General Writing Sample Task 1 #79

Beginning your letter

You need to start your letter with something that is appropriate for the situation and that will capture the reader's attention. If it is a formal letter, you should mention the purpose in the opening paragraph. If it is an informal letter, you should start with a more general opening paragraph.

Look at these different ways of beginning a letter.


  • I am writing with regard to / in connection with ...
  • I am writing in the hope that ...
  • I would like to express my concern about ...
  • I am a resident of ... and I would like to draw your attention to ...


  • It was lovely to see you and your family last month ...
  • Apologies for not writing for so long, but I've been really busy ...
  • It was great to get your postcard ... and I'm thrilled to hear you are ...
  • It's been a long time since we saw each other.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You recently bought a camera while travelling overseas. When you got to your destination you discovered that some important items were missing from the box.

Write a letter to the local representative of the company. In your letter

  • give details of the camera and where you bought it
  • explain what has happened
  • say what you want him/her to do about it

Write at least 150 words.

Model answer

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in the hope that you can help me with a problem regarding a camera that I recently bought.

On 27 June, I purchased a Canon DSLR camera from the 'Heinemann Duty Free' store at Frankfurt Airport on my way from Moscow to Toronto. The camera cost $799 and I paid for it on my Visa credit card.

When I arrived at my hotel in Toronto almost 24 hours later I discovered, to my horror, that the box which contained the camera did not include the battery charger. The space in the box for the charger was empty.

I am now in Toronto and I am not returning to Frankfurt, so I need to get the missing parts here. As you are the representative of the company in this country I would be grateful if you could arrange for the parts to be sent to me. I attach a copy of the receipt with this letter for your information.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,
Ulrich Nielsen

(176 words)

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