In the realm of IELTS Writing, mastering the art of crafting compelling letters is a skill that can make all the difference. Whether it's for General Training Task 1 or as a possible element of Academic Task 1, an adept command of language in letter writing can significantly influence your score. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the crucial language elements that can elevate your IELTS Task 1 letter writing, equipping you with the tools to leave a lasting impression on the examiner.
Always ask yourself at the start:
- What is this letter about?
- What is the purpose of this letter?
- Who is this letter addressed to?
These will help to establish whether the letter is formal, semi-formal or informal.
Examples of tiered levels of formality
- Formal- a letter concerning a job, a letter of complaint, a letter of enquiry.
- Semi-formal- a letter concerning a problem at work, a letter regarding time off from work, a letter, a letter requesting a favour from a neighbour.
- Informal- a letter inviting a friend to a birthday, a letter of congratulations to a friend, a letter asking about the well-being of someone (that you typically know)
The plan and the process
As always, have a plan before you start writing.
- Write down your main ideas for the task depending on what the task is, i.e., a birthday invitation will pose different ideas to that of a business interview.
- Note down some key vocabulary.
Ask yourself the 7 questions when you are checking and proofreading your writing.
1. Are my thoughts organised?
2. Is there a clear structure to my letter?
3. What ideas could be stretched a little more?
4. Have I used good vocabulary?
5. Should some parts be removed or edited?
6. Are all my sentences complete?
7. Have I checked SPAG- spelling, punctuation, and grammar?
Phrases- Action (formal)
- Can you please supply us with…
- We have been informed that…
- We regret to inform you that…
- We insist on…
- Please be aware that the closing date for…
- May we remind you that…
- Please look into the matter of…
- On examination, we have found out that…
Phrases- Employment (formal)
- I am writing in response to
- I am writing to apply to the position/post of
- I am delighted to accept the position of
- I am happy to confirm my acceptance of
- I look forward to working with you
- Thank you for considering my application
- Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information
Phrases- Personal (semi-informal/informal)
- Thank you for your invite
- We would love it if you could come to
- I was wondering how you were
- I am writing to see how you are
- It was so kind of you to write
- I am sorry to inform you that
- I am sorry to tell you that
- I was sorry to hear that
Openings and closures
- Dear Sir
- Dear Madame
- Yours sincerely (if you know the name of the person)
- Yours faithfully (if you don’t know the name of the person)
- My dear
- All the best
- All my love
- Best wishes
- With love
- Much love
- See you soon.
- With love to you all
- With love and best wishes
Clearly state the reason for writing the letter. Use phrases like "The main purpose of this letter is to..." or "I am writing in reference to..." to provide clarity and structure to your communication.
When conveying information, use precise and descriptive language. Employ phrases such as "I would like to bring to your attention..." or "I would like to inform you that..." to make your message clear and impactful.
Polite and direct language is essential when seeking information. Employ phrases like "I would appreciate it if you could provide me with..." or "Could you kindly share details regarding..." to make your requests more effective.
For General Training Task 1, suggesting actions or solutions is important. Utilise phrases like "I would like to suggest that..." or "It might be beneficial to consider..." to showcase your ability to provide constructive insights.
Show appreciation in your letters using phrases like "I would like to express my gratitude for..." or "I am thankful for your assistance in..." This not only conveys politeness but also reflects positively on your writing style.
If needed, specify the action you expect from the recipient. Utilise phrases like "I kindly request that you..." or "I would appreciate it if you could..." to make your expectations clear.
Politeness and Formality
Maintain a polite and formal tone throughout your letter. Avoid contractions, slang, or overly casual language. Instead, opt for phrases that project respect and professionalism.
Thank you for reading this article,