General Writing Task 1: Model answer for a letter to a friend about work issues.
If you are doing IELTS general instead of the Academic version then you are lucky. In the general section, you only need to write a letter and it will be either formal or informal. There is a semi formal style but if you are writing to a friend, even if it is in a business setting, then just write informally.
In the Academic version of IELTS you will get one of the following: a bar chart, pie chart, line graph, map, process diagram, table, double task (pie chart and table for instance) so the general IELTS writing task 1 is much easier.
Let’s take a look at the task question below about an IELTS general letter to a friend.
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
A friend has written to you asking for advice about a problem at work. You have had a similar problem in the past.
Write a reply to your friend. In your letter:
Tell your friend you understand the problem.
Explain what happened to you in the past.
Suggest possible solutions to the problem.
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write any addresses.
Begin your letter as follows:
Planning and structure
The most important step to take at first is to analyse the question and decide what register you will need to use (formal or informal). Take around 5 minutes to plan your answer. You have around 20 minutes to write the letter, so that means 5 minutes of planning and 15 minutes of writing. A well panned letter will be a good letter.
You will notice that there are 3 bullet points that you must cover in the letter. You should have a separate paragraph for each point as noted below for a good structure to a letter in IELTS general task 1. The letter will be informal because it is a letter to a friend.
Thanks for your letter, glad you managed to get that job in the marketing department. I just thought I would give you my views on the issues you mentioned.
I completely understand the stress you have been going through there, it’s not a good situation when you are given so much overtime, especially if most of it is unpaid overtime and having to work on Saturdays.
I had a very similar problem when I was working at Apple. I was working 6 days a week for the first 3 months as there was a big product launch. The whole team was stressed and exhausted, the boss was very strict and demanded we meet the deadline. After that, things calmed down and we went back to a normal workload.
I would recommend sticking with it for now as you have only just started the job. After you meet targets, I reckon things will settle down and get easier. I also suggest talking to your boss about the unpaid overtime and get clear how long this will continue for.
Good luck with everything, let me know how it all works out.
I added an intro paragraph to tell the reader what I will mention with some small talk.
”Thanks for your letter, glad you managed to get that job in the marketing department. I just thought I would give you my views on the issues you mentioned. ”
You don’t have to do this but it is good for overall coherence and logical organization.
Each bullet point below is covered in separate paragraphs in the letter.
- Tell your friend you understand the problem.
- Explain what happened to you in the past.
- Suggest possible solutions to the problem.
In an informal letter like this, you can end with: Regards / All the best / Take care / Many thanks
Word count is high in the model answer at 191 words but it doesn’t have to be this long. Aim for around 160 to 190 words in task 1 for a fully developed answer. You do not get a higher band score for a really long answer and it could be counterproductive as you will probably make more mistakes.
Any Questions? leave a comment below.