IELTS writing course – lesson #3

General Training Writing Task 1

In General Training Writing Task 1 you will have to write a letter of 150 words. You must cover all three of the bullet points in your letter and begin and end your letter appropriately. You also need to write in paragraphs and use the right tone.

Step 1

Read the task opposite and decide what type of letter is required, e.g. formal or informal. And what the purpose of the letter is. Underline the key words that help you decide.

You have recently heard that a friend of yours has had some problems as a result of some unusual weather. Write a letter to your friend.
In your letter
• Express concern (i.e. say you are sorry to hear what has happened)

• Tell them about a similar experience that you once had
• Give some advice or offer help.

Step 2

Brainstorm some ideas about unusual weather and the damage it can cause. Complete the table to help you and note any other useful vocabulary.

types of weather useful words possible damage
storm/ gale roof blown of house
wet flood
dry drought
cold ice/ snow


Step 3

Complete the following notes with some ideas and words that you could use in your letter. You have to write at least 150 words so you need to use your imagination.

• Shocked to hear about the ……… and damage to …… –very ……
• Understand the feeling of ………Our house once ……Insurance covered cost of ………now fully repaired.
• Think positively: Opportunity to ……Happy to help ……
• Closing ideas …..


Test Tips:
Note how the three bullet points help you organize your letter into clear paragraphs.

Step 4

Take 15 minutes.
Expand the notes into a complete letter. Remember you are writing to a friend, so the letter can be quite informal and friendly in style. You could use the expressions in the boxes.

Useful expressions of concern
I was very sorry to hear about …
I’m sorry to learn about …..
I was shocked by the news that ….
I was concerned/upset to hear that …..
NB Do not say ‘What a pity!’ when the situation is really serious.

Step 5

Read your letter carefully to check the grammar, spelling and organization.

Useful expressions for offering help
Let me Know if I can …
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need ….
I hope things work out all right.



Remember to follow these steps when you do Writing Task 1.

• Brainstorm ideas for what to say.
• Note useful vocabulary.
• Make notes for each paragraph.
• Expand your notes into a letter.
• Check your letter carefully.


Esma says:

this helped alot. i have to write an essay for my esiglnh exam tomorrow and i have to get over 76 to pass the class and get my credit. i wrote a test essay with open office on my netbook and i think im ready for the exam. wish me luck 😀