Essential tips for IELTS General training Module

Essential tips for IELTS General training Module

Tips for writhing task 1 – letter

Type of letters

Test may ask you to write only one of 4 types of letters:

  • Complaint / Request (of) information) letter
  • Job application letter
  • Personal letter
  • Formal business letter

There are rules how to write a letter of each type. When a letter is graded by IELTS examiners, its structure, vocabulary and fluency of language are equally important. So I will show here a model for very one of the letter types together with phrases and forms of speech, and the only thing you need to do it is to insert your specific topic information in it. I also supply you with examples to demonstrate what your letter should look like.



This is a letter you write to complain about something. It could be something you have purchased or a bad service that you have received, or an accident that happened to you. You must describe it and demand appropriate actions from relevant people.

There are 4 paragraphs in this type of letter. They should look like this:

  1. Start with “Dear Sir/Madam, “(or write person’s name if it was given in task instructions)

Explain shortly (in one or two sentences) what you are complaining about.

“I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the tape recorder that I purchased in your store.”


  1. Explain in more details
  2. What happened, what the problem is

“I purchased a tape recorder in your store on 12/03/2005, just 3 days ago. After a few times that I used it, the “play” button broke off”.

  1. What are you unhappy about.

“I was very surprised to see the new improved model with 2 years of warranty breaking so soon and and for no reason at all.

  1. What did you do to resolve the situation

“I contacted your store immediately in order to return the tape recorder and spoke to the shift manager. He refused to replace the tape recorder and suggested that I had it repaired”

  1. How do you feel about the problem

“You can imagine how receiving this offer upset me.”

This paragraph should be the longest in the whole letter. You can even divide it into several parts.


  1. Write what you would like them to do. And what will you do if they don’t give you what you want.

“I insist that you replace the damaged tape recorder and send me a new one. Otherwise I will be forced to stop my payments to your store”.

  1. Write formal ending for the letter, your name and sign.

“I look forward to hearing from you.”

If you know the name of person you are writing to, sign

“Your sincerely,

            Mr. Smith”

If you don’t know the name of person you are writing to, sign

“Yours faithfully,

                        Mr. Smith”

Useful phrase

The following phrases will make your letter look good. In case it is hard for you to remember all of them, choose just one for each paragraph, memorize it and use for all the letters of this type.


For Paragraph 1

  • “I am writing to complain about…”
  • “ I am writing in regard to …”
  • “The reason I am writing to you is (a problem with…)”
  • “I am writing to express my concern about/dissatisfaction with…”
  • “I would like to bring the matter of … to your attention.”
  • “I would like to draw your attention to … “


For paragraph 2

  • “I was supposed to receive … Unfortunately, that never happened.”
  • “You can imagine how unhappy I was to discover … “
  • “I regret to inform you that your service was below my expectations.”
  • “When I tried to contact you by phone, no one could offer me any sensible answer.”
  • “I contacted your representative in … Unfortunately, he denied me the service that I requested.”


For paragraph 3

  • “the ideal solution would be … “
  • “I hope you can settle this matter by … (doing something)”
  • “I insist on getting a refund of … “
  • “Please look into this matter deserves your urgent attention.”

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