Monday, 26 January 2015

Writing section in IELTS General Test

General Writing Section Pattern.

In general writing section, you are given 2 tasks.
1. Writing a letter.
2. Writing an essay or article on an abstract topic or argument.

Letter Writing.
In this section, you have to write a letter based on certain situation. Letter should be at least 150 words long (Approximately 15-20 lines) and you are given 20 minutes time to complete it.

Some of the topics for letter writing are given below.

  1. You met an accident and so you will not be able to attend office for a week. Write a letter to manager stating how accident occurred, how long it will take to recuperate and How you will manage work load after you join the work.
  2. You are going on a trip. You will be off for 2 weeks. Write a letter to neighbour requesting him to take care of your house.
  3. Your best friend has invited you for his birthday party. But due to certain unavoidable circumstances, you are not able to make it to the party. Write a letter to your friend explaining him your situation.
  4. You are staying away from your home for education. Write a letter to your parents and tell about how your study is going on and also mention how you miss them.
  5. Your friend has got a high paying job. Write a letter to him congratulating him about the achievement. 

You may find below clauses useful while writing the letters.

  1. I am writing to ask.
  2. One thing I am worried about is cost.
  3. I have also heard that
  4. I am afraid it would feel very hot.
  5. Another thing I wonder about is recreational activities.
  6. Other important thing is housing. What neighbourhood would you recommend.
  7. I appreciate your taking time to answer my questions
  8. I look forward to hearing from you.
  9. I believe that
  10. Of course, we could do that.
  11. Everyone has different situation and attitude. Each individual is a different person. So one must evaluate his or her individual situation when deciding whether doing something is good or bad. 
  12. Generally, I feel that
  13. I think It would fair enough to
  14. I have enjoyed living next door to you.
  15. I have enjoyed getting to know you as a neighbour.
  16. I would like to get small issue to your attention.
  17. I wonder if you would not mind listening to music at lower volume.
  18. That way I could sleep better.
  19. Please come over to my place any time.
  20. As with everything, there are plus (pros) and minus (cons) to laptops.
  21. Thank you very much for letting me to..
  22. I hope you will not mind doing me a favour.
  23. I am terribly sorry about misbehaviour.
  24. I hope this solution is satisfactory to you.
  25. I am writing to thank you for your kind hospitality during my recent visit to your home.
  26. It was a very kind of you to help me out.
  27. Children should be encouraged to do whatever they like to do.
  28. That is a good fit for me.
  29. I would also appreciate some help with my clothing.
  30. I hope to hear from you soon.
  31. I would like to ask you a big favour.
  32. Will you water the garden.

Now let us see some sample letters.

Letter on activities and updating someone.
You are asked to complete few household tasks by your father. But you could not complete some of the tasks due to some issues. Write a letter to your father explaining him which tasks you finished and which could not be completed along with explanations. Here we go.

Dear Father,
Thank you for trusting me and believing in my abilities to finish some of the tasks. You asked me to clean the house, get the TV repaired and put the water to plants in garden. It was a pleasure for me to do these tasks.
 I have cleaned the house and garbage has been also dumped into the dust bin outside the house. I have washed and cleaned floor as well as walls. I hope you will like my work. I also called up TV repair man and got it done. It cost me $20 to repair the TV. Some of the TV components were damaged so I got new ones installed in the Kit. It took repair man long time to find the exact issue. So I could not do other tasks during this time as I was assisting him with whatever help he required.
I apologise that I could not water the plants as TV repairing task took a lot of time than expected. I hope you will not mind if I finish this task when I come back from my tuitions.

Letter of appreciation and kudos and congratulations.

Dear KK,
I am writing to congratulate you for winning the speech contest. This would not have been possible without self-determination and dedicated efforts. You have won the competition after going through several rounds fighting out the contestants from various well known colleges. I am really proud of you. It is really an amazing and outstanding performance. I am very happy that I have got such talented and brilliant friend.
At the same time, I would like to caution you about the side effects of big success. Do not get over confident and stay away from biggest enemy – Ego. You just continue to be down to the earth and humble. That’s what makes you stand apart. So Please keep it on. You have much more capacity to scale new heights. So just stick to your dream.
Again I would like to offer kudos and praise you for this amazing feat. I look forward to hearing from you.

Letter of apology.

Dear KK,
Congratulations for getting married. Wish you all luck for your married life. I am terribly sorry for not making to your wedding function.
I have had a plan to attend your wedding but unfortunately I had to change my plans at the last moment as My father was admitted to the hospital on that day and no one was available to take care of him. I hope you understand my situation and helplessness. But I will definitely see you at the reception.
Anyways wish you happy married life. Please apologize for my absence at your wedding.

Letter of encouragement.

Dear Sunil,
I heard that you failed in the exam. I understand that you must be going through tough time. I was also very sad to hear about it.
But do not lose your heart. Ups and Downs are part of the life. Face the challenges with more energy and zest. Failure in one exam is not the end of road. Scientists make several futile attempts before any inventions. You should restart the preparation for the exam with double vigour without worrying too much about recent failure.
If you have free time, would you mind coming over to my house? I would help you to come out of this bad patch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Essay Writing.
In this section, you have to write an essay based on certain topic. Essay should be at least 250 words (Approximately 25-30 lines) long. You need to write an essay expressing your thoughts in coherent manner. At last, you need to conclude your opinion in summary. You are given one topic or argument.
Topics are usually abstract ideas so you do not need to be the expert in that topic. You will not be asked to write on renowned persons, historical events or any specific international issue like Iraq war, ISIS etc.
Some of the sample topics for Essays are given below.

  1. Environmental perils like Global Warming, Garbage issues, Pollution, Drought 
  2. Social menace like Corruption, Adulteration, Traffic Issues, Drugs, Child Abuse, Eve teasing, Ragging, Superstition, Illiteracy, Poverty, Unemployment, Robbery, Dowry, Killing of female foetus, Violence against woman.   
  3. Science (Boon, blessing or bane, curse) – computers, human cloning, nuclear weapons
  4. Human rights – strikes, speech of freedom, Education  
  5. Mercy Killing
  6. Brain Drain
  7. Women outperform men at office?
  8. Opinion polls be banned?
  9. Capital Punishment
  10. Death for rapist?
  11. Too many holidays for employees – good or bad?
  12. Sex education to school children – moral or immoral?
  13. Discrimination based on caste, colour, sex, religion – How to uproot?
  14. Communal-ism – Threat to Unity of Nation
  15. Reservation – useful or useless?
  16. Terrorism
  17. How to stay away from Doctor – fitness mantra (Exercise, Yoga, Avoid smoking)
  18. Violence and vulgarity in TV shows and films.
  19. Good costume, clothing, outfit and attire – symbol and reflection of personality?
  20. Person who tolerates the harassment is the bigger culprit?

Writing an essay is an art. For any given topic, you need to divide it into multiple sub topics by asking questions like what, why, when, how etc. Essay should start with introduction of topic, then discussion on subtopic with examples and finally end with the summary in nutshell.

Essay on crime and culprits 
Let us now write a sample essay on the topic – "Person who tolerates the harassment is the bigger culprit?"
Let us organise our essay in below parts.
1. Introduction.
2. Places where you could be harassed and How harassment impacts you?
3. why you should not tolerate any kind of harassment? What will happen if you do not raise your voice?
4. Explain with any example.
5. How to raise your voice against tormentor? How to fight back.
6. Summary.
Once you have divided main topic into sub topics, you will find it very easy to write one paragraph on each sub topic.
Person who tolerates the harassment is the bigger culprit?
People from every walk of life may become a victim of harassment or misbehaviour or inhuman act, disorderly conduct. Harassment could be in any of the below form.
1. Teasing someone at public places.
2. Treating someone with rudeness at offices or work site.
3. Indulging in unruly or undisciplined activities at public places.
4. Annoying someone leading to mental or physical harm at offices.
5. Making someone feel ashamed or embarrassed by forcing them to do immoral acts or by insulting them.
6. Subjecting someone to ragging in colleges.
7. Subjecting someone, especially daughter-in-law, to mental harassment at home.
8. Beating, thrashing, flogging, lashing innocent person for no fault of theirs.
9. Demanding dowry
10. Extorting money from someone
11. taunting remarks from the in-laws
Harassment has become a nuisance, menace and threat to many innocent people.  It is causing the shock and fear in minds of people who are subjected to heinous and inhuman acts. With many people becoming victim to some sort of harassment, time has now come to take a strict action against miscreants and anti-social elements. This menace has made victims suffer from mental problems, health problems. Some of the victims have also committed suicide and many have attempted to end their lives. Many women have become the victim of in-laws mental and physical harassment.
Despite of many laws related to ragging, domestic violence and mental harassment at offices , no one can claim that harassment has been eradicated completely from the society. As per the anti harassment laws, those found guilty of harassment at any place will not be spared. People involved in ragging may be dismissed from college if found guilty. Similarly any offenders may be put behind bars for their inhuman acts immediately.
The point which needs to be highlighted here is that why people are resorting to such misdeeds. Not just poor people but those from decent families have also been found guilty of harassment. The reason behind this is that our society is lacking moral and ethical values. Bookish knowledge of some mathematical formulae is useless. We should inculcate students about the importance of love, affection in their life. All parents and teachers should take the responsibility of teaching students  about the necessity of good human being.
We should teach them to know the importance of below lines.
If money is lost, nothing is lost.
If health is lost, something is lost.
If character is lost, everything is lost.
Social awakening is required to kill the evil of harassment like ragging and dowry. Some solutions are not easy in this materialistic world where the lust for money can not be reduced. More stringent laws, more awareness, more education to women, more social initiatives and drives are required to curb the cases of harassment.
Some victims do not raise their voice against violence subjected to them. Without complaining against harassment, how are the victims going to get justice? I strongly believe that victims should not suffer from the pain silently. Unless criminal acts are brought to the attention of police officers, such crimes will keep on rising. It is said that stitch in time saves nine. So reaction in time is very important to prevent further devastation. If anyone is suffering from mental or physical harassment, the matter should be immediately reported to your loved ones and law  enforcing authorities.

Essay on Environmental Issues.
Let us now write another sample essay on the topic – "The earth is on the verge of collapse due to environmental issues like pollution, global warming, droughts, floods, earthquakes, deforestation, improper management of garbage"
Let us organise our essay in below parts.
1. Introduction.
2. What is killing the environment?
3. How are we killing the environment
4. Explain with any example.
5. How to save the earth and environment.
6. Summary.
Once you have divided main topic into sub topics, you will find it very easy to write one paragraph on each sub topic.
The earth is on the verge of collapse?
God created beautiful planet thousands of years ago. At that time, GOD would not have thought that humans will ruin the EARTH completely. Currently the Earth is on the brink of collapse due to many issues originally caused by human beings.
Greedy humans disregarded the importance of forests, rivers, trees and clean air. Reckless exploitation of natural resources is causing serious impact on the purity of environment. Unplanned industrialisation has affected the environment to the great extent. For the self development, humans destroyed forests. The use of automobiles is growing day by day leading to increase in the level of air pollution. New factories are being set up without proper sewage treatment plants. Hazardous chemicals are being released into the rivers endangering the flora and fauna of rivers and in turn oceans. Cities are producing enormous amount of garbage every day but there is no plan about the correct processing of the waste material. In developing countries like India, garbage is dumped in open ground on the outskirts of cities making the lives of people living in nearby area miserable and prone to health problems. Open dumping of garbage can be very dangerous as it may lead to the epidemic diseases like dengue, malaria etc.  Due to the rapid growth of industrialization, harmful green gases are released into atmosphere leading to rise in the Earth temperature. This is resulting in the melting of ice bergs in the arctic ocean and rise in the sea water level. According to research reports, in few years time cities situated near coastal areas around the world will have to be shifted to somewhere else due to rising water level. In the quest for better living and earning big profits, corrupt officials are allowing the property developers to build illegal residential projects by cutting down the forests and mountains. As more and more people are attracted to already crumbling cities, demand for basic necessities is also ramping up. Everyone wants clean water to drink, enough quality food, a home to live, clothes to wear, 24x7 electricity, better public transportation and clean environment. But rising population is putting more pressure on the cities causing the existing problems to worsen. It is difficult to find the clean rivers flowing through cities. The contaminated water is killing species living under water. The sight of people hanging on the buses and travelling due to over-crowded buses is very common.
Earthquakes, droughts and floods are also very common now a days. Due to heavy deforestation and removal of hills and mountains, enough rain does not come. When it rains very heavily, city administration finds it very difficult to cope up with such natural  disasters. In 2006, Mumbai was completely submerged under water. There was complete shutdown of electricity, public and private transportation due to floods. Local trains were also halted leading to stranding crowds at the stations. Many people lost their lives in that disaster. On the other hand, droughts has been the main reason behind suicide cases in Marathwada region in India. People do not get enough water to drink during droughts. Animals and cattle do not get enough grass  to eat leading to starvation and finally death. Global warming is also triggering major changes in the Earth's interior region. The earthquakes can cause heavy havoc as We can not predict them. Every year thousands of people die in earthquakes. Those who survive any of these natural calamities find it very difficult to start a new life due to psychological  and financial damage. The relief fund announced by the government for victims does not reach them due to corrupt politicians. Any kind of pollution can have far reaching effects on the lives of humans, wild life and other inhabitants on the Earth.
It is high time that all human beings come together to fight out these environmental problems now before situation goes out of control. We can control the damage that we are causing to the Nature and Earth by taking below steps.

  1. Keep your house and surroundings clean and tidy. Separate the dry and wet waste so that garbage processing will become simple.
  2. Participate in cleanliness drives.
  3. Be a part of tree Plantation drive.
  4. Avoid use of private cars which may reduce the pollution and save fuel as well. 
  5. Do not buy auto-mobiles unless it is really useful.
  6. Raise your voice against illegal construction or any other such activities which may jeopardise the environment.
  7. Use water carefully and economically. Do not waste the water.
  8. Do not waste the food. Feed animals if you can not finish the food.
  9. Floods can be controlled with proper planning and drainage systems.
  10. Irrigation projects should be implemented effectively so that water could be diverted to the areas facing droughts.
  11. We should use renewable energy sources like wind power, ocean waves and sunlight wherever we can.    

If all people from around the world unite and follow above points, we can give better environment to the next generation.

What do you think on this topic? Please express your opinion or ask any question through comment below. You can write to me at

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