter and waitress werenot sufficient for serving food and we had to wait a long time to get the service. Inaddition, some dishes (food) were stale 3 persons of my relatives got sick from thatstale unhygienic food, immediately after returning home. These circumstanceshad caused enough troubles for me. Bearing the above circumstances in mind, I would be grateful if you refund50% of my payment. In addition, I would like to opine that being a restaurantmanager; you should be more cautious about the service and quality of food yourrestaurant is providing to customers. I am looking forward to receiving appropriate response from you.Faithfully yours,………………….=============================================2. Writing Task 1 (a letter): personal letter+ ask for apologyYou were looking after your friend’s house while he was out of the country. Accidentally, youbrokesomething in the house. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter- Apolozise describe what happened , 18
  19. 19. - describe the damage,- explain how you are planning to compensate your friend.Dear Roger, I hope you have a safe journey and all things are going well for you. I am writingthis letter to express my apology for the incident that occurred by me accidentally. The last day before your coming back, when was working with your computer, Iinstalled the Office 2003 in your PC. After installation the program, when I wasejecting DVD from the DVD-ROM, I accidentally broke the DVD that contained asoftware collection. I know you use that frequently for your job. So, I have bought a newsoftware collection same as yours. I would be grateful if you could give me your address so that I can send theDVD to you via any express courier services. Otherwise, you can buy a new DVDand inform me the price. I am able to send you the cost of DVD either by credit cardor by cheque. Once again please accept my apology for the inconvenience. I would begrateful if you kindly consider my proposal for compensation. Looking forward tohearing from you soon.Best wishes,………………….=====================================3. Writing Task 1 (a letter): job application letter:You read a job advertisement for the Children’s Care association. They need volunteers (to workwithoutpay). Write a letter to the organization and say- Why you think you fit that job,- What interests you in this job,- How soon you are available to joinDear Sir/Madam, I am a manager of the P.S.P Nursery Center. I am writing this letter to inform youthat I am apt for the position “Child care coordinator” that you advertised on yourwebsite. As a nursery manager, I have more than 10 years experience in working withchildren. Not only I have got four international certificates related to Children’s Care, butalso I am qualified as a supervisor in tree Children Health Institution. Since I amfinancially solvent, I do not need any salary for my service. In addition, I had afascination to work with a charity organization. 19
  20. 20. I would be grateful if you could set up an appointment for an interview. By theway, I am ready to attend my job in the first week of December. For your convenience,I would like to add my contact address: Name: Mr. X**** Address: Dhaka, Bangladesh… Contact number: +880169183136Please find attached my detailed resume, educational certificates, employerreference letters etc. Once again, please kindly consider my application. I am looking forward toreceiving your response.Faithfully yours,……………..****You can write Mr. X as your name. Your real/fake address, contact number can be usedwhen you ought to include your contact address/information in the body of a letter.Other task 1 Examples where contact address should be mentioned:If a letter wants you to write about your lost suitcase/something to a hotel manager ……………………………………………………………………………………………………Source:  IELTS CUBE (the way to study),  Kaplan IELTS,  Barrons  Website: IELTS blogRegards:Dr.Hasib 20