NeoTips for writing situation letter
A situation letter is about a situation that you need to describe, inform or discuss. We start the letter with
‘Dear….’ and end the letter with your name.
You recently had a plane journey and you left your bag in the plane.
Write a letter to the flight attendant. In the letter
1. describe the situation
2. Describe the bag
3. say what you want the attendant to do
Write at least 150 words. You do NOT need to write your own address. Begin your letter as follows: Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing in connection with a bag that I left on one of your planes. Last week on Tuesday 4th, May I came to London on flight ABC from New York. My seat number was R5. The plane arrived late at night and I was tired. As a result, when I got home, I remembered that I had left my bag on the plane under the seat in front of me.
My bag is small and made of black leather with a zip opening the top. Inside the bag, there is a pen, a paperback I was reading, some car keys and my diary.
Therefore, would your lost property department please check and see if they have my bag and contact me as soon as possible to let me know whether they have found it or not?
You can contact me on my mobile telephone number which is: 01753 853 736.
Thanking you in advance for your help, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(171 words) Estimated IELTS Writing Band 9
IELTS Examiner Commentary
The letter was written by an IELTS examiner to give an example of a good answer. Please remember that there are other ways of approaching this question that are just as good.
The General Training Task 1 Writing is marked in 3 areas. Let’s look at these.
This mark grades you on basically whether you have answered the question or not. A common mistake is to miss out in your letter one of things that it asks you to do. Has the letter above answered the question? It explained what happened. It described the bag and its contents. It says what the writer wants them to do. That is not all. The question asks you to write a letter. To answer the question the letter should be set in the appropriate way with a semi-formal opening and an ending that is appropriate to this type of letter. It uses correct language with the right degree of formality. Good paragraphing splits up the letter in easy-to-read chunks. The letter also provides information (such as the telephone number and flight details) that would be appropriate in a letter of this type. The letter is 171 words long so easily fulfils the 150 word limit. So finally, by doing all the above the letter would fulfil its function. The person receiving it would do what was wanted. Because of all the above reasons, this letter would get a very good Task Fulfilment band.
Cohesion and Coherence
These two are interrelated which is why they are done together. Cohesion is how your writing fits together. Does your writing with its ideas and content flow logically? Coherence is how you are making yourself understood and whether the reader of your writing understands what you are saying. The above letter has excellent cohesion. The structure helps this. The first paragraph introduces the subject, sets the scene and provides the basic information. The second paragraph describes the bag that is talked about in the first paragraph. The third paragraph explains what the writer wants to happen. Finally there is an appropriate ending. This logical progression of ideas in the structure of the three paragraphs gives the letter good cohesion and coherence. The choice of words also never causes any cohesion problems. For an example of bad cohesion, see the Free Help Tutorial for the General Training Task 1 Writing. Coherence is also very good in the letter. The letter makes the problem and what needs to be done quite plain. The reader never has a problem understanding what is said.
Vocabulary and Sentence Structure
With Vocabulary the examiner looks at the range of words used and whether they are used in the right place and at the right time. With Sentence Structure, the examiner looks at the grammar. The Vocabulary of the letter is good though this Task 1 requires nothing complicated. All the words chosen are correctly and appropriately used with the correct degree of formality. The spelling is all correct. The Sentence Structure again is fine. The past tenses are used correctly to describe past events and the present tenses for description, all agreeing correctly. The singulars and plurals are all correctly used and everything is correctly punctuated including a list. So, in conclusion, this letter fulfils all the things that an examiner looks for in a good answer in a letter for the General Training Task 1 Writing.