IELTS Task 1 (General) How to write at a 9 level by Ryan Higgins (z-lib.org)

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INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM
HOW TO WRITE AT A BAND 9 LEVEL
IELTS GENERAL
TA S K 1

IELTS &
General&Task&1:& &
How&to&write&at&a&9&level
Copyright*(c)*2012*by*Ryan*Thomas*Higgins
All*rights*reserved.*No*part*of*this*book*may*be*
reproduced*or*used*in*any*form*without*the* *
explicit*permission*of*its*author,* *
Ryan*Thomas*Higgins.
Layout*by*Daria*Lacy
Cover*by*Dominique*Gamelin
http://www.ieltswritingblog.com

F OREWORD
Š‹•„‘‘�Šƒ•„‡‡�™”‹––‡�–‘„”‹‡ÐŽ›•—��ƒ”‹œ‡™Šƒ–ƒ•–—†‡�–�‡‡†•–‘†‘–‘•…‘”‡
band*9*on*the*Task*1*portion*of*the*IELTS*General*exam.*It*is*a*summary*of*skills*and*
is*presented*in*a*manner*that*is*expected*to*be*informative*yet*concise.*Please*note*
that*this*book*should*not*act*as*the*student’s*sole*preparatory*resource*for*Task*1.*
A*regimen*involving*regular*practice*and*guided*IELTS*instructor*feedback*is*highly*
recommended.*All*example*Task*1*questions*appearing*in*this*book*have*been*taken*
from*real*IELTS*exams*in*an*effort*to*give*the*student*more*genuine*IELTS*exposure.
Your*purchase*of*this*work*entitles*you*to*receive*edition*updates*free*of*charge.*
Please*remember*that*this*book*comes*as*the*result*of*months*of*writing,*drafting,*
editing,*classroom*testing*and*rewriting*and*is*a*product*of*my*9*years*of*IELTS*
instructor*experience.*I*do*not*ask*much*in*terms*of*compensation,*so*please*do*not*
produce*counterfeit*copies!
Ryan*T.*Higgins
ieltswritingblog.com

C ONTENTS
Foreword ..................................................................... 3
1.1 What is required on the General Task 1? ....................................... 5
1.2 Understanding the Task 1 question ........................................... 8
1.3 !e importance of tone ..................................................... 9
1.4 Letter structure explained .................................................. 11
2.1 Letters of request .......................................................... 14
2.2 Letters of complaint ....................................................... 19
2.3 Letters of condolence ...................................................... 22
2.4 Letters of appreciation ..................................................... 25
2.5 Letters of advice, feedback and suggestions ................................... 30
2.6 Letters of apology ......................................................... 33
3.1 !e importance of coherence and cohesion ................................... 38
4.1 Try it yourself ! ............................................................ 40
5.1 Frequently asked questions regarding Task 1 of the General Module IELTS ....... 46
6.1 Review what you have learned in this book ................................... 48
6.2 Review what you have learned in this book (Answers) .......................... 50
About the author ............................................................. 53

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
5
1.1
W HAT IS REQUIRED ON THE G ENERAL T ASK 1?

s U
formance*in*4*categories:* Task%Achievement,%Coherence%and%Cohesion,%Lexical%Resourc 9
es% and %Grammar .*These*sections*are*very*closely*related*and*often*performing*poorly*
in*one*can*lead*to*problematic*performance*in*another.*
In*the*following*section,*we*are*going*to*go*over*each*category*and*distinguish*how*a*
band*6*Task*1*response*differs*from*bands*7*and*8.
Task%Achievement
Band*6*writing*presents*a*response*that*answers*all*parts*of*the*question*but*may*
Šƒ˜‡‹�ƒ……—”ƒ–‡‘”—�Ћ––‹�‰†‡–ƒ‹Ž•äŠ—•á–Š‡”‡•’‘�•‡�ƒ›�‘–ˆ—ŽŽ›”‡ÐŽ‡…––Š‡•—„ U
jects*indicated*in*the*question.*Improper*tone*may*also*be*apparent,*which*causes*
awkwardness*for*the*reader*while*reading*the*letter.
A*band*7*response,*however,*will*fully*address*the*question*and*its*bullet*points.*
There*may*be*some*lack*of*depth*in*the*response,*but*overall*the*letter*can*be*la U
beled*‘complete’.
Band*8*students*write*letters*that*explain*with*much*greater*depth*the*details*of*
their*circumstances.*No*area*of*the*letter*can*be*labeled*‘vague’.*All*areas*communi U
…ƒ–‡ÐŽ—‡�–Ž›ƒ�†‰‹˜‡–Š‡”‡ƒ†‡”ƒ…‘�’Ž‡–‡—�†‡”•–ƒ�†‹�‰‘ˆ–Š‡™”‹–‡”ï•’—”’‘•‡ä
z
speaker’s.*
Coherence%and%Cohesion
This*area*of*the*mark*refers*to*the*student’s*ability*to*write*in*a*manner*that*com U
�—�‹…ƒ–‡•ƒ�‡••ƒ‰‡ÐŽ—‡�–Ž›ä–—†‡�–•†‡�‘�•–”ƒ–‡–Š‹•–Š”‘—‰Š–Š‡—•‡‘ˆ‰‘‘†
writing*structure*and* cohesive%phrases.% Cohesive*phrases*are*the*linking*words*that*
join*ideas*on*a*sentence*and*paragraph*level*(you*will*learn*about*this*in*Chapter*
3.1).*
At*band*6,*the*message*that*the*student*wishes*to*convey*is*apparent,*but*their*use*

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
6
of*cohesive*devices*may*be*awkward*or*sound*robotic*or*unnatural.*Clarity*may*be*
an*issue*at*times,*and*the*examiner*may*need*to*reread*sentences*to*understand*
what*the*student*is*trying*to*say.
Band*7*students*will*display*effective*use*of*several*cohesive*devices.*Although*there*
may*be*some*slight*awkwardness*at*times*(due*to*poor*word*choices,*grammatical*
‹••—‡•‘”‹ŽŽ‘‰‹…ƒŽ•–”—…–—”‹�‰ ᄃ�†y™”‹–‹�‰…ƒ�„‡”‡ƒ†„›ƒ�ƒ–‹˜‡•’‡ƒ�‡”ÐŽ—‡�– U
Ž›ƒ�†™‹–Š‘—–‡š–‡�†‡†’ƒ—•‡•äŠ‡”‡•’‘�•‡–Š‡”‡ˆ‘”‡Šƒ•ƒÐŽ—‹†‹–›ƒ�†”Š›–Š�
not*present*at*the*band*6*level.
ƒ�†z•–—†‡�–••Š‘™ƒŽ�‘•–�‘‡””‘”‹�–Š‡‹”ƒ„‹Ž‹–›–‘ƒ••‡�„Ž‡á‘”‰ƒ�‹œ‡ƒ�†
present*logical*thoughts.*Their*writing*reads*almost*seamlessly*and*the*examiner*
™‹ŽŽЋ�†‹–‹�…”‡ƒ•‹�‰Ž›†‹ˆЋ…—Ž––‘†‹•–‹�‰—‹•Š–Š‡•–—†‡�–ï•™”‹–‹�‰ˆ”‘�–Šƒ–‘ˆƒ
native*English*speaker.
Lexical%Resources
Differences*can*be*seen*between*the*vocabulary*and*word*choices*of*band*6,*7*and*8*
students*on*Task*1*of*their*exam.
ƒ�†y•–—†‡�–•‡šŠ‹„‹–ƒ™‹†‡”—�†‡”•–ƒ�†‹�‰‘ˆ�‘”‡•’‡…‹ƒŽ‹œ‡†˜‘…ƒ„—Žƒ”›–Šƒ�
„ƒ�†xäƒ�†y•–—†‡�–•™‹ŽŽƒŽ•‘�ƒ�‡ˆ‡™‡”�‹•–ƒ�‡•ƒ�‘�‰–Š‡’”‡Ћšƒ�†•—ˆЋš
structures*they*decide*to*use*in*their*writing.*Minor*wording*errors*may*be*present,*
but*they*do*not*detract*from*the*reader’s*understanding*of*the*written*text.
ƒ�†z•–—†‡�–•ƒ”‡�‡š––‘ÐŽƒ™Ž‡••‹�–Š‡‹”™‘”†…Š‘‹…‡•ƒ�†™‘”†•–”—…–—”‡ä�›
rare*issues*that*do*arise*typically*affect*only*very*minor*word*types,*such*as*preposi U
tions.*
Grammar
There*are*clear*differences*between*the*grammatical*abilities*of*band*6,*7*and*8*
students.*Band*7*students*are*denoted*by*their*ability*to*construct*at*least*50%*of*
their*sentences*without*grammatical*issue.*This*quality*is*not*seen*at*the*band*6*
level.*Further,*the*grammatical*issues*that*band*7*students*have*are*not*so*severe*as*
to*detract*the*reader’s*understanding*of*the*written*text.
Band*8*students*exhibit*the*ability*to*write*grammatically*sound*sentences*almost*
100%*of*the*time.*Their*sentence*structures*do*not*need*to*be*overly*complicated,*
„—––Š‡›†‘�‡‡†–‘”‡ƒ†ÐŽ—‡�–Ž›ƒ�†—•‡ƒ’’”‘’”‹ƒ–‡–”ƒ�•‹–‹‘�’Š”ƒ•‡•™‹–Š‰”ƒ� U
matical*accuracy.


IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
7
Band Task& &
Achievement
Coherence&and&
Cohesion
Lexical& &
Resources
Grammar
9 Uindistinguish U
able*from*a*na U
tive*English*user
Uindistinguish U
able*from*a*na U
tive*English*user
Uindistinguish U
able*from*a*native*
English*user
Uindistinguish U
able*from*a*
native*English*
user
8 Uletter*delivers*
an*inUdepth*re U
sponse
Ucan*be*read*and*
understood*as*
though*it*were*
written*by*a*na U
tive*English*user
Ulogical*thoughts*
link*seamlessly
Urare*awkward U
ness*makes*
it*possible*to*
distinguish*from*
a*native*English*
user
惎�‘•–ÐŽƒ™Ž‡••
word*choices*and*
usage
Urare*issues*with*
minor*words*may*
be*apparent*
Ugrammatically*
accurate*sen U
tences*almost*
all*of*the*time
7 Ufully*addresses*
the*essay*ques U
tion*but*may*lack*
some*depth*in*
response
Udisplays*effec U
tive*use*of*several*
cohesive*devices
Uslight*awkward U
ness*is*present*at*
times
Umost*text*can*be*
understood*by*
examiner*with U
out*having*to*
reread
Uwriter*under U
stands*and*can*
—•‡•’‡…‹ƒŽ‹œ‡†
vocabulary
æ’”‡Ћšƒ�†•—ˆЋš
word*structures*
are*used*with*fair*
accuracy
Ugrammatically*
accurate*sen U
tences*at*least*
50%*of*the*time
6 Uanswers*all*
parts*of*the*ques U
tion*but*may*use*
inaccurate*details*
or*improper*tone
Ulacks*inUdepth*
response
Uwriter’s*message*
is*apparent
Ucohesive*devices*
sound*unnatural
Uexaminer*needs*
to*reread*parts*to*
fully*understand
Uregular*wording*
mistakes*are*seen
Uweakness*in*
•’‡…‹ƒŽ‹œ‡†˜‘ U
cabulary*use*is*
apparent
Ugrammatically*
accurate*sen U
tences*less*than*
50%*of*the*time

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
8
1.2*
U NDERSTANDIN G THE T ASK 1 QUESTION
General*Task*1*questions*are*made*up*of*3*different*parts*(please*see*below).*The*
Ћ”•–‹•—•—ƒŽŽ›s•‡�–‡�…‡Ž‘�‰ƒ�†‰‹˜‡••‘�‡„ƒ…�‰”‘—�†‹�ˆ‘”�ƒ–‹‘�‘�™Š›–Š‡
letter*is*being*written.*The*second*part*instructs*the*student*to*write*a*letter*and*
often*indicates*the*nature*and*tone*the*student*is*expected*to*display.*The*third*part*
‘ˆ–Š‡“—‡•–‹‘�•Šƒ”‡••’‡…‹Ћ…†‡–ƒ‹Ž•–Šƒ––Š‡•–—†‡�–�—•–‡Žƒ„‘”ƒ–‡—’‘�ä –‹•
important*that*the*student*completely*understands*each*section*of*the*question*to*
‡�•—”‡–Š‡‹”ƒ�•™‡”ˆ—ŽЋŽŽ•‹–’”‘’‡”Ž›ä
Even*though*your*question*may*be*on*any*number*of*topics,*you*will*most*likely*
need*to*write*one*of*the*following*six*letter*types:
1.%A%letter%of%request
2.%A%letter%of%condolence
3.%A%letter%of%appreciation
4.%A%letter%of%advice,%feedback%or%suggestion
5.%A%letter%of%apology
6.%A%letter%of%complaint
Although*a*common*letter*structure*is*used*to*respond*to*all*6*letter*types,*the*lexi U
cal*resources*and*tone*employed*in*each*varies*greatly.
Background*
info {
You%have%tickets%for%a%sports%event%but%won’t%be%able%to%
attend.
Instruction*
words {
Write%a%letter%to%a%friend%offering%them%the%tickets.%In%
your%letter,%include:
Letter* *
details {
 how%you%got%the%tickets
 why%you%can’t%attend
 why%you%think%your%friend%will%enjoy%the%event

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
9
1.3
T HE IMPORTANCE OF TONE
In*addition*to*letter*types,*it*is*important*your*letter*expresses*the*right*tone.*This*
will*be*based*entirely*on*the*relationship*you*have*with*the*person*you*are*writing*
to.*There*are*2*basic*tones*you*will*need*to*be*able*to*express*before*engaging*your*
exam:*formal*and*informal.
Although*entire*books*have*been*written*on*the*differences*between*formal*and*in U
ˆ‘”�ƒŽ�‰Ž‹•Šá–Š‡„ƒ•‹…•‘ˆ–Š‡•‡•–›Ž‡•…ƒ�„‡…‘�†‡�•‡†‹�–‘ƒˆ‡™•’‡…‹Ћ…“—ƒŽ‹ U
ties:
Formal&English Informal&English
Udoes*not*make*use*of*contractions*(i.e.*
can’t,*won’t,*haven’t)
Uavoids*colloquialisms*and*never*uses*
slang
Utaps*into*more*complicated*lexical*re U
sources*and*wording*styles
Uuses*passive*sentence*constructions,*
making*it*more*professional*and*less*
personal
Upermits*the*use*of*contractions
Udelivers*a*message*in*a*personal*tone*
and*often*uses*colloquialisms*to*do*so
Uuses*contextually*accurate*lexical*
resources*but*does*not*need*to*deliver*
these*in*an*overly*complicated*man U
ner
Uuses*more*active*sentence*construc U
tions
For*example,*if*you*were*the*manager*of*a*company*and*needed*to*write*a*letter*an U
nouncing*to*a*small*group*of*your*employees*that*they*were*going*to*lose*their*jobs,*
you*would*most*likely*write*a*letter*of*condolence*in*a*formal*tone.*However,*if*you*
were*writing*a*letter*to*a*friend*who*had*just*lost*a*loved*one,*your*letter*would*be*
consoling,*yet*informal.
So*to*illustrate*the*above*in*action,*let’s*say*that*we*were*asked*to*write*a*letter*to*a*
company*requesting*they*reissue*the*documentation*needed*for*one*of*their*prod U
ucts.*Look*at*the*two*manners*in*which*we*could*construct*the*opening*to*this*letter:

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
10
I am writing to request a reissue of the documentation that comes
with your GDX 93 model coffee maker. Please allow me to describe my
circumstances.
I*am*sure*it*is*clear*from*these*examples*that*instance*2*is*simply*too*informal*to*
be*used*in*a*letter*addressed*to*a*company.*Thus,*writing*in*this*manner*would*be*
detrimental*to*the*Task*Achievement*portion*of*a*student’s*mark.
Now*let’s*pretend*we*were*asked*to*write*a*letter*thanking*a*close*friend*for*a*party*
they*hosted*the*week*prior.*Look*at*the*following*examples*and*decide*which*open U
‹�‰™‘—Ž†„‡––‡”Ћ––Š‹•…‹”…—�•–ƒ�…‡ã
Sample&1
Please allow this letter to act as my gesture of thanks on behalf of my
wife and I for the lovely evening you hosted last week.
My wife and I would like to thank you for the wonderful party you threw
last week.
As*the*recipient*of*our*letter*is*a*friend,*we*want*our*words*to*be*affable*and*endear U
‹�‰áƒ�†–Š‹•‹•†‹ˆЋ…—Ž––‘ƒ……‘�’Ž‹•Š—•‹�‰–Š‡ˆ‘”�ƒŽ‡šƒ�’Ž‡sƒ„‘˜‡äŠ—•á–Š‡
friendlier*second*example*would*be*a*better*choice.
As*the*above*illustrates,*the*quality*of*your*tone*is*a*very*important*element*in*your*
letter*and*must*be*delivered*correctly*for*you*to*be*successful*on*the*exam.
I hope you and your team are doing well. You?ll never guess what hap -
pened to me the other day. I misplaced the documentation for my GDX
93 model coffee maker! I am writing to see if you would mind reissuing it
to me.
Sample&1
Sample&2
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
11
1.4
L ETTER STRUCTURE EXPLAINED
Although*the*purpose*and*tone*of*your*IELTS*letter*may*vary,*the*structure*you*will*
follow*will*not.*Because*letters*address*their*reader*directly,*they*are*structured*in*a*
�ƒ��‡”–Šƒ–ƒŽŽ‘™•–Š‡�–‘„‡‡š–”‡�‡Ž›…‘�…‹•‡™‹–Š‘—–•ƒ…”‹Ћ…‹�‰…‘—”–‡•›ä
…‘�’Ž‡–‡Ž‡––‡”Šƒ•Ћ˜‡’ƒ”–•ä‘—•Š‘—Ž†•�‹’ƒŽ‹�‡„‡–™‡‡�‡ƒ…Š–‘‡�•—”‡‹–‹•
…Ž‡ƒ”™Š‡”‡‘�‡’ƒ”–Ћ�‹•Š‡•ƒ�†ƒ�‘–Š‡”„‡‰‹�•äŠ‡Ћ˜‡’ƒ”–•‘ˆƒŽ‡––‡”ƒ”‡ã
1.%The%salutation
2.%The%statement%of%purpose
3.%The%situational%details
4.%The%statement%of%request
5.%The%farewell
1.*The*salutation*is*the*greeting*portion*of*the*letter.*On*the*IELTS*exam,*this*
portion*will*be*written*for*you.*Common*salutations*you*will*see*on*your*
exam*are:
To whom it may concern,
Dear Sir or Madam,
2.*The*statement*of*purpose*is*the*short*paragraph*that*you*will*write*to*tell*
your*reader*why*you*are*writing.*This*section*is*typically*only*1*or*2*sentenc U
es*long.
3.*The*situational*details*paragraph*is*the*portion*of*the*letter*where*you*will*
expand*and*explain*the*particulars*of*your*position*to*your*reader.
4.*The*statement*of*request*is*the*part*of*the*letter*where*you*declare*what*you*
hope*will*be*accomplished*as*a*result*of*your*writing.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
12
5.*The*farewell*is*the*few*words*you*write*to*close*your*letter.*Tailoring*your*
farewell*to*the*subject*of*your*letter*is*an*additional*way*to*demonstrate*your*
lexical*abilities*in*English*to*your*examiner.*Some*example*farewells*are:
Gratefully yours,
Looking forward to your response,
Give my regards to...
Best wishes,
All the best,
See you soon,

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
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To*demonstrate*these*parts*in*action,*please*look*at*the*following*letter:
•›‘—…ƒ�•‡‡á‡ƒ…Š‘ˆ–Š‡Ћ˜‡’ƒ”–•‘ˆ–Š‡Ž‡––‡”…ƒ””‹‡•‘—–ƒ•’‡…‹Ћ…Œ‘„䊇‡�†
result*is*a*cohesive*piece*of*work*that*delivers*a*message*in*a*concise*manner.
Regarding*length,*often*students*think*writing*extremely*long*responses*of*200*or*
more*words*is*a*strategy*that*will*impress*their*examiner.*This*is*not*the*case.*Being*
concise*and*demonstrating*to*your*examiner*that*you*can*express*yourself*com U
pletely*in*very*few*words*is*a*better*display*of*your*English*mastery.*Thus,*in*the*
lead*up*to*your*exam,*practice*writing*in*a*manner*that*produces*responses*of*150*
to*170*words.*This*strategy*will*also*help*you*conserve*time.
Part*1 { Dear Sir/Madam,
Part*2
{
I am a third year history student and am writing to you
regarding a problem I regularly encounter when I visit the
assignment submission desk in the Lorne Building.
Part*3
{
Although the Lorne Building is a beautiful and historical
campus landmark, it does not provide access to disabled
students.! As the assignment submission desk is on
the ninth floor of the building, my classmate, who is in a
wheelchair, is unable to access it.! This means that when -
ever he wishes to hand in an assignment, he must request
a classmate do it for him.! This, as I am sure you can
understand, is both tedious and embarrassing for him.
Part*4
{
My friend is much too proud to contact you directly,
so I am writing on his behalf.! I am requesting that you
promptly alter this building in a manner that allows
disabled students to access college resources as con -
veniently as everyone else.! Perhaps this could best be
accomplished through the installation of an elevator.
Part*5
{
I look forward to hearing back from you soon,
Ryan

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
14
2.1
L ETTERS OF REQUEST
In*this*chapter,*we*are*going*to*look*at*the*6*major*letters*types*that*appear*on*the*
IELTS*exam*and*talk*about*wording*choices*you*can*use*in*each*instance.*We*will*
ƒŽ•‘™”‹–‡•ƒ�’Ž‡Ž‡––‡”•ˆ‘”‡ƒ…ŠŽ‡––‡”–›’‡ƒ�†ƒ�ƒŽ›œ‡Š‘™–Š‡•‡•ƒ�’Ž‡•ˆ—ŽЋŽŽ
what*the*examiner*is*expecting.*Where*applicable,*demonstrations*of*tonal*differ U
ences*will*be*given.
Let’s*start*with*letters*of*request.*Letters*of*request*require*that*the*writer*asks*the*
recipient*carrry*out*a*task*or*favour.*In*this*section,*we*are*going*to*use*the*following*
mock*exam*questions:
Question&1
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
You&are&travelling&and&need&someone&to&do&you&a&favour&while&
you&are&gone.&Write&a&letter&asking&a&neighbour&or&friend&for&
help.&In&your&letter&include:
 where*you*are*going
 what*the*favour*is
 why*you*need*this*friend*to*help*
Question&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
15
Following*your*salutation,*your*letter*will*begin*with*a*statement*outlining*the*sub U
ject*of*the*request.*The*tone*of*this*statement*may*vary*depending*upon*the*nature*
‘ˆ–Š‡Ž‡––‡”ä•‘—”Ћ”•–�‘…�‡šƒ�“—‡•–‹‘�”‡“—‹”‡•—•–‘™”‹–‡–‘ƒ…‘�’ƒ�›á™‡
are*going*to*use*a*formal*tone.*Our*second*question*will*be*responded*to*in*an*infor U
mal*tone,*as*it*is*addressed*to*a*neighbour.
Sample&1
I am writing to you to request you refund a recent online purchase I have
made from your company. Allow me to elaborate on exactly why I would
like this course of action to be realized.
As*you*can*see*from*the*above,*both*the*formal*and*informal*letter*styles*will*state*
–Š‡‰‡�‡”ƒŽ”‡ƒ•‘�™Š›–Š‡Ž‡––‡”‹•„‡‹�‰™”‹––‡�䇋–Š‡”ኑ™‡˜‡”á•Šƒ”‡•’‡…‹Ћ…
information*regarding*the*request.*This*information*is*shared*in*the* situational%de 9
tails% part*of*the*letter.
Typically,*your*IELTS*Task*1*question*will*give*you*some*information*you*can*use*for*
the*situational*details*section*of*the*letter,*but*most*of*this*portion*is*going*to*re U
quire*you*be*creative.*Take*the*following*responses,*for*example:
Sample&1
I purchased a new tablet computer from your website last month to give
to a friend of mine for his birthday. Unfortunately, it appears that he
already has the same tablet computer in his office and thus has no need
for the one I bought for him. I hope you can empathize with my situation.
Having a tablet of my own, I really have no need for the item I purchased
from you.
I hope this letter finds you in good health. I am writing to see if I could
ask a favour. Please allow me to elaborate on my situation.
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
16
As*you*can*see,*the*above*paragraphs*spell*out*exactly*what*the*nature*of*the*request*
is*and*do*so*at*a*level*of*detail*much*deeper*than*that*found*in*the*opening*para U
graph.
All*that*is*left*now*is*to*write*our*statement*of*request*outlining*exactly*what*we*
want*from*the*recipient*of*the*letter.
Sample&1
Thus, I would like to return this item to you for a refund. From your web -
site I understand that if I return the item by mail to you within 60 days
of the purchase date, I can expect to have my account credited for the
full purchase price.
‘�‡Ћ––‹�‰ˆƒ”‡™‡ŽŽ•–‘–Š‡•‡Ž‡––‡”•…‘—Ž†„‡–Š‡ˆ‘ŽŽ‘™‹�‰ã
Gratefully yours,
Thanking you kindly,
Yo u r h e l p g r e a t l y a p p r e c i a t e d ,
I was hoping you wouldn?t mind putting Tiger up for 3 nights at your
place. I know I am not giving you much notice, but the whole situation
has really taken us by surprise. I would be so grateful if you could help
my wife and I out with this problem.
Sample&2
You see, my wife and I are planning to travel next week and have just
found out we won?t be able to bring our dog, Tiger, with us. Although we
were expecting to take him along, arranging his shots and airfare has
turned out to be way more expensive than we were anticipating. The trip
is a surprise gift from my wife?s father, and we only received news of it
yesterday. Thus, we did not have the time we needed to arrange proper
accommodation for Tiger.
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
17
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to you to request you refund a recent online purchase I have
made from your company. Allow me to elaborate on exactly why I would
like this course of action to be realized.
I purchased a new tablet computer from your website last month to give
to a friend of mine for his birthday. Unfortunately, it appears that he
already has the same tablet computer in his office and thus has no need
for the one I bought for him. I hope you can empathize with my situation.
Having a tablet of my own, I really have no need for the item I purchased
from you.
Thus, I would like to return this item to you for a refund. From your web -
site I understand that if I send the item by mail to you within 60 days
of the purchase date, I can expect to have my account credited for the
full purchase price.
Gratefully yours,
Ryan
Let’s*read*the*2*letters*in*their*entirety.*Please*note*the*manner*in*which*the*tone*
changes*for*each:
Sample&1

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
18
Dear Sir/Madam,
I hope this letter finds you in good health. I am writing to see if I could
ask a favour. Please allow me to elaborate on my situation.
You see, my wife and I are planning to travel next week and have just
found out we won?t be able to bring our dog, Tiger, with us. Although we
were expecting to take him along, arranging his shots and airfare has
turned out to be way more expensive than we were anticipating. The trip
is a surprise gift from my wife?s father, and we only received news of it
yesterday. Thus, we did not have the time we needed to arrange proper
accommodation for Tiger.
I was hoping you wouldn?t mind putting Tiger up for 3 nights at your
place. I know I am not giving you much notice, but the whole situation
has really taken us by surprise. I would be so grateful if you could help
my wife and I out with this problem.
Thanking you kindly,
Ryan
Can*you*see*how*the*letter’s*tone*remains*consistent*throughout?*Can*you*see*how*
–Š‡Ž‡––‡”ˆ—ŽЋŽŽ•ƒŽŽ’‘”–‹‘�•‘ˆ–Š‡“—‡•–‹‘�™‹–Š‘—–‰‘‹�‰‘—–‘�—��‡…‡••ƒ”›–ƒ� U
‰‡�–•ëŠ‡•‡ƒ”‡–Š‡•‘”–•‘ˆ“—ƒŽ‹–‹‡•Ћ�‹•Š‡†Ž‡––‡”••Š‘—Ž†Šƒ˜‡ä
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
19
2.2
L ETTERS OF COMPLAINT
Receiving*an*IELTS*Task*1*question*requiring*you*to*make*a*complaint*is*not*un U
likely.*In*this*situation,*your*language*needs*to*be*more*forceful*and*you*will*need*to*
ƒ••‡••–Š‡•‹–—ƒ–‹‘�ƒ�††‡�ƒ�†Œ—•–‹Ћ…ƒ–‹‘�ä›’‹…ƒŽŽ›á›‘—”Ž‡––‡”‘ˆ…‘�’Žƒ‹�–™‹ŽŽ
„‡ƒ††”‡••‡†–‘•‘�‡‘”‰ƒ�‹œƒ–‹‘�ƒŽ„‘†›áƒ�†–Š—•›‘—”Žƒ�‰—ƒ‰‡•Š‘—Ž†”‡�ƒ‹�
completely*formal.*Even*in*the*event*you*are*asked*to*write*a*letter*of*complaint*to*a*
neighbour,*your*language*should*remain*formal.
Let’s*use*the*following*question*throughout*this*chapter*to*demonstrate:
Question&1
Write&a&letter&of&complaint&to&a&company&outlining&a&problem&
you&had&while&visiting&one&of&their&stores.&In&your&letter&include:
 what*the*problem*was
 why*this*problem*has*upset*you
 what*you*want*to*happen*as*a*result*of*your*letter*
When*starting*your*letter,*be*sure*to*outline*exactly*what*it*is*you*are*complaining*
about:
I feel the need to bring to your attention an issue I have with the manner
in which you stage your products. Allow me to elaborate.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
20
To*conclude*our*letter,*we*need*to*state*with*strength*what*changes*we*want*to*
come*about*as*a*result*of*the*letter.*This*section*should*be*both*concise*and*curt*to*
‹�†‹…ƒ–‡‘—”†‹•ƒ’’‘‹�–�‡�–™‹–Š–Š‡”‡…‡‹˜‡”ƒ�†‘—”†‡�ƒ�†ˆ‘””‡…–‹Ћ…ƒ–‹‘�‘ˆ
the*situation:
Now*that*we*have*stated*the*purpose*of*our*letter,*we*can*go*into*detail.*Remember*
that*you*need*to*be*creative*in*this*section,*so*inventing*certain*data*is*required:
Last week, while shopping at your west end location, I noticed that
your center was playing an extremely graphic movie to demonstrate the
visual capabilities of a new television model. The day I was in your store,
my children were exposed to the violence you allowed to be screened. I
am aware children are not your company?s target market, but you have
to acknowledge that they do visit your stores regularly with their par -
ents.
I trust you can empathize with my situation. Thus, I am expecting you to
take immediate action by changing the material you use in your dis -
plays. I am also expecting you to reprimand the members of your team
responsible for allowing such an oversight to happen.
To*sign*off,*the*writer*should*employ*a*phrase*that*pushes*the*receiver*for*action.*
The*following*are*a*few*suggestions:
Expecting your prompt action,
Yo u r t i m e l y a t t e n t i o n t o t h i s m a t t e r i s n e e d e d ,
Immediate response required,

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
21
In*its*entirety,*the*letter*reads:
Dear Sir/Madam,
I feel the need to bring to your attention an issue I have with the manner
in which you stage your products. Allow me to elaborate.
Last week, while shopping at your west end location, I noticed that your
center was playing an extremely graphic movie to demonstrate the
visual capabilities of a new television model. The day I was in your store,
my children were exposed to the violence you allowed to be screened. I
am aware children are not your company?s target market, but you have
to acknowledge that they do visit your stores regularly with their
parents.
I trust you can empathize with my situation. Thus, I am expecting you to
take immediate action by changing the material you use in your dis -
plays. I am also expecting you to reprimand the members of your team
responsible for allowing such an oversight to happen.
Yo u r t i m e l y a t t e n t i o n t o t h i s m a t t e r i s n e e d e d ,
Ryan

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
22
2.3
L ETTERS OF CONDOLENCE
Writing*a*letter*of*condolence*must*be*approached*with*care,*as*the*recipient*of*the*
letter*is*in*a*fragile*state.*The*utmost*sensitivity*needs*to*be*employed;*improper*
wording*could*lead*to*a*letter*that*does*more*harm*than*good.*For*this*section,*we*
will*use*the*following*Task*1*question:
I would like to express my deepest condolences to you and your family
at this time. I am so grieved by this loss and hope this letter offers you
some comfort.
A&pet&belonging&to&a&friend&of&yours&recently&passed&away.&Write&
a&letter&to&console&your&friend.&In&your&letter&include:
 your*condolences
 what*kind*of*animal*it*was
 something*you*think*will*raise*your*friend’s*spirits
Keep*in*mind*that*a*letter*of*condolence*is*written*to*a*person*who*has*recently*
experienced*an*upsetting*event,*such*as*losing*a*treasured*family*heirloom*or*failing*
–‘ˆ—ŽЋŽŽƒ†”‡ƒ�䊇�™”‹–‹�‰–‘•—…Šƒ’‡”•‘�á‹–‹•‹�’‘”–ƒ�––‘•–ƒ–‡…Ž‡ƒ”Ž›–Š‡
grief*you*are*experiencing*on*their*behalf*and*that*the*sole*purpose*of*your*letter*
‹•–‘”‡…‘‰�‹œ‡–Š‡‹”’ƒ‹�ƒ�†Š‡Ž’–Š‡�…‘’‡™‹–Š‹–䊗•á„‡‰‹��‹�‰•—…ŠƒŽ‡––‡”
with*the*following*works*nicely:

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
23
Following*this,*it*is*a*good*idea*to*present*some*details*that*may*help*the*letter’s*re U
ceiver*deal*with*their*situation.*These*details*are*typically*a*select*few*positive*traits*
of*the*lost*entity*in*question:
I want to share with you some fond memories I have of your dog, Misty.
I recall first meeting him in the park and being struck by how obedient
he was and how warmly he acted towards strangers. I know how protec -
tive he was of your family and how gently he treated your children. You
should feel proud of the manner and temperament you bestowed upon
him through your training.
Following*this,*we*need*to*include*what*we*hope*comes*as*a*result*of*this*letter:
I hope the memories I have recanted above bring some comfort to you
and your family. Misty was a great dog, and I do not believe any of us will
ever forget him, nor the happiness he brought to all of those around him.
Š‡Ћ�ƒŽ–‘—…Š‹•ƒ…‘�ˆ‘”–‹�‰•‹‰�‘ˆˆã
Yo u r f r i e n d a l w a y s ,
Remembering Misty,

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
24
—––‹�‰–Š‡•‡•‡…–‹‘�•–‘‰‡–Š‡”‰‹˜‡•—•‘—”Ћ�ƒŽ‹œ‡†…‘�’‘•‹–‹‘�ã
Dear Mary,
I would like to express my deepest condolences to you and your family
at this time. I am so grieved by this loss and hope this letter offers you
some comfort.
I want to share with you some fond memories I have of your dog, Misty.
I recall first meeting him in the park and being struck by how obedient
he was and how warmly he acted towards strangers. I know how protec -
tive he was of your family and how gently he treated your children. You
should feel proud of the manner and temperament you bestowed upon
him through your training.
I hope the memories I have recanted above bring some comfort to you
and your family. Misty was a great dog, and I do not believe any of us will
ever forget him, nor the happiness he brought to all of those around him.
Yo u r f r i e n d a l w a y s ,
Ryan

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
25
2.4
L ETTERS OF APPRECIATION
A*common*letter*type*seen*on*the*IELTS*is*the*letter*of*appreciation.*Like*some*of*
the*other*letter*types,*this*message*can*be*delivered*in*either*a*formal*or*informal*
tone.*To*demonstrate*both*scenarios,*we*will*look*at*the*following*sample*questions:
Question&1
You&were&recently&impressed&by&a&staff&member&at&a&store.&
Write&a&letter&describing&your&appreciation.&In&your&letter&in P
clude:
 what*the*situation*was
 how*you*were*helped
 what*you*are*going*to*do*as*a*result*of*this*good*experience
You&recently&took&a&trip.&In&your&absence,&a&friend&did&you&a&big&
favour.&Write&a&letter&thanking&them.&In&your&letter&include:
 what*the*favour*was
 how*this*favour*helped*you
 an*offer*of*compensation
Question&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
26
I am writing to you to express my appreciation for the extra effort
exhibited by one of your staff. Their attention to my needs improved my
experience with your company tremendously. Allow me to elaborate on
what happened.
Following*this*introduction,*details*of*the*situation*are*presented:
Sample&1
After boarding BrightAir flight BA10X2, I realized I had left one of
my carry on bags in the terminal. As our plane was still at the gate, I
notified flight attendant Cathy Burke. Ms. Burke immediately dashed
off the plane to retrieve my lost luggage. I was astonished and pleas -
antly surprised by her concern for my well-being, and I wanted to let you
know that she is a member of your team who makes a difference to your
customers.
Letters*of*appreciation*start*with*a*paragraph*outlining*what*exactly*is*being*recog U
�‹œ‡†ã
Sample&1
I want to let you know just how much I appreciate your looking after
Kara during my trip to Finland. I?m not sure how much you realize you
have helped me.
As I have told you before, this past year has been very difficult for me.
Being a single parent, it is particularly challenging trying to juggle a
demanding career with a child in need of supervision. When I received
notice that I would need to take a professional trip to our Scandinavian
headquarters, I wasn?t sure who I could ask to look after my daughter.
Yo u t h a n k f u l l y c a m e t o m y r e s c u e . K a r a e x p r e s s e d h o w m u c h s h e e n -
joyed her time with you, too. You don?t know how much it pleased me to
return to a happy child!
Sample&2
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
27

Sample&1
Yo u r l o y a l c u s t o m e r,
Gratefully yours,
�†Œ—•–Ž‹�‡‹�‘—”‘–Š‡”…‘�’‘•‹–‹‘�•á™‡Ћ�‹•Š‘—”Ž‡––‡”‘ˆƒ’’”‡…‹ƒ–‹‘�™‹–Š
what*we*would*like*to*see*happen*as*a*result*of*our*writing.
Sample&1
I hope my letter highlights to you the heightened people skills Ms.
Burke brings to your organization. Because of her actions, I will surely
fly your airline again and recommend it to all of my friends.
Please let me know if there is some way I can repay you for the kindness
you have offered me. Your act of generosity has made such an impres -
sion.
Sample&2
Thanking you again,
Your friend,
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
28
Let’s*look*at*both*letters*in*their*entirety:
Sample&1
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to you to express my appreciation for the extra effort
exhibited by one of your staff. Their attention to my needs improved my
experience with your company tremendously. Allow me to elaborate on
what happened.
Basically, after boarding BrightAir flight BA10X2, I realized I had left
one of my carry on bags in the terminal. As our plane was still at the
gate, I notified flight attendant Cathy Burke. Ms. Burke immediately
dashed off the plane to retrieve my lost luggage. I was astonished and
pleasantly surprised by her concern for my well-being, and I wanted to
let you know that she is a member of your team who makes a difference
to your customers.
I hope my letter highlights to you the heightened people skills Ms. Burke
brings to your organization. Because of her actions, I will surely fly your
airline again and recommend it to all of my friends.
Yo u r l o y a l c u s t o m e r,
Ryan

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
29
Dear Harold,
I want to let you know just how much I appreciate you looking after Kara
during my trip to Finland. I?m not sure how much you realize you have
helped me.
As I have told you before, this past year has been very difficult for me.
Being a single parent, it is particularly challenging trying to juggle a
demanding career with a child in need of supervision. When I received
notice that I would need to take a professional trip to our Scandinavian
headquarters, I wasn?t sure whom I could ask to look after my daughter.
Yo u t h a n k f u l l y c a m e t o m y r e s c u e . K a r a e x p r e s s e d h o w m u c h s h e e n -
joyed her time with you, too. You don?t know how much it pleases me to
return to a happy child!
Please let me know if there is some way I can repay you for the kindness
you have offered me. Your act of generosity has made such an impres -
sion.
Yo u r f r i e n d ,
Ryan
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
30
2.5*
L ETTERS OF ADVICE , FEEDBACK
AND SU GG ESTIONS
‡––‡”•‘ˆ–Š‹••‘”–ƒ”‡–›’‹…ƒŽŽ›™”‹––‡�–‘‘”‰ƒ�‹œƒ–‹‘�•áƒ�†–Š—••Š‘—Ž†„‡…‘� U
posed*in*a*formal*tone.*For*the*purpose*of*this*section,*we*will*use*the*following:
I am writing to you to outline an area I feel the Ottawa Public Library
could improve. Please allow me to explain.
Write&a&letter&to&your&local&library&suggesting&something&they&
could&do&to&improve&their&facility.&In&your&letter&include:
 a*recount*of*a*poor*experience*you*had*
 what*you*feel*the*library*should*change
 why*you*feel*the*library*needs*alteration
The*opening*paragraph*should*mark*what*the*nature*of*your*suggestion*is:

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
31
To*conclude*our*letter,*we*state*what*outcome*we*expect*our*message*to*bring.*As*
our*letter*is*only*a*suggestion,*we*would*not*use*overly*forceful*language*here:
I am sure that I would not be the only one who would appreciate your
library reorganizing its texts to allow for more standardized browsing
by its patrons. Thus, I hope you will consider my suggestion and make
the necessary changes.
Our*farewell*should*be*polite:
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Thanking you in advance,
Following*this,*you*should*speak*about*the*details*of*your*advice.*As*usual,*this*will*
likely*involve*a*bit*of*creativity*on*your*part*to*expand*upon*the*situational*basis*you*
have*been*given*in*your*IELTS*Task*1*question.
While perusing titles in the library this past weekend, I could not help
but notice the awkward manner in which various sections are organized.
For example, all texts in the multimedia lab are classified by author,
while the remaining sections of the library are categorized by title. As
you can imagine, this made it extremely difficult for me to track down
all the titles I was looking for, as I constantly had to shift my think -
ing from one categorical system to another. I cannot imagine why the
resources are organized in this way.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
32
Let’s*look*at*the*letter*in*its*entirety:
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to you to outline an area I feel the Ottawa Public Library
could improve. Please allow me to explain.
While perusing titles in the library this past weekend, I could not help
but notice the awkward manner in which various sections are organized.
For example, all texts in the multimedia lab are classified by author,
while the remaining sections of the library are categorized by title. As
you can imagine, this made it extremely difficult for me to track down
all the titles I was looking for as I constantly had to shift my think -
ing from one categorical system to another. I cannot imagine why the
resources are organized in this way.
I am sure that I would not be the only one who would appreciate your
library reorganizing its texts to allow for more standardized browsing
by its patrons. Thus, I hope you will consider my suggestion and make
the necessary changes.
Thanking you in advance,
Ryan

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
33
2.6*
L ETTERS OF APOLO G Y
•–Š‹••‘”–‘ˆŽ‡––‡”‹•–›’‹…ƒŽŽ›ƒ††”‡••‡†–‘ƒ�‹�†‹˜‹†—ƒŽ‘”ƒ�‘”‰ƒ�‹œƒ–‹‘�á–Š‹•
instance*is*once*again*one*where*you*will*have*to*judge*your*question*before*decid U
ing*upon*what*tone*to*use*in*your*writing.
s
Question&1
You&were&absent&from&an&important&event&held&by&the&company&
you&work&for.&Write&a&letter&to&apologize&for&this&absence.&Your&
letter&should&include:
 what*the*event*was
 why*the*event*was*important
 why*you*were*absent
Your&friend&invited&you&to&his/her&birthday&party,&but&you&were&
unable&to&attend.&Write&a&letter&apologizing&for&your&absence.&In&
your&letter:
 state*why*you*could*not*go
 explain*your*reason*for*not*contacting*your*friend*sooner
 suggest*another*time*to*meet
Question&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
34
As*with*the*other*letters,*we*start*with*a*statement*of*purpose:
Sample&1
I would like to formally apologize for my absence at the annual company
retreat this past week. Please allow me to elaborate on why I was not
present.

Sample&1
I am completely aware of the healthy teambuilding effects these re -
treats provide us at ActiveCorp, and I truly would not have missed it for
anything. However, I was faced with a medical emergency. You see, my
appendix ruptured on the day of the retreat. I was immediately rushed to
hospital and operated upon within the hour. It was for this reason that
I could not contact you to tell you of my plight. Please do not be con -
cerned about my condition. The surgery went very well and I am currently
in recovery.
I am writing to express how sorry I am for missing your birthday party
last night. Please let me explain what happened.
As you know, I would not have missed your party for anything. Unfortu -
nately, however, my wife, Kathy, started to feel ill right before we were
about to leave for your place. I would have called to explain the situation
to you, but we are in the middle of changing our mobile service providers
and have not yet been issued new numbers. Simply put, it was an un -
fortunate coincidence. Please do not worry about Kathy. She is feeling
much better now.
Sample&2
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
35
The*statement*of*request*closes*the*letter:
Sample&1
I hope you can grasp the severity of the situation I experienced. I will
back be in office this Thursday and will, of course, be present for all
future workshops.
Farewells*should*be*made*politely:
Sample&1
I heard your party was memorable, and I really wish my wife and I could
have made it. Kathy and I would like to take you out for dinner instead.
Please get back to me with a suggested date.
Thanking you for your understanding,
Hope to see you soon,
Sample&2
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
36
Dear Sir or Madam,
I would like to formally apologize for my absence at the annual company
retreat this past week. Please allow me to elaborate on why I was not
present.
I am completely aware of the healthy teambuilding effects these re -
treats provide us at ActiveCorp, and I truly would not have missed it for
anything. However, I was faced with a medical emergency. You see, my
appendix ruptured on the day of the retreat. I was immediately rushed
to hospital and operated upon within the hour. It was for this reason
that I could not contact you to tell you of my plight. Please do not be
concerned about my condition. The surgery went very well and I am cur -
rently in recovery.
I hope you can grasp the severity of the situation I experienced. I will
back be in office this Thursday and will, of course, be present for all
future workshops.
Thanking you for your understanding,
Ryan
Now*let’s*pull*these*sections*together.*Please*notice*how*the*different*sections*of*
these*letters*work*together:
Sample&1

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
37
Dear Ivan,
I am writing to express how sorry I am for missing your birthday party
last night. Please let me explain what happened.
As you know, I would not have missed your party for anything. Unfortu -
nately, however, my wife, Kathy, started to feel ill right before we were
about to leave for your place. I would have called to explain the situation
to you, but we are in the middle of changing our mobile service providers
and have not yet been issued new numbers. Simply put, it was an un -
fortunate coincidence. Please do not worry about Kathy. She is feeling
much better now.
I heard your party was memorable, and I really wish my wife and I could
have made it. Kathy and I would like to take you out for dinner instead.
Please get back to me with a suggested date.
Hope to see you soon,
Ryan
Sample&2

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
38
3.1
T HE IMPORTANCE OF COHERENCE AND COHESION
As*you*learned*in*section*1.1,*a*fourth*of*your*Task*1*mark*will*be*based*upon*how*
well*you*demonstrate* coherence *and* cohesion *in*your*letter.* Coherence *is*the*logical*
ordering*of*words*allowing*the*reader*to*understand*the*written*piece*with*ease.* Co 9
hesion *is*the*linking*of*ideas*in*a*manner*that*creates*clear*relationships*and*logical*
progressions*between*them.
Coherence*in*writing*is*achieved*when*a*student*presents*sound*grammar,*lexical*
resources*and*logical*progression.*Cohesion*can*be*established*through*the*use*of*
cohesive%phrases .*Cohesive%phrases *are*word*groupings*that*link*the*ideas*in*the*com U
position*together.*To*demonstrate*these*cohesive*phrases*in*action,*let’s*highlight*
them*in*one*of*the*letters*we*wrote:

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
39
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to you to express my appreciation for the extra effort
exhibited by one of your staff. Their attention to my needs improved my
experience with your company tremendously. Allow me to elaborate on
what happened.
Basically, after boarding BrightAir flight BA10X2, I realized I had left
one of my carry on bags in the terminal. As our plane was still at the
gate, I notified flight attendant Cathy Burke. Ms. Burke immediately
dashed off the plane to retrieve my lost luggage. I was astonished and
pleasantly surprised by her concern for my well-being, and I wanted to
let you know that she is a member of your team who makes a difference
to your customers.
I hope my letter highlights to you the heightened people skills Ms.
Burke brings to your organization. Because of her actions , I will surely
fly your airline again and recommend it to all of my friends.
Yo u r l o y a l c u s t o m e r,
Ryan
Can*you*see*how*these*highlighted*phrases*tie*ideas*between*sentences*and*para U
‰”ƒ’Š•ë‡…ƒ—•‡‘ˆ–Š‡�á�‘•‡�–‡�…‡‹•‹•‘Žƒ–‡†äŽŽ•‡�–‡�…‡•…‘��‡…–‹�ƒÐŽ—‡�–
stream*of*thought*and*work*towards*communicating*a*common*message.*Thus,*
cohesion*encourages*readability*and*is*a*necessary*trait*of*all*higher*IELTS*band*
compositions.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
40
4.1
T RY IT YOURSELF !
 U
lowing*question,*identify*the*type*of*letter*you*should*write*and*the*tone*and*then*
commence*your*message.
Something%in%an%airport%delayed%you%and%you%have%missed%your%
ÔŽ‹‰Š–ä  ƒŽ‡––‡” –‘ –Š‡ ƒ‹”’‘”–ï• …—•–‘�‡” •‡”˜‹…‡ †‡’ƒ”– O
ment.%In%your%letter%include:
 what*delayed*you
 Š‘™�‹••‹�‰–Š‹•ÐŽ‹‰Š–ƒˆˆ‡…–‡†›‘—
 what*you*would*like*the*airport*to*do*about*this*issue
Dear%Sir/Madam,
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
41
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
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IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
42
Try*again.
You%missed%an%appointment.%Write%a%letter%explaining%what%hap O
pened.%In%your%letter%include:
 what*the*appointment*was
 a*apology*for*missing*the*appointment
 a*request*to*reschedule
Dear%Sir/Madam,
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
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IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
43
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
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IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
44
Try*one*more*time.
You%have%a%suggestion%for%a%park%nearby%where%you%live.%Write%a%
letter%to%your%city’s%council.%In%your%letter%include:
 what*your*suggestion*is
 why*you*think*this*suggestion*will*improve*the*park
 when*you*would*like*to*see*this*suggestion*in*action
Dear%Sir/Madam,
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
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IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
45
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
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IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
46
5.1
F REQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RE G ARDIN G
T ASK 1 OF THE G ENERAL M ODULE IELTS
Q: % Should%I%print%or%write%in%cursive%on%the%exam?
A: ‹–Š‡”‹•Ћ�‡á•‘Ž‘�‰ƒ•›‘—™”‹–‡Ž‡‰‹„Ž›ƒ�†ˆ‘ŽŽ‘™’”‘’‡””—Ž‡•ˆ‘”…ƒ’‹ U
–ƒŽ‹œƒ–‹‘�ä
Q: How%much%time%should%I%allot%to%Task%1?
A: You*should*complete*your*Task*1*writing*in*18*minutes,*leaving*2*minutes*
for*review*before*moving*on*to*Task*2.
Q: Should%I%skip%lines%as%I%write?
A: Skip*a*line*only*between*paragraphs.
Q: ‘ �‡‡†–‘‹�†‡�––Š‡Ô‹”•–Ž‹�‡‘ˆ‡ƒ…Š‘ˆ�›’ƒ”ƒ‰”ƒ’Š•ë
A: No,*you*do*not.
Q: Šƒ–‹•–Š‡ˆƒ•–‡•–™ƒ›–‘‹�’”‘˜‡�›™”‹–‹�‰ë
A: The*absolute*fastest*way*is*to*get*an*IELTS*instructor*to*correct*your*writ U
ing.*This*person*can*tell*you*exactly*what*you*need*to*change*to*improve.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
47
Q: I%have%read%that%students%need%to%demonstrate%complex%sentence%structures%to%
score%well%on%the%exam.%Is%this%true?
A: Students*often*confuse* complex%sentence%structures *with* Ž‘�‰ sentences .*
To*score*well*on*the*exam,*keep*your*sentences*short,*grammatically*accurate*
and*concise.*Doing*this*and*linking*your*sentences*effectively*using*cohesive*
phrases*will*give*your*writing*the*complexity*it*needs*to*score*well.*Do*not*
make*the*mistake*of*writing*extremely*long*sentences*in*an*effort*to*impress*
your*examiner.*This*strategy*will*likely*result*in*additional*grammatical*er U
rors,*lexical*issues*and*awkward*word*groupings.
Q: Šƒ–•Š‘—Ž† †‘‹ˆxv�‹�—–‡•‰‘„›ƒ�† Šƒ˜‡�ï–Ô‹�‹•Š‡†�›ƒ•�w”‡•’‘�•‡ë
A: If*you*have*prepared*properly*this*should*never*happen.*In*the*event*that*
it*does,*conclude*your*letter*as*quickly*as*you*can*and*move*on*to*Task*2.*
Task*2*makes*up*roughly*two*thirds*of*your*mark,*so*you*must*be*sure*to*allot*
it*priority*over*Task*1.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
48
6.1
R EVIEW WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED IN THIS BOOK

What*are*the*4*broad*categories*your*examiner*will*use*to*grade*your*Task*1*re U
sponse?
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
Name*3*characteristics*of*formal*writing.
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
What*are*the*5*parts*of*a*well*structured*letter?
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
49
Write*a*plausible*farewell*for*a*letter*of*complaint?*(Answer*will*vary.)
________________________________________________________________________________________
What*is*cohesion?
________________________________________________________________________________________
How*much*time*should*be*allotted*to*complete*Task*1?
________________________________________________________________________________________

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
50
6.2
R EVIEW WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED IN THIS BOOK
(A NSWERS )

What*are*the*4*broad*categories*your*examiner*will*use*to*grade*your*Task*1*re U
sponse?
Task&Achievement
Coherence&and&Cohesion
Lexical&Resources
Grammar
Name*3*characteristics*of*formal*writing.
Contractions&are¬&used.
Colloquialisms&are&employed&less&frequently.
Messages&are&delivered&using&passive&writing.
More&complicated&lexical&resources&are&used.
What*are*the*5*parts*of*a*well*structured*letter?
The&salutation
The&statement&of&purpose
The&situational&details
The&statement&of&request
The&farewell

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
51
Write*a*plausible*farewell*for*a*letter*of*complaint?*(Answer*will*vary.)
Expecting&prompt&action,
Your&attention&to&this&matter&is&necessary,
Timely&response&required,
What*is*cohesion?
Cohesion&is&the&linking&of&ideas&in&a&manner&that&creates&clear&relation P
ships&and&logical&progressions&between&them.
How*much*time*should*be*allotted*to*complete*Task*1?
18&minutes&should&be&allotted&to&complete&the&letter&and&2&minutes&
should&be&allotted&for&review.

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&9&level
52
You?ve maximized your score on Task 1,
now do the same for Task 2!
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Task 2:
How to write
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ieltswritingblog.com
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INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM
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HOW TO WRITE AT A BAND 9 LEVEL

IELTS&General&Task&1:&How&to&write&at&a&band&9&level
53
A BOUT THE AUTHOR
Born*and*raised*in*Ottawa,*Ontario,*
Canada,*Ryan*began*his*teaching*career*
tutoring*English*to*newly*arrived*Canadian*
‹��‹‰”ƒ�–•äˆ–‡”Ћ�‹•Š‹�‰—�‹˜‡”•‹–›áŠ‡
relocated*to*Dubai*in*the*summer*of*2005*
and*started*teaching*IELTS*essay*writing*at*
a*number*of*international*universities.*His*
work*with*many*students*in*preparation*
ˆ‘”–Š‡‹” ‡šƒ�•Ž‡†Š‹�–‘”‡ƒŽ‹œ‡–Šƒ–
there*were*very*few*quality*IELTS*writing*
resources*available*free*of*charge*online.*With*some*encouragement*from*his*
students,*he*compiled*all*essential*IELTS*writing*information*into*a*series*of*tutorial*
videos*and*made*these*videos*available*for*Internet*viewing.*Since*then,*Ryan’s*
videos*have*been*viewed*over*4*million*times*and*his*IELTS*writing*strategies*have*
been*used*with*success*the*world*over.
In*2007,*Ryan*relocated*to*Shanghai,*China.*He*currently*lives*with*his*wife*in*Doha,*
Qatar.
X