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IELTS Writing Task 1 – Letter (GT)

A complete guide for writing a letter

  1. Analysing
  2. Beginning/ending
  3. Introductory paragraph
  4. Body of the letter
  5. Planning body
  6. Closing paragraph
  7. Sample letter

1. ANALYZING

The first thing you should do before attempting the letter is analyzing  topic, addresse and purpose of the letter.

Look at the sample question and analyze it

You have just spent a weekend at Sheraton Hotel in Karachi. When you get home you find that you have left your laptop at the hotel.

Write to the manager of the hotel and enquire whether the laptop bag has been found. Give any relevant information about the laptop bag and its contents. Ask the manager to contact you immediately if the laptop bag is found and tell him/her how the laptop bag can be sent to you.


Topic/ situation : You have left your laptop

Addressee :   The manager of the hotel

Purpose : (1) enquire. about the laptop (2) describe the laptop (3) ask the manager to reply

2. BEGINING AND ENDING

Understanding how to begin and end letter contributes a lot in giving good impression to examiner.  If you know the person you should write “Yours sincerely,” if not then “Yours faithfully,” for friends “Best regards etc.”

Beginning                                                               Ending

If you don’t know the name
Dear Sir,                                                                  Yours faithfully,
Dear Madam,                                                         Yours faithfully,
Dear Sir/Madam,                                                   Yours faithfully,

If you know the name
Dear Mr Ejaz,                                                        Yours sincerely,
Dear Ms Nisa                                                         Yours sincerely,
Dear Dr Fakhir                                                      Yours sincerely,

To a friend
Dear Ali,                                                                Best regards,/Best wishes,/love,
Dear Liba,                                                             Best regards,/Best wishes,/love,

3. INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH

Here you may greet the addressee, sometimes tell the addressee who you are. You must explain reasons for writing. Do not give any details, explanation in introductory paragraph.

Here are some examples

  • I would like to inquire about credit cards interest percentage.
  • i am writing to complain about the poor service at your hotel.
  • I am writing to advice you improving your services.

4. BODY OF THE LETTER

The body is the central part of the letter which contains main information. You should know phrases for development of the body whether it’s a complaint letter, request letter, apology letter or giving suggestion. Look at the following phrases and practice them if you have some in your mind use them as well.

Apology:   I am terribly sorry,but…./ I am afraid i…./ I must apologize about….ing..

Complaint : I must complain about../ I am not satisfied with…./ I feel something should be done about..

Request :   Could you please…/I wonder if you could…/I would be grateful if you would….

Making suggestion :   I’d like to suggest that…./ May i suggest that… Perhaps we could…/ Could you please….

5. PLANNING BODY

It is not only important to having good structures to convey you message but also giving them right order. All the information based on questions in letter should be answered in order as per plan below.

Making a request : introductory paragraph > explain the situation > details of your request > closing paragraph
Giving an apology : introductory paragraph > explain why you must apologize > alternative plan> closing paragraph
Making complaint : introductory paragraph > explain problems >  say what you think the addressee should do > closing paragraph
Giving information : introductory paragraph > information > offer more information > closing paragraph
Making suggestions : introductory paragraph > make first suggestion > provide an alternative to this suggestion > closing paragraph

6. CLOSING PARAGRAPH

In this paragraph you write final line based on what you have written in the rest of your letter. If you know some use them. Below are some which you may use.

Making request:  Thank you for your attention to this matter. / I look forward to your prompt response.
Final Apology: Please accept my apologies once more. / Once again, i am sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Making complaint : i expect to hear from you very soon. / Please give this matter your immediate attention.
Giving information :  I hope this information will help you. please feel free to contact me for more information.
Making suggestion :  I trust these suggestions have been useful. / Please let me know if i can help any further.

7. SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Rasheed,

I stayed in your hotel on 1st and 2nd of May in room 505. When i arrived home i discovered i had left my laptop at hotel. Could you please check your Lost and Found department and see if my laptop is there?

It is a red  Dell laptop in a black leather NIKE bag. Inside the bag you can find several cds, Piano pens, proposal notes  and business cards. The front pocket zip is broken with nothing important inside it just empty note pads. The laptop is not very expensive but data inside and business cards are very important for functioning of my job.

I would appreciate if you could contact me as soon as possible, as i need  access to the data and business cards for urgent meetings in this week. If you could send the laptop bag to me by courier service, i would be most grateful. I have arranged payment for the service on delivery here.

Thank you for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Abid Ali

One Response so far.

  1. Samson says:

    The Use of “I” in the very 2nd paragraph is wrong Because Whenever and Wherever We use “I”, It is always CAPITAL.

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