IELTS General Writing Task 1: Letter Writing Samples and Tips
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Writing task 1 of the General module of IELTS is letter writing. Candidates will be allotted 20 minutes to complete the task and the minimum word count is 150. It comprises 33% of your writing scores. Marking criteria are as follows:
- Task achievement - 25%
- Coherence and cohesion - 25%
- Vocabulary - 25%
- Grammar - 25%
In IELTS general writing task 1, candidates will get a question containing some instructions regarding the letter.
Types of letters
The writing task 1 general letters can be categorized into three main types. They are:
These types of letters are addressed to someone whom you don’t know.
Begins with: Dear Sir/Madam
Ends with: Yours faithfully/ Yours sincerely
Example: Write a letter to a bookstore manager who is living in another city. Ask him/her to make available a book that you are interested in.
In your letter, you should tell:
- What book are you looking for?
- Why do you need this book?
- How do you plan to purchase the book?
Being a book nerd, I like looking for new libraries and bookstores. Lately, I was going through the list of nearby bookstores on the internet. And, I found yours. Although your book store is located in a different town, I keep visiting every alternative day. I would like to put forth a small request. I am looking for a book called Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom.
I have been trying to get a hand on this book for a while now but couldn’t find it anywhere so far. Most of my friends have read it, and they can’t stop praising the storyline. A lot of people have already recommended this book.
Thus, if you can make the book available by next week, it would be great as I am coming to your town on the 14th of February 2021. This way, I can easily buy the book.
I am hoping for a positive response.
These types of letters are addressed to someone whom you know formally.
Begins with: Dear Mr. Rad
Ends with: Best wishes/All the Best/With regards
Example: You recently started commuting to work by bicycle and discovered that there is a problem with bicycle parking near the building where you work. Write a letter to the building manager and say:
- Explain the reason for using a bicycle to commute.
- What problems have you encountered with parking?
- What are your recommendations to solve them?
Dear Mr. Alex,
My name is Henry, and I have been working in the Aarav building, located on Lincoln Road for the past year. I believe you handle the responsibility of managing this building. Lately, I have enrolled in an environment preservation initiative.
Thus, ditching every other type of commute, I have started coming to the office on a bicycle. However, for the past few weeks, I have been experiencing issues with the parking in the building.
There is enough space to park almost every other vehicle but a bicycle. Also, there are issues with security, as well. Yesterday, I found the lock on my bicycle broken, and it was lying on the ground. Being the building manager I would like you to create a different parking stand only for bicycles and look after safety just like you do for other vehicles parked on the premises.
I am hoping for a supportive response.
These Informal letters are addressed to someone whom you know personally.
Begins with: Dear Susan
Ends with: Warm regards
Example: Your friend is about to move into a new house. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
- offer to help him/her to move
- explain how exactly you can help
- ask him/her some questions about the new house
Hope you are doing well. It’s been a long time since we wrote to each other. A few days back, I was having a conversation with Kushaal, and I got to know that you are moving into a new house. I was pretty happy to find out that you are finally moving ahead in your life and progressing professionally.
I don’t know the exact location, can you let me know the address? Also, I am excited to see how this new abode looks from the outside and inside. I am waiting to see the pictures.
Anyway, Kushaal mentioned that you are a bit busy with your professional project; thus, unable to pack anything sooner. Are you looking for a helping hand? If you need any support, Kushaal and I can drop down to your house and help pack.
Do let me know how it works for you. All the best for your new journey.
Narrowing down the type of the letter before beginning to write on it is a crucial step to be followed to achieve success in the IELTS General writing task 1! If you observe carefully, all the questions (examples) above fall under a specific topic, but it is most important to identify their types based on how well you know the person. Hence, always have an eye on that!
Structure of a Task 1 General Letter
- Purpose of the letter
- Paragraph 1
- Paragraph 2
You should use the right language for each type of letter.
Example: I require your assistance to purchase a diamond Jewelry for my wife.
Example: I need your help in buying diamond Jewellery for my wife.
Example: How about hopping along with me to the Jewellery shop and helping me to select a piece of diamond jewellery for my wife?
Where to use contractions?
You can use contractions like “I’ll come” in informal and semi-formal types of letters. It should be avoided in formal letters where you must use “I will come”.
Plan How to Write Your Letter
- First of all, identify the type of the letter.
- Read the instructions carefully so that you address all parts of the question.
- Decide how to greet
- Decide on the language to be used based on the type of the letter.
- Decide the sign-off for the letter
- Decide on what content to write for each of the body paragraphs.
Some of the Task 1 General Letter Topics that you Can Practice:
Upskill Your Writing With Our 4.5+ Rated General Ebook Combo!
What the examiner is looking for in your letter?
- Is the purpose of the letter mentioned
- Are all three points (given in the question) covered
- Are the paragraphs organized properly
- Usage of appropriate vocabulary
- Usage of appropriate tense
- How error-free are the sentence structures?
Now that you have known the ins and outs of the IELTS Writing Task 1 General, have a look at the following additional tips to help you ace this module!
Pro Tips to Enhance Your General IELTS Writing Task 1 Letter
- First of all, identify the type of the letter i.e. formal/semi-formal/informal
- Identify the purpose of the letter
- Read the instructions carefully so that you address all parts of the question
- Decide the opening of the letter i.e. how to greet
- Decide on what content to write for each of the body paragraphs.
- Decide on the language to be used based on the type of the letter
- Decide the closing of the letter i.e. sign off for the letter
- Learn and use standard phrases used for different types of letters
- Avoid making any grammatical or spelling mistakes
The key is to practice more of it and make writing letters a practice! Here we have some IELTS letter writing samples to help you get an overall idea of how to approach different scenarios before actually beginning to pen down! If you are looking for an IELTS expert’s advice on cracking IELTS general writing, we have got you on this too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the IELTS General Writing Task 1 conducted?
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