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IELTS General Writing Task 1: Letter Writing

In IELTS General Writing Task 1, you are given a task to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation in the form of a formal, semi-formal or informal letter of at least 150 words.

Here is an example how the task prompt looks like:

WRITING TASK 1 (General)

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You have had a problem with your next-door neighbour. You have not been able to speak to your neighbour about this. Write a letter to this neighbour. In your letter:

  • Explain the problem
  • Suggest a solution
  • Say what action you will take if the situation does not improve

Write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin as follows:

Dear ... ,

See letter sample

How to write an IELTS letter?

You must start with spending some time reading the instructions. You should spend at least 2 minutes planning your letter:

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly
  2. Identify appropriate style (formal, semi-formal or personal)
  3. Brainstorm, make up your story, write down the main keywords and make sure you cover all the points
  4. Decide how to open the letter
  5. Organise your letter into paragraphs
  6. Use cohesive devices to link your ideas
  7. Decide how to close the letter

Once you have quickly sketched a story in your head and also made supporting notes, it becomes easier to write exactly in response to the writing prompt and ensure that you fully follow the instructions.

Letter Writing
letter writing

Important notes:

  • Make sure you use all three points to structure your letter
  • You must use appropriate style and letter type
  • Focus on one idea per each bullet point
  • Write at least 150 words

Your writing will be evaluated against IELTS band descriptors.

Need help with IELTS writing? Let IELTS examiners help you!

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Want to improve your writing skills? Let IELTS examiners help you!

See more writing correction service illustration

IELTS letter topics

Instead of providing hundreds of letter topics, we have categorised the IELTS letters based on the purpose of writing and created separate pages for each of them that you can find down below.

It is a lot easier to concentrate on different IELTS letters (such as complaint letter, request letter and so on) one by one as the structure, style, openings and closings vary.

So, depending on what you are asked to write, you can use any relevant IELTS letter page accordingly and IELTS GT Writing Task 1 letters will become much easier to write.

However, in case you don't know what the differences are between formal, semi-formal and informal letters, we suggest you start reading about different types of letters first.


Need help?

We offer writing correction service both for IELTS Academic and General Training module students. Writing assessment gives you valuable feedback, estimated band score and advice on how to improve your writing skills and get higher score. Corrections are made by experienced IELTS professionals, who are working as IELTS teachers and examiners.

Our correction service includes:

  • Detailed feedback
  • Correction of grammar and vocabulary mistakes
  • Suggestions on how to improve your writing
  • Estimated IELTS band score

According to the official statistics, students' performance is the lowest in the IELTS writing task. We would therefore strongly advise you to consider using our writing correction service to get your desired score the first time.

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