How to Write a Letter in IELTS General Writing Task 1: IELTS Letter Topics, Sample Questions with Answers

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letter writing in ielts

The General Writing Task 1 (Letter Writing) in the IELTS test assesses your ability to write effective letters in response to various situations. These situations might involve lodging a complaint, requesting information, or explaining a specific circumstance. You’ll have 20 minutes to complete this task, and your answer should be at least 150 words long. Remember, Task 1 contributes 33% to your overall writing score on the IELTS test, so it’s important to give it your full attention. That being said, read the entire article to know more about IELTS letter writing. 


How to Write A Letter in IELTS General Writing Task 1? 

Letter writing in IELTS General can be a daunting task for many. However, with prior preparation and practice, one can easily ace the writing task with no hassle. Test-takers must be well-versed with the features the examiners look for in a letter. A quick tip for individuals who wish to take the IELTS General test is that whilst attempting the letter writing task, you should ensure that your letter comprises the following elements: 

  • Purpose of the letter: Emphasise the importance of understanding the prompt and identifying the specific purpose of the letter. Provide examples of clear and concise statements outlining the purpose in the opening paragraph.
  • Appropriate tone of letter: Differentiate between formal and informal styles, depending on the recipient and reason for writing. Offer examples of vocabulary and expressions suitable for each tone. 
  • Bullet points: Helps you clear the clutter and concisely organise your information. 
  • Format: Briefly outline the essential format elements of a letter (sender information, recipient details, date, salutation, closing, signature). Emphasise the importance of correct spacing, indentation, and punctuation.

So, that was a quick overview of what the letter-writing task in IELTS General Training entails. Let’s delve deeper into how to write a letter in IELTS General Training Writing Task 1. 

It is important to state the purpose

  1. Start your letter by clearly stating its purpose in the opening paragraph. This ensures your reader directly understands your intent.
  2. Make sure the purpose you state aligns with the prompt’s situation. This shows you’ve grasped the task’s purpose. 

Using the Appropriate Tone

  • You must set the appropriate tone for your letter. In other words, if you are writing a formal letter, your tonality of writing should not be informal. 
  • The tone refers to how you write a formal or informal letter. 
  • For example, whilst writing a formal letter, you should use longer sentences with passive voice and modals. On the other hand, while writing informal letters, ensure that your tonality is conversational and includes contractions and direct speeches. 

 Bullet Points are Important

  • Mastering IELTS General Training’s letter writing requires addressing all the bullet points in the prompt. Each point becomes a building block for your response within the body of the letter.
  • IELTS General Training’s letter writing can get tricky! To stay on track, don’t forget the bullet points provided in the question. Think of them as guiding lights, ensuring your letter covers everything clearly and avoids confusion.

Format your Letter

  • Test-takers must structure their letters properly, ensuring adherence to the correct format. This includes a greeting, the main body, and a closing.

5+ Common IELTS Letter Writing Topics With Sample Questions

IELTS Letter Writing tasks present scenarios where you write letters to individuals, companies, or institutions. These scenarios require adjusting your tone and style based on the recipient, ranging from formal to informal. Formal letters are written to someone whom you don’t know personally. Semi-formal letters are written to someone whom you know formally and informal letters are written to someone whom you only know personally. Here are the most common IELTS Letter writing topics in the IELTS General Test. 

Letter of Amendment 

Here is an example of a letter of amendment. Have a look. 

“ Recently you came across an article in a newspaper about your city but the information presented in the article was incorrect/false.” Write a letter to the editor stating: 

  • How do you know the city?
  • What information was false?
  • What alterations should be made?

Letter of Apology

Here is an example of a letter of apology. Have a look. 

“You accidentally broke your friend’s vase while staying at her home during the weekend” 

 Write a letter to your friend stating: 

  • What the accident was 
  • Explain the circumstance under which the accident took place
  • Suggest how you can fix the damage

Letter of Request

Here is an example of a letter of request. Have a look. 

“ You are planning to go on a vacation and want your neighbour to take care of your cat.”

Write a letter to your neighbour stating: 

  1. Mention that you are leaving town
  2. Request them to take care of your cat
  3. Mention the duration of your vacation 

Letter of Invitation

Here is an example of a letter of invitation. Have a look. 

“You are planning to invite your colleagues to a party at your home.” 

Write a letter to your friend stating: 

  • Mention that you are conducting a party at your home
  • Describe your plan 
  • Invite him/her to your party

Letter of Appreciation

Here is an example of a letter of appreciation. Have a look. 

“A friend of yours gifted you a shirt, which you wore to a presentation. “ Write a letter to your friend. In your letter, you should say:

  • What the presentation was about 
  • Why the presentation was a big deal for you
  • How the shirt boosted your confidence during the presentation
  • Express your gratitude 

Letter of Suggestion

Here is an example of a letter of suggestion. Have a look. 

“Write a letter to your HR about the broken coffee machines in the office. In your letter, you should state: “

  1. Mention that the coffee machines are broken and employees are getting affected. 
  2. What problems it will cause
  3. What your suggestions are

Letter of Complaint

Here is an example of a letter of complaint. Have a look. 

You have a complaint about the staff of the hotel you stayed at while. Write a letter to the hotel manager stating: 

  • What problem did you face there?
  • Why do you want to complain about it?
  • What is your suggestion for improvement in the future?

IELTS General Writing Task 1 Vocabulary: Letter Writing

IELTS general writing task 1 (Letter Writing) vocabulary plays a major role in bolstering one’s chances of securing better scores in the task. Test-takers must have a solid grasp of their vocabulary to ensure that they do not falter at conveying themselves during the letter-writing task of the IELTS General Writing Task 1. Here are the most common IELTS Letter Writing vocabulary that you can use during the actual test. 

Type of Letter Greeting/SalutationOpeningBody Closing Signing Off
FormalDear Sir/Madam
Inform You, 
Disclose to you that, 
Ask you about
I’m sorry to hear this…
The reason behind this incident is…
I’m writing to request you…
I would like to thank you for…
Thank you for your attention.
I would like to thank you for your time.
I hope the situation will be resolved soon.
Yours faithfully
Yours obediently
Semi-FormalHi Mr. (Name)
Hello (Name)
Explain my condition, 
Inform you that 
Express my experience 
I’m really sorry to hear this…
The reason behind this incident is…
I’m writing to request you…
I would like to thank you for…
Hopefully the issue will be fixed soon.

I’m waiting to hear from you… 
Thank you for your cooperation.
Best wishes
All the best
InformalHi (Name) 
Hello (Name) 
Hey (Name) 
Hi, how are you? 
I’m writing this letter to tell you, 
I hope you are doing well. 

I’m sorry for what happened…
I tell you this would work…
I’m suggesting this product…
I hope that you can solve this issue… 
Waiting for your response… 
If anything, let me know… 
With love
Yours lovingly

IELTS Writing General Task 1: Sample Letter

Here are some sample letters that you can refer to to get a better understanding of the IELTS Writing General Task 1. 

Question 1 

“You have watched a film at a movie theatre and have had a terrible experience. Write a letter to the manager of the theatre informing you about your horrible experience and that you wish to have a refund. State the following points in your letter:

  • Describe what exactly happened. 
  • What do you want to happen?
  • Request for a refund

To the manager,

I am writing to express my disappointment with my experience at your theatre while watching a film I saw last night.

My recent experience at your theatre on [date] was unfortunately marred by a series of issues. Upon entering the auditorium, I discovered that the seats were in a deplorable state, visibly dirty and unkempt. When I brought this to the attention of the staff, their response was surprisingly brusque and dismissive. Despite my attempts to rectify the situation, no one seemed inclined to address the issue, forcing me to endure the entire film while perched on an unclean seat.

Beyond the unacceptable state of the auditorium, the food service also fell short of expectations. My order for a large caramel popcorn was nowhere to be found throughout the film, arriving only after the credits rolled. Unfortunately, the quality of the food matched the delayed service. The popcorn was stale and devoid of any caramel flavour, rendering it practically inedible. Despite voicing my disappointment to the staff, my concerns were met with apathy, not to mention an inappropriate level of ridicule for raising the issue.

This experience was entirely unacceptable, and I would like to request a full refund of the amount paid. I would also suggest that your staff not promise customers degrees of service that they are unable to provide to avoid disappointing experiences such as these.

Shubham Das

Question 2

“ Write a letter to your favourite restaurant. Include the following:

– Your reason for writing

– What you like about the restaurant

– Suggestions for improvement

Dear Mr. Uday,

I recently dined at your restaurant, Sanjha Chulha, and I absolutely must express my gratitude for the fantastic experience.  It’s not my first visit – every meal I’ve enjoyed there has been a delight. While your Butter Chicken is always a crowd-pleaser, my heart truly belongs to the Mutton Rogan Josh. It’s perfection on a plate, and I urge you to keep that recipe a treasured secret!

Beyond the delectable dishes, it’s the atmosphere at Sanjha Chulha that truly captivates me. Each element of the decor seems hand-picked to enhance the vibrant vibe, and the exceptional service from your staff only amplifies the charm. You’ve truly assembled a team that embodies the spirit of your restaurant.

My only suggestion to further elevate the experience would be the occasional live music performance. I think the energy of talented musicians playing within the venue would be a major draw for new diners and add a new dimension for loyal patrons like myself. Other than that, Sanjha Chulha remains a gem of a restaurant. Your dedication to quality and hospitality shines through in every aspect, and I can’t wait for my next visit.

Shubham Das

So that was all about IELTS letter writing. We hope the blog could’ve answered your queries regarding the topic. 


Q1. What are the common IELTS letter-writing topics? 

Ans. Letter of Amendment,  Apology, Requests, Invitations, and Suggestions are some of the major letter-writing topics in IELTS General Writing Task 1. 

Q2. How to get 8.0 in IELTS Writing?

Ans. Test takers can use a range of linkers, adverbial phrases, references, and punctuations to bolster their overall scores in IELTS writing. 

Q3. What is the duration of the IELTS Letter Writing Task? 

Ans. The IELTS General Writing Task 1 (Letter Writing) requires individuals to complete the task within 20 minutes. 

Related Reads:

IELTS Syllabus 2023 & Section-Wise Exam PatternIELTS Marking Scheme | IELTS Scoring System & Grading
IELTS Sample Tests: PDF (Download), Exam PatternIELTS Eligibility: IELTS Exam Age Limit & Qualification
IELTS Preparation Tips: General Tips and Section Wise …IELTS Exam 2023 Dates, Registration, Result, Preparation

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