Writing Task 1 General

Writing Task 1 (General)

Task 1, in general training, writing is letter writing. A candidate has to write a formal/semi-formal/personal letter, in about 150-170 words.

The time allotted for the same is 20 minutes.

Marking Criteria

Task achievement -In this, the candidate needs to cover all three bullet points. A detailed description of each point is mandatory to get a good score.
Coherence and Cohesion -The letter must be well structured and all the ideas must be well connected in a letter. Coherence and cohesion refer to the progression of ideas in the content. So how one organizes one’s thoughts and ideas in the letter refers to the criteria of cohesion and coherence.
Lexical Resource -Using a wide range and appropriate vocabulary would help a candidate secure a high band score. Collocations, word formation, and spelling are important factors in achieving a good score.
Grammatical Range and Accuracy -Various types of sentence structures, which are error-free, complex sentence structures with the use of punctuation skillfully can guarantee a high band score in this criterion.

Types of Letter

Letters have been an important mode of communication in our society. Letters are written for various purposes and depending on the subject matter, they have been categorized into formal/semiformal and personal categories.

Formal / Semi-formal letters are formal in tone and professional in nature. They directly address the issue concerned. These types of letters are written to some authority or some person in the office. Also, they can be penned down to make a complaint, request, apology, or suggestion.

The formal letters open with a particular structure and greeting, having a clear statement of purpose. The language is polite, considerate, and courteous in manner. The letter ends respectfully and impersonally.

However, informal/personal letters are less formal. After greetings and salutations, it asks the recipients well being. The major difference between them is the tone of the letter. Here the writer can be friendly and end the letter with a more personal touch.

The format for letter writing (formal informal) is as follows:

  • Salutation : Dear Sir/ Dear XYZ
  • Content: Opening line depending on the type of letter. 2-3 paragraphs addressing the question.
  • Complimentary Close: Your sincerely

Planning ,Ideas generation and timing:-

It is very important to understand the question prompt. Spare at least 2 to 3 minutes to plan out your answer. Some candidates start writing immediately, as they read the question prompt. This is a wrong approach as writing without planning would, at times lead to not being able to include all the points that are required to get a good band score. For example, the question prompt below says that:-

You recently bought a piece of equipment for your kitchen but it did not work. You phoned the shop but no action was taken.

Write a letter to the shop manager. In your letter

  • Describe the problem with the equipment.
  • Explain what happened when you phoned the shop.
  • Say what you would like the manager to do.

This is a letter of complaint. Look at the bullet points carefully. You need to answer all the three points; make three paragraphs, including one aspect in one paragraph. This is a real-life situation. At times all of us have faced such problems, so we can easily make our rough draft like this:-

  1. You bought a water purifier / after installation water is still not being purified.
  2. After calling the shop many times your problem has not been addressed. At times the staff was rude and uncooperative.
  3. You would like the manager to repair the faulty equipment and reprimand the staff for their unprofessional behavior…

By making such notes, it becomes easy for a candidate to include all the bullet points in the question prompt. This would take up for about two-three minutes and help one to pen down a letter with more clarity and conciseness.

TONE OF A LETTER

The appropriate tone in both formal and semi-formal letters is very important, Tone in a letter can be defined as an attitude or emotion towards the subject or the reader. There are no strict guidelines regarding this aspect but one must be polite and formal while writing such letters. The following points can be kept in mind while writing a letter:-

  1. When writing to an authority, the subject matter should be clear and concise. The issue should be approached directly instead of writing about some matter which is not directly related to the subject.
  2. If one is writing a letter of complaint the language can be firm but avoid using rude expressions. The language must voice your feelings of discontent but derogatory expressions to the recipient of the letter must be avoided.
  3. Letters to higher authorities, like school principals or office bearers, command some requests, so let your tone reflect it.
  4. When writing personal letters, like to your family and friends a person can take some liberties, exchanging pleasantries. This type of informal letter is written to people you know, so the tone can be friendly and some personal notes can be exchanged.
  5. Semi-formal letters are addressed to our acquaintances, maybe one’s landlord or a neighbor.In these types, it is advisable to keep a neutral tone. Avoid being over-friendly or too courteous in these situations.

Appropriate Language

Some certain words and phrases can be used when making a request, suggestion, apology, and so on. These are known as functions, and can be used in letter writing:-

1.Request-

  • Could you please
  • Could you possibly…..
  • Would it be possible……..
  • I would be grateful if…..

2. Apology-

  • I am sorry but…..
  • I must apologize about……..
  • I am afraid………….

3. Complaint—-

  • I must complain about…….
  • I am not satisfied with…….
  • I feel something should be done about it……..

4. Making suggestions—-

  • I would like to suggest that…….
  • Perhaps we could…….
  • Could you please………

In short, letters must be up to point,brief and the issue must be directly addressed.Remember the word limit is (150-170) words only,so it is advisable to directly come to the important details.

Below are a few sample letters,


Personal Letter

Your son lives abroad as an international student. You have received an invitation from his college for the convocation. However, you cannot attend the convocation. Write a letter to your son:

  • Express your feelings about the convocation
  • Convey your inability to join him
  • Propose what will you do to make up for this

You can start with

Dear …….

Sample answer

Dear Sabby

Hope you’re relishing your last few days in the university to the fullest. I can’t express my emotions in words as I am writing. Just got an invitation from university, and it feels like it was just yesterday when I dropped you at the airport. Though every day passed like weeks, but today, it seems like these three years just flew by in a few weeks.

I’ve been waiting for this day to arrive so that I could see you climbing up the stage proudly receiving the degree. I’m over the moon, I swear. Dear, believe me, I really want to be there, however, I would have to stay back in India because of an emergency. Actually, your uncle Garry suffered a paralysis attack last week and is still under observation in the hospital. You need not worry, doctors said he is recovering, but the pace is slow. You know, your cousins are not old enough to take care of Garry and all other stuff. So, I’ve to be here and look after him.

Don’t be disappointed! You’ll not be alone there. I’ve made sure that your mother and Suzy are there among the audience to applause for you. Also, I’d be there via the video call. So, cheer up and put on your biggest smile. I suppose Garry would be back home by the end of next month, at least this is what his physician said. Ergo, as soon as he comes back, I’ll pack my stuff and fly to you and will surely spend at least 2 weeks together to compensate for my absence on your d-day.

Remember, you’re always in my prayers. Can’t wait to hang out with you.

With lots of love and hugs

Your dad

Letter of Complaint

Question –

The systems used for rubbish/ garbage collection in your local area are not working properly. This is causing problems for you and your neighbours.

Write a letter to the local council. In your letter:

  • Describe how the rubbish collection system is not working properly
  • Explain how this is affecting you and your neighbours
  • Suggest what should be done about the problem.

Answer –

Dear sir

I am writing this letter to express my grave concern about the inadequate rubbish management in the region of Model Town , Jalandhar. Because of this , the community is facing serious problems, especially from the last four weeks.

Specifically, considering the total populace , the number of rubbish bins that are installed in the area are insufficient. In addition to this , the situation is getting worse as from a couple of weeks ago , garbage is not being collected by the workers and lorries. Eventually it has given birth to numerous diseases and even the waste has started to scatter around the bins.

Moreover, the overflowing of bins with litter attracts some street dogs who rampage the rubbish every night. Additionally, the bad odour has constructed its path in reaching our houses that is resulting in halting the peaceful and healthy living.

I would like to suggest that the local council should look into the matter urgently and make some necessary arrangements for disposing the garbage to the dumping grounds. Besides, more bins should be erected in the region as soon as possible.

I hope you will take immediate measures to solve the problems and consider my suggestion.

Yours faithfully

Harman Singh

Write a letter to a company asking for a refund for something you bought from them online. In your letter include:

  • what you bought
  • what the problem is
  • why you want a refund

 

Dear sir,

I am a frequent customer of your online shopping website, however today I am writing to you regarding the faulty product which I received for the third time from the website. Allow me to elaborate on my situation.

Last week ,I ordered speakers of Lenovo which were black in color ,with excellent sound quality as per the specification on the manual , but unfortunately, when I received it, the experience was very exhausting, which was not expected. To justify, being a professional dancer and owner of a YouTube channel, high quality speakers are must for me ,but one which I received was not up to my expectations.

Hence, on an immediate basis, I called the customer care executive who assured me of replacing it , but in spite of exchanging it for three times and ample of calls , I did not receive the desired product that affected my work badly. This, as I am sure you can understand, is intolerable. Thus, I expect immediate refund as I cannot bear more loss. Also, I anticipate you to reprimand the members of your team responsible for allowing such an oversight to happen.

Hoping to hear a positive reply from you soon

Yours faithfully

XYZ

Letter of Refund

Write a letter to a company asking for a refund for something you bought from them online. In your letter include:

  • what you bought
  • what the problem is
  • why you want a refund

Dear sir,

I am a frequent customer of your online shopping website, however today I am writing to you regarding the faulty product which I received for the third time from the website. Allow me to elaborate on my situation.

Last week ,I ordered speakers of Lenovo which were black in color ,with excellent sound quality as per the specification on the manual , but unfortunately, when I received it, the experience was very exhausting, which was not expected. To justify, being a professional dancer and owner of a YouTube channel, high quality speakers are must for me ,but one which I received was not up to my expectations.

Hence, on an immediate basis, I called the customer care executive who assured me of replacing it , but in spite of exchanging it for three times and ample of calls , I did not receive the desired product that affected my work badly. This, as I am sure you can understand, is intolerable. Thus, I expect immediate refund as I cannot bear more loss. Also, I anticipate you to reprimand the members of your team responsible for allowing such an oversight to happen.

Hoping to hear a positive reply from you soon

Yours faithfully

XYZ

Letter of complaint

Your car insurance company has told you that they are going to increase the insurance amount you have to pay for your car each month. You are not happy about this.

Write a letter to the insurance company. In your letter explain

  • Why you are writing to them.
  • Why do you think insurance should not be increased?
  • What you want them to do.

Dear Sir

I am one of your insurance holders and my insurance policy number is 5484-184-5. I am writing in response to a letter that I received recently informing me about the revised car insurance premium next month onwards.

I have been your loyal customer from the past ten years. I do not believe that the increase in the monthly insurance payment is acceptable as it is totally against the insurance holder’s interest.

I understand that the price increases over the years but an increase of thirty percent is not rational. I am already paying the higher amount especially at the time of recession.

I would really appreciate it if you could justify the increase in premium amount to my satisfaction and if you are unable to explain, I am afraid that I will have to move my car insurance policy to another company.

I am looking forward to receivingc your reply at the earliest.

Yours Faithfully

Michael Jacobs

Letter of suggestion/advice

Every year, someone in the company where you work is chosen as the best employee. Your manager has asked staff members to make suggestions about who should be chosen this year.

Write a letter to your manager, in your letter

  • Identify a colleague who you think should be the best employee.
  • Explain what the job of this colleague involves.
  • Give reason why this colleague should be chosen as the best employee.

Dear Sir

I am writing to give suggestions regarding the selection of the best employee of the year.

Personally, I would like to recommend James Thomson for this title. He possesses great intellectual ability and having him in the team makes a huge difference. He is one of the most reliable employees the company ever had. Nobody, in my opinion, deserves the title more than he does.

As a sales manager, he has achieved all the objectives of the organization within the stipulated time limit and has worked immensely towards the growth of the company. His coordination with his team members inspired many junior employees to work even harder.

His dedication towards his work is truly inspiring and he is always quick to take initiative. By choosing him as the employee of the year, we can show our appreciation for this worthy employee and do justice to this title.

Yours Sincerely

James Brown

Letter for apology

Your neighbors have recently written to you to complain about the noise from your house/flat.

Write a letter to your neighbors. In your letter,

  • explain the reasons for the noise
  • apologize
  • describe what action you will take

Dear Mr. Jones

I am writing with regard to the complaint I received from your side and I want to apologize for the same.

Yesterday, when I received your letter I felt very embarrassed as I became the reason for the inconvenience caused to you, so, I want to offer you an explanation for it. Actually, there is a blockage in one of the underground pipes of my kitchen, so I have hired a plumber for its repair. As I was not available at home in the morning due to my job, so he worked on it in the evenings and it stretched to late night. As he had to break the floor tiles so it produced lots of noise.

I have been living in your neighborhood for the last five years and I have never given a chance to anyone for complaining in regards to anything. It’s the first time. I am responsible for my action and I seek an apology for that.

I will definitely take care in future and if I need to do any construction or repair work then I will not do it during odd hours and I will make sure that people living in the neighbourhood are comfortable.

Kindly accept my apologies and forgive me.

Yours Sincerely

Marie Brandson

Letter of invitation

You have just moved to a new house and are planning to hold a party. Write a letter to your neighbor. In your letter

  • introduce yourself
  • describe your plans for the party
  • invite your neighbor to come

Dear Mr. Robert

I have recently moved to your neighborhood in flat number xxx and I am writing this letter to invite you and your family members to my housewarming party on 1st of June.

I want you to be a part of this event as this is the best way to spend time together and develop good relations as we will be living in the vicinity of each other.

The celebrations will start at 11 am. First of all, there will be a religious ceremony in the morning, and then lunch will be served to all the guests following a dance party on the terrace and it will end with evening snacks. I will make sure that the party will finish by 7 pm so that people living nearby do not get disturbed.

I hope you will accept my invitation .Your presence is very precious for me.

Hope to see you soon.

Yours Sincerely

Lucie Jennifer

Letter of enquiry

You have just started a course in a college which has no sports facilities of its own. Write a letter to the manager of the nearest private sports club. In your letter:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Say why are you interested in this sports club
  • Ask some questions about the club e.g facilities, members ,costs

Dear Sir

I am a college student and writing this letter to enquire about your sports club as I am interested to join it.

I am studying in a college which is adjacent to your club and unfortunately my college does not offer sports facilities. So, one of my friends has recommended me to your club as it is close to my college so it will be easy to commute.

Before joining, I would like to ask about some details about your sports club. First of all, I would like to know about the basic facilities offered here. Moreover, let me know about the skill level of your members to better understand the environment of the club. In addition to it, I like to know about membership cost to make a decision about availing your services a little easier. I will be very thankful to you if you will tell me the details of the documents which are required for joining it so that I can make all arrangements beforehand.

I will appreciate it if you send me the details of all my queries.

I am waiting for your reply. Thank you in advance.

 

Yours Sincerely

Marc Jacobs