IELTS® General Writing Practice 2

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For this task, you will be presented with a situation and will need to write a personal response explaining the situation or requesting information about the situation in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter.

This task assesses your ability to follow English letter-writing conventions (i.e. what order to put information in, what style to use, how to start and finish a letter), to use language accurately and appropriately and to organise and link information coherently and cohesively.

  • - You should spend about 20 minutes on this part.
  • - Write at least 150 words
QUESTION:

You need to take some time off of work to go on holiday.

Write a letter to your direct manager. In your letter:

  • Ask for time off and explain why
  • Provide the dates and times for which you will be unavailable to work
  • Describe what you will do to prepare or make up for your absence

Write at least 150 words. 

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Ms. Snyder,

Word Count: 0
 
Question

You need to take some time off of work to go on holiday.

Write a letter to your direct manager. In your letter:

  • Ask for time off and explain why
  • Provide the dates and times for which you will be unavailable to work
  • Describe what you will do to prepare or make up for your absence

Write at least 150 words. 

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Ms. Snyder,

Your Essay

Please click MOCK TEST to write an essay for this question.

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Review

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It's an example of what you can expect from our writing reviews



Review Status: No review requested Status: (N/A)
Review Summary (Sample)
Final Score Band 6.5
Task Achievement/Response 7/9
Grammatical Range and Accuracy 6/9
Lexical Resource (Vocabulary) 6/9
Coherence & Cohesion 6/9
The below sample is what you can expect from each writing review.

Writing Review Sample:

Question

You have a suggestion for a park near your apartment building.

Write a letter to your city's council board. In your letter:

  • Describe who you are and what your suggestion is
  • Explain why you think this suggestion will improve the park
  • Detail when you would like to see this suggestion in action

Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write any addresses.

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Councilor,


Corrections in red
Academic language suggestion in blue

Dear Councilor,

My name is I am Jose, residing at street no.321 building 232- A in your council ward area. I would like to write this letter for with the suggestion of building a public park near our residential area. More than 500 people residing reside in this area, but there is no public park or any play grounds playground in our the surrounding area,s areas. Our children also facing face lot lots of problems regarding the lack of park parks and playgrounds in this region.


This letter may help the council start to think thinking about the importance of having a public park in this residential area. Most of the tenants in my building also have the same opinions opinion in on this subject. This park will help our children to do more physical activitiesand we can improve our social status also as well.


I hope the council can decide to take make a plan to during the next council meeting and also you can start the construction of the park within a month.


Thanking You Yours sincerely,

Jose
How we review your writing essay Our IELTS certified instructors will review your writing essay based on the following criteria:
  1. Task Achievement
  2. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  3. Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
  4. Coherence & Cohesion
You will receive a score, feedback, and a IELTS report on each writing criteria. The average score for all criteria will be converted to a band score out of 9.

Note:
1. If your overall score is an average of 5.25, your band score will be increased to 5.5.
2. If your overall score is an average of 5.75, your band score will be increased to 6.
3. If your overall score is an average of 5.1, your band score will go down to 5.
4. If your overall score is rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5 or whole score as shown above.

Band Task Achievement
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Lexical Resource (Vocabulary)
Coherence & Cohesion
9 • fully addresses all parts of the task
• presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas
• uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’ • uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips • uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention
• skilfully manages paragraphing
8 • sufficiently addresses all parts of the task
• presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas
• uses a wide range of structures
• the majority of sentences are error-free
• makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacies
• uses a wide range of vocabulary
• fluently and flexibly to convey precise meanings
• skilfully uses uncommon lexical items but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocation
• produces rare errors in spelling
and/or word formation
• sequences information and ideas logically
• manages all aspects of cohesion well
• uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately
7 • covers the requirements of the task
• presents a clear purpose, with the tone consistent and appropriate
• clearly presents and highlights key features/bullet points but could be more fully extended
• uses a variety of complex structures
• produces frequent error-free sentences
• has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors
• uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility and precision
• uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation
• may produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling and/or word formation
• logically organises information and ideas; there is clear progression throughout
• uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be
some under-/over-use presents a clear central topic within
each paragraph
6 • addresses the requirements of the task
• presents a purpose that is generally clear; there may be inconsistencies in tone
• presents and adequately highlights key features/bullet points but details may be irrelevant, inappropriate or inaccurate
• uses a mix of simple and complex sentence forms
• makes some errors in grammar and punctuation but they rarely reduce
communication
• uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task
• attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy
• makes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but they
do not impede communication
• arranges information and ideas coherently and there is a clear overall progression
• uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical
• may not always use referencing clearly
or appropriately
ƒ uses paragraphing, but not always
logically
5 • generally addresses the task; the format may be inappropriate in places
• may present a purpose for the letter that is unclear at times; the tone may be variable and sometimes inappropriate
• presents, but inadequately covers, key features/bullet points; there may be a tendency to focus on detail
• uses only a limited range of structures
• attempts complex sentences but these tend to be less accurate than simple sentences
• may make frequent grammatical errors and punctuation may be faulty; errors can cause some difficulty for the reader
• uses a limited range of vocabulary, but this is minimally adequate for the task
• may make noticeable errors in spelling and/or word formation that may cause some difficulty for the reader
• presents information with some organisation but there may be a lack of
overall progression
• makes inadequate, inaccurate or over use of cohesive devices
• may be repetitive because of lack of referencing and substitution
• may not write in paragraphs, or paragraphing may be inadequate
4 • attempts to address the task but does not cover all key features/bullet points; the format may be inappropriate
• fails to clearly explain the purpose of the letter; the tone may be inappropriate
• may confuse key features/bullet points with detail; parts may be unclear,irrelevant, rep
• uses only a very limited range of structures with only rare use of subordinate clauses
• some structures are accurate but errors predominate, and punctuation is often faulty
• uses only basic vocabulary which may be used repetitively or which may be inappropriate for the task
• has limited control of word formation and/or spelling; errors may cause strain for the reader
• presents information and ideas but these are not arranged coherently and
there is no clear progression in the response
• uses some basic cohesive devices but these may be inaccurate or repetitive
• may not write in paragraphs or their
use may be confusing
3 • does not adequately address any part of the task
• does not express a clear position
• presents few ideas, which are largely undeveloped or
irrelevant
• attempts sentence forms but errors in grammar and punctuation predominate and distort the meaning • uses only a very limited range of words and expressions with very limited control of word formation and/or spelling
• errors may severely distort the
message
• does not organise ideas logically
• may use a very limited range of cohesive devices, and those used may
not indicate a logical relationship between ideas
2 • barely responds to the task
• does not express a position
• may attempt to present one or two ideas but there is no development
• cannot use sentence forms except in memorised phrases • uses an extremely limited range of vocabulary; essentially no control of word formation and/or spelling • has very little control of organisational
features
1 • answer is completely unrelated to the task • cannot use sentence forms at all
• can only use a few isolated words • fails to communicate any message
0 • does not attend
• does not attempt the task in any way
• writes a totally memorised response
• does not attend
• does not attempt the task in any way
• writes a totally memorised response
• does not attend
• does not attempt the task in any way
• writes a totally memorised response
• does not attend
• does not attempt the task in any way
• writes a totally memorised response
 
Model Essay
Transition words are highlighted in red
Advanced grammar structures are highlighted in green
Topic vocabulary are highlighted in blue

Dear Ms. Snyder, 

I am writing to request time off for an annual holiday trip with my family. 

Each year, my extended family members plan a family reunion in Sacramento, California. Since we all live so far away, these reunions have always been great opportunities for us to see each other and reconnect. It is for this reason that I would need to use some of my holiday time in August. 

Since the reunion falls on Sunday, August 25th, I would be available to work up until Friday, August 24th. Thus, I am formally requesting time off from Monday, August 26th until Friday, August 30th. I would be available to return to work on Monday, September 2nd.

I fully realize that August is our busiest period, and taking holiday during this time could potentially increase the workload of my colleagues. As such, I would be more than happy to take on any overtime in early August or during the month of September. 

Thank you for your understanding. I look forward to your response. 

Sincerely, 

Becky Range
 

Word Count: 176

QUESTION:

You need to take some time off of work to go on holiday.

Write a letter to your direct manager. In your letter:

  • Ask for time off and explain why
  • Provide the dates and times for which you will be unavailable to work
  • Describe what you will do to prepare or make up for your absence

Write at least 150 words. 

Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Ms. Snyder,

Model Essay Analysis

Scoring 
In short, this is a Band 9 essay. Let's look at how it would rate in the scoring areas:

Task Achievement/Response  - The essay covers the three main points in the task – the writer asks for time off and clearly explains why, she provides the dates and times for which she will be unavailable to work, and she describes what she will do to make up for her absence. All in all, these themes are touched upon and described in the letter.

Coherence and Cohesion – The essay was clearly organized, contained different paragraphs per each point as well as spaces after each paragraph. Each idea flowed nicely after the other and was semi-formal in tone. Transitions were used well.

Lexical Resource: A table below will showcase the lexical resource. In general, the essay contained useful vocabulary that was specific to the letter's theme of family reunions and the business setting. The letter contains authentic phrases such as “more than happy” to get the point across.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy: A table below will showcase the grammatical structures. In general, the conditional form was used, as the writer is making a request to her boss and realizes that nothing has been approved yet. Present perfect was used when necessary.

Potential Areas for Improvement: While the structure, task achievement, and cohesion were excellent, the writer could have used more transition words, especially in the beginning of the last paragraph regarding taking on overtime. While the grammar used worked well for the letter, more advanced structures could have been used.

 

Topic Vocabulary

Grammar Structures

Transition Words

These vocabulary words are either specific to the theme of work, holiday, or advanced-level vocabulary:

- extended family
- family reunion
- formally requesting
- workload
- take on
- overtime
- colleagues
- more than happy

…have always been… - Present Perfect

I would be able/available/need/be – Conditional Phrases


 

Since…
It is for this reason…
Thus…
As such…

 
Learn How to Tackle IELTS General Writing Task 1 - Semi-formal Letter Essays
 
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