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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 26: General Task Writing


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0:03

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

0:18

Today we're going to talk about letter writing.

0:22

IELTS Task 1 in the General Training module asks you to write a letter. We write letters

0:30

to friends, strangers, businesses, government departments and institutions.

0:36

The tone of a letter can be formal or informal, depending on who is going to read it.

0:47

There are several purposes for writing letters:

0:51

giving or requesting information

0:55

giving instructions

0:57

relating an event

1:00

giving good or bad news

1:04

complaining

1:06

describing

1:08

Some letters can include several of these purposes at the same time.

1:13

Here are some examples.

1:14

Letters for giving information might include: travel plans

1:20

arrival details what to see and do on holidays.

1:25

Letters requesting information might be for: course information

1:31

library hours timetable information.

1:36

Some letters for giving instructions include: how to get to your house

1:41

how to operate a machine how to open an account.

1:46

And relating an event: a an incident or accident

1:51

a wedding or function or a holiday.

1:55

giving good or bad news cancelling an appointment

2:00

accepting a job offer informing of the birth of a baby.

2:05

Letters complaining might include: poor service in a restaurant

2:10

loud noise in your district or a problem with faulty goods.

2:15

And letters describing might be about: lost property

2:19

a friend or a place.

2:25

OK. That's an overview of different types of letter. Now let's consider the organisation

2:33

of the letter.

2:35

Letters have a clear and familiar structure. Formal letters begin with a greeting: Dear

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___, and end with a closing: Yours sincerely.

2:47

In between the top and the bottom, is the body. But what sort of body? How do we decide

2:53

about the shape of the letter between the greeting and the closing?

2:59

Well, we write because we have a purpose. It is important to indicate at the beginning

3:04

of a letter what its purpose is.

3:07

Let's consider some examples.

3:10

If your letter is for giving information, you might start with: I am writing to advise