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The first task in IELTS Writing Test for General Training (GT) module is writing a letter. Here are some tips compiled for IELTSJakarta.com to guide you to achieve the best test result.

1.       Read instructions carefully
You will be given instructions and three points to include in your letter. The instruction tells you about the purposecontent, and recipient of your letter. Moreover, it is essential that you use the three points to structure your letter and provide foundation for the information.

2.       Identify the main purpose of the letter
Letters can be based on different content which will affect the style of the letter. Are you asking for help, apologizing, inviting someone, complaining or thanking someone? Learn appropriate and polite expressions that will support what you need to say.

3.       Identify the type of letter 
The entire tone of your letter is based the type of letter. Adjust your style and choice of words according to the type you have been asked to write. There are three types of letters in the IELTS: a formal letter, a personal/informal letter, or a semi-formal letter.

 Formal letters: writing to someone you don’t know. If you have never met the person before and you don’t know their first or last name, then you should use a formal style. You should definitely use a formal tone for letters of application and when making complaints. Formal styles allow us to sound respectful and professional; however, if we use this tone with someone we know it can often sound cold or unfriendly.

Personal letters: writing to someone you know very well. If the person is a friend then you should use an informal style. With people we know well, we don’t need to sound too formal and the letter should have a relaxed tone.

Semi-formal letters: writing to someone you don’t know well. Semi-formal is often the one that confuses people. Semi-formal is used when you know the name of the person, but it is within a professional or official context. Imagine writing a letter to a colleague or someone from a different company you know. If you write in a formal style it will sound unfriendly, but informal might sound disrespectful. In this situation we should use a semi-formal style.

Source: Compiled from Good Luck IELTS, IELTS Liz, Magoosh, and IELTS Advantage
Be SpecTacular! ;)

(Fredrik Nael)


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