IELTS General Writing Task 1: Formal letter model answer

A letter to your boss asking for time off

In the IELTS general training, you will need to write a letter in writing task 1. It will be either formal or informal. Take a look at the model answer below for a formal letter asking for time off from your boss. This is written in a formal tone because a letter to your boss is always formal.

To see a lesson on using formal language in IELTS letters click here


The task

You have to take some time off work because you have to take care of a sick family member. You need to write a letter to your boss.

In your letter:

• Explain the reason for the amount of time off you need
• Suggest how your work can be covered while you are off
• Explain how you can be contacted while you are away.


Analyse the task and use a structure.

This is an important first step. Take a look at the keywords and underline them so that you are clear on what to write about. Then check what each bullet point requires you to do.

‘You have to take some time off work because you have to take care of a sick family member. You need to write a letter to your boss.’

Explain the reason for the amount of time off you need.

make it very clear why you need time off and how long you need.

Suggest how your work can be covered while you are off.

mention who will take your place when you are off.

Explain how you can be contacted while you are away.

give some details about a mobile number or email address in case your boss needs to contact you.

Here is a good article about taking ‘leave of absence’ from work for some ideas on this topic.

 



Model Answer

You have to take some time off work because you have to take care of a sick family member. You need to write a letter to your boss.

In your letter:

• Explain the reason for the amount of time off you need
• Suggest how your work can be covered while you are off
• Explain how you can be contacted while you are away.


Dear Mr Jones,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I would like to request one week leave of absence from tomorrow.

The reason for this is that my grandmother was rushed back to hospital today due to complications from her recent surgery. Unfortunately, her condition seems serious and I would like to be with her in case it deteriorates further. Over the next few days, I will need to be at her side as there is no other family member who can assist me right now.

I have asked James and Sarah from the sales team to cover for me while I am out of the office and they are happy to do so. They are fully aware of the steps that need to be taken to secure the sales contract with Apple computer that I am presently working on.

If you need to contact me while I am away I can be reached on my usual mobile number 1189-987-887 or by email at [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from you soon and I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely

Bob Evans

187 words


Notes

When opening a formal letter use Dear + Mr / Ms + surname. End the letter with ‘Yours sincerely’ if you know their name or ‘Yours faithfully’ if you do not know the name of the person you are writing to.

You will notice that I have written ‘Due to unforeseen circumstances’ at the beginning as the letter is not about taking a vacation, it is more like a situation that I did not expect as a family member has been taken ill.

I have addressed each point in the task in separate short paragraphs too. Make sure you do this by using the 7 step approach above.

I end with ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon’ this is a good phrase to end a formal letter with when you are requesting something.

Keep the word count under 200 words, it must be clear and concise and you do not have time in the exam to write a really long letter.


Any questions? Leave a comment below.

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