General Training IELTS Writing Task 1: Greetings and Salutation

As I mentioned before that it’s very important to get your tone right in General Training IELTS Writing Task 1. Here are some good greetings and salutations in an informal letter.

Friends usually have names ;-) so address him/her with a name: begin the letter with Dear Joey/ Tim /Rebecca, etc.
Begin your letter with some general statements. Refer to the letter you have received from your friend and thank him/her for it or apologies for the fact that you have not answered the last letter soon enough.
Use the proper register. The letter is supposed to be informal so you can use contractions, informal linking words like well, by the way, anyway, so, colloquial expressions, etc.
You can use more-conversation-like statements or questions in your letter: You know that I had this exam, right? You think he will be able to come to the party?
Use questions to ask about your friend – arrange the next meeting, send greetings to his/her friends and family, etc.
End your letter in informal way: Best wishes; Love; Regards. 

Dear + first name, (E.g. Dear Jeffrey,)

I hope you’re well.
Hope all’s well.
Thank you for your letter. It was nice to hear from you.
I'm sorry I haven't written for so long but…

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IELTS Writing: General Training Task 1 sample

Here is an IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 practice.

The local council has decided to build a block of flats on the park opposite the place where you are living.
Write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper ;
 - Where did you hear this news and your opinion
 - The reason why you protest it
 - Make suggestions for what people can or should do to stop the development.

You should write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write your address or the address of the newspaper.
Start the letter as follows:

Sample answer:

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IELTS General Training Writing Task 1

Task Achievement (answering the question) is one fourth of your total mark and it is an area in which everyone should do well in IELTS General Training Writing Task 1. This is often, however, not the case.

What you must do is to write a letter, which would fully answer the needs of the problem in a real life situation. For example, a question I have seen somewhere gives the candidate the following task:

You have some library books that you are unable to return as a member of your family in another city has fallen sick and you have had to go and look after them.
Write a letter to the library. In your letter, you should:
    – Explaining the situation. 
    – Apologize for the inconvenience called
    – And say what you are going to do.

You should write at least 150 words.

This seems a fairly typical IELTS General Training Task 1 writing question.  Answering the question in a way that will get you a good Task Fulfillment grade needs a number of things for you to do.

1) Write at least 150 words.

Writing less does not answer the question, which tells you to write at least 150 words. If you write less than 140 words, the examiner marking your paper will give you a maximum of 5 for Task Fulfilment or even less.

2) Fully do all the things that the question asks you.

In this case it asks you to do 3 main things:

  - explain the situation
  - apologize for the inconvenience
  - say what you are going to do

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IELTS Writing: Quick Punctuation Guide

Here is a quick guidance of punctuation.

1. Use full-stops (/ . /) only at the end of a sentence. Begin sentences with a capital letter. Proper nouns also require capital letters.

2. Use commas (/ , /) to separate parts of a sentence to avoid any confusion with meaning. Additional information is enclosed within commas.
e.g. the pollution of rivers, which is often caused by chemical waste and fertilizer, is causing enormous problems for fishermen, especially in Britain. (The comma after ‘fishermen’ ensures that ‘especially’ connects with ‘Britain’ not ‘fishermen’.)

A comma is used after most connectives (linking words), and usually before and after a connective in mid-sentence. Commas separate clauses in most conditional sentences.
e.g. Therefore, the use of chemicals on farms should be better controlled. However, even if such laws were passed tomorrow, most rivers would take years to recover.

3. Semi-colons (/ ; /) are used to separate sub-groups within lists, but more often to join two independent clauses that are grammatically complete but closely related. However, in the latter case, you can always use a full-stop instead.
e.g. Chemical waste from factories is still drained into river systems; it is hard to believe that this practice is still allowed by law in some areas.

4. You may use a colon (/ : /) if you need to draw attention to what is to follow.
e.g. The environment is important for the following reasons:

5. Use quotation marks (/ “ ” /) for quotes and titles. Apostrophes (/ ‘ ’ /) show possession or contraction.

6. Do not use contractions (e.g. don’t, shouldn’t, can’t etc.) in formal writing. Use the full form instead. However, you may use them in the General Training Task 1, in the case of writing an informal letter.

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