IELTS Study Material
Writing
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Task Purpose / Requirements


Failure to correctly deliver the intended outcome of the letter will result in a lower Task Achievement (TA) band grade. Most questions will require a letter, to make an apology, invite someone, request something, explain, or complain, etc.


Spending time, to fully understand what kind of response, the question requires, is critical. It is whether the letter meets all the requirements set out in the question which is one of the most important assessment considerations for the examiner.


Responses must be at least 150 words. Under length, answers will have marks deducted in Task Achievement. The shorter the script, the greater the deduction! NOTE: This could result in dropping half a band, in the overall writing score. Don’t take that risk, and never submit under length scripts. Write short responses, to the question tasks, and do not use sub-headings and bullet points.


Remember; whatever the purpose of the letter, the writing should always be polite and respectful to the recipient, even when complaining. Always avoid using threatening, or even harsh language. Whenever a letter is intended to persuade someone to take a particular course of action, particularly where they may prefer not to do so, persuasive language is essential.


Even if all the requirements, in the question, are covered in the letter, how effective it is in achieving its objective is another consideration for an examiner. A high TA scoring letter would have to achieve its purpose well. If an apology, it would need to be convincing, a request would have to be persuasive, especially if the reader could say no!


People usually respond more positively to polite persuasion, and often react negatively to perceived threats and insults! The main objective is for the letter to achieve its intended result, and here, word choice and tone are key influencers.

 

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