IELTS Letter Lessons
An IELTS Letter is the Task 1 for General Training.
On the following pages you can view lessons on how to structure letters and some tips and tricks for writing high-scoring letters.
Structure of IELTS Letters
These are the key thing you need to think about when you structure/organise your IELTS letter:
- Opening Salutation (addressing the person being written to)
- Purpose of the letter
- Key points of the letter
- Polite closing sentence
- Closing salutation (signing off)
We'll explain each of these by going through a letter sample. This is a letter to a friend about selling them your television.
You want to sell your television. You think a friend of yours might like to buy it from you. Write a letter to your friend.
In your letter:
- Explain why you are selling the television.
- Describe the television.
- Suggest a date when your friend can come and see it.
Write at least 150 words
You do NOT need to write any addresses
Begin your letter as follows:
Now take a look at a model answer, and not how it has been organised around the organisation points (and bullet points of the question).
Dear Gary, [opening salutation]
I hope you are doing well. I’m doing fine, though my life is quite hectic at the moment. I'm writing to you about my television, which I've decided to sell . [purpose of writing]
As you know, I am moving abroad and there is so much to do! There are a few things that I can’t take with me because they are too big so I am seeing if any of my friends would be interested in buying them. One of the things I do not want to take with me is my television. I think given to cost of shipping it, it would make sense to buy a new one when I get there. [bullet point 1]
It’s a 32“ flat screen TV, and it’s a Phillips model. It has a USB port so you can just plug in a thumb drive to watch movies or listen to music. It has great stereo surround sound. It's also a smart TV so you can get Netflix, YouTube etc. [bullet point 2]
I’m leaving the country at the end of the month, which is only two weeks away. So if you want to see it, it would be best to come on 20th or 21st. That will give me time to sell it elsewhere if you are not interested. [bullet point 3]
Ok, I look forward to seeing you. Let me know if you can’t make it. [polite closing sentence]
All the best, [closing salutation]
Overall it is a good answer meeting all the requirements.
In terms of its structure/organisation, it starts with a salutation then gives the purpose of writing.
The IELTS letter then addresses the three key points in the task about the television – why it’s being sold, its description, and some possible dates.
It is clearly organized with each key point being addressed in a separate paragraph. It then has a polite closing sentence and the closing salutation.
Regarding some other important points of letters, the tone is appropriate – informal as it is being sent to a friend (Hope you are doing well…, so much to do!..., All the best...).
There is also evidence of the ability to use a mix of complex sentence structures correctly (though my life…, because…, that I can’t…, if any of my friends…, which is only…, as you know…), and correct usage of modality (can’t…, would…, might…, will…).
Any comments or questions about this page or about IELTS? Post them here. Your email will not be published or shared.
Band 7+ eBooks
"I think these eBooks are FANTASTIC!!! I know that's not academic language, but it's the truth!"
Linda, from Italy, Scored Band 7.5