1. Letter skeleton

Create the perfect Task 1 letter with this easy to learn IELTS letter writing structure.

The 6 part structure:

1)  Dear …..

2)  Paragraph 1: Purpose – why you are writing

3)  Paragraph 2: Write about 1st bullet point

4)  Paragraph 3: Write about 2nd bullet point

5)  Paragraph 4: Write about 3rd bullet point

6)  Signoff

The greeting:-

The greeting depends on who the letter is being written to. The most common greetings are:

  • Dear John: this is used to begin a casual letter, such as to a friend or relative.You should use only the person’s first name.
  • Dear [Mr/Mrs/Ms Smith]: this is used to begin a formal letter, such as to a client or customer. You should use only the person’s family name, plus their title.
  • Dear Sir or Madam: this is used to begin a formal letter when you don’t know the name of the person you are writing.

The Purpose & Introduction:-

The introduction is where you introduce yourself (recipient is unknown), say why you are writing, and explain your situation. State the reason that you are writing in one simple sentence. Use synonyms of keywords used in the question where possible.

Example: 

I am writing to give you an evaluation of the IELTS course I took at Exeter College last weekend.

The body:-

The body is the main section of the letter, where you give further details. Your letter should be divided into paragraphs and, as in an essay, each paragraph should have one main point.

For the 3 main paragraphs. Follow the IELTS letter writing structure and these guidelines.

  • Each paragraph should be about 50 words in length.
  • It must fully develop the topic of the bullet point.
  • Write about the bullet points in the order they appear in the question.
  • Use keywords from the bullet point or use synonyms that make it clear which one you are writing about.
  • Leave a line between each paragraph to create a clear separation between them.

The closing/sign-off

The closing or sign-off is where you finish your letter and request a response, if appropriate. Like the greeting, the sign-off you choose depends on who you are writing to.

A complete Letter

Dear Sir,

I am writing to give you an evaluation of the TEFL course I took at Exeter College last weekend.

Although there were 10 hours of classes each day, I did not find the days as exhausting as I had feared because there was a good mix of theory and practical sessions. The different styles of teaching from the various tutors also helped to keep everyone engaged and motivated.

I particularly enjoyed the group work as I learnt a lot from the other students and had fun doing the activities with them. Changing the groups around each time so that we worked with different people was a great idea. There were also excellent handouts from all the sessions.

My only criticism of the course is the lack of time given for the individual teaching practices we had to do each day. I do understand that with 20 people on the course, they did take up a lot of time, but 2 minutes per presentation was not long enough to practice all we had learnt. Addressing this issue would make an excellent course even better.

Yours faithfully,

Jacky Spear

(189 words)