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Before starting, let’s review some useful tips for IELTS.

Tips for IELTS

General Training Writing Task 1 should be written in the style appropriate to the task: if it is a letter to a friend, it should be written in a friendly, informal style; if it is a letter to a company or institution, it should be written in a formal style.

The following are the basic features of formal style:

  • All verbs forms must be written in full: do not write contractions such as can’t, don’t, etc.
  • Do not use abbreviations such as info for information or ads for advertisements.
  • Avoid using the active voice and the first person singular; in a formal letter you should write: ‘A copy of the receipt will be forwarded to you as soon as possible’ instead of ‘I will send you a copy of the receipt ASAP.’
  • Avoid using informal intensifiers such as really, so, absolutely; use extremely, highly, entirely, fully instead.
  • Avoid using phrasal verbs which tend to be used in informal writing and conversation; for example, use seek a job instead of look for a job; most phrasal verbs are idiomatic in nature, that is, their meaning cannot usually be inferred from their individual parts.
  • Avoid using informal discourse markers and link words such as besides or by the way and use incidentally instead.
  • Do not use set phrases and idioms, for example, ‘I am not going to pay you a penny’ instead of ‘Your fee will not be paid.’
  • Avoid ellipsis (leaving out words), for example, leaving out the subject I in ‘Hope to hear from you soon.’
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