Model answers for Cambridge IELTS Book 16 Task 1 General Letters Written by Mike Wattie, IELTS examiner and author.

Mrs Barrett, an English-speaking woman who lives in your town, has advertised for someone to help her in her home for a few hours a day next summer.
Write a letter to Mrs Barrett. In your letter:
• suggest how you could help her in her home
• say why you would like to do this work
• explain when you will and will not be available

Begin your letter as follows:
Dear …………….,

Dear Mrs Barrett,
I have come across your advertisement looking for some domestic assistance each day during the upcoming summer and would like to apply.

I believe I could be of great assistance to you because I am the oldest of 6 children and have spent many years helping around the house. I am proficient with all household cleaning duties, as well as laundry and ironing. In addition, I have what many would consider green fingers, so I would be delighted to improve your garden also.

This opportunity is ideal for me because I will be on vacation from Auckland University where I am pursuing my undergraduate degree. It also allows me to stay locally to continue helping my family, while concurrently improving my finances.

In terms of my availability, I am responsible for getting my younger siblings off to school in the mornings, so I would be able to start anytime from 10:00 AM on weekdays. I would prefer to have weekends free to pursue my other interests.

I would be delighted to meet with you when convenient to further discuss this opportunity.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith
(188 words)

You have just read an article in a national newspaper which claims that town centres in your country all look very similar to each other. You don’t fully agree with this opinion.
Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper. In your letter:
• say which points in the article you agree with
• explain ways in which your town centre is different from most other town centres
• offer to give a guided tour of your town to the writer of the article
Begin your letter as follows:
Dear …………….,

Dear Sir or Madam,

The article about Australian town centres in the September 23rd edition of your publication piqued my interest, and I was prompted to provide some constructive feedback promoting their differences.

Looking at the positives, I really appreciated the article’s deep dive into some lesser known regional towns such as Mount Barker, as I believe this will encourage tourists to visit them, propping up their struggling economies.

However, I must disagree with the comment about town centres being carbon copies of each other, using my town of Nairne as a clear example. The main street here is very well kept by local authorities, with seasonal gardens, and the local architecture is consistent and sympathetic towards its late 19th-century establishment. There are no chain restaurants or stores, with locally owned boutiques instead featuring prominently.

If the article’s author agrees, I would be delighted to show him around Nairne to perhaps change his misguided view of the uniformity of Australian settlements.
I hope this information has helped to clarify my misgivings, please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to take up my offer.

Yours faithfully,
John Smith
(192 words)

A magazine wants to include contributions from its readers for an article called ‘The book that influenced me most’.
Write a letter to the editor of the magazine about the book that influenced you most. In your letter: • describe what this book was about
• explain how this book influenced you
• say whether this book would be likely to influence other people
Begin your letter as follows:
Dear …………….,

Dear Sir or Madam,

I’m writing in response to your request for peoples’ most influential book. For me, this is April Fool’s Day by Bryce Courtenay.

This non-fiction work is about the author’s son, Damon, who contracted and later died of Aids due to a contaminated blood transfusion.  The story focuses on his monumental struggles, his love for his wife, and the compassion of his family.

The completely unfair circumstances of Damon’s illness, combined with his determination to live life to the fullest are what spoke strongest to me.  It has prompted me to be more thankful for my good health and blessings daily, and to try and positively impact others who may be struggling through no fault of their own.

I consider April Fool’s Day holds universal appeal to readers, whether they have family suffering from illness, are suffering themselves, or to encourage their empathy towards those less fortunate.

I hope this submission is suitable for use in your upcoming feature. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a more in-depth analysis if required.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Your friend has been offered a place on a course at the university where you studied. He/She would like your advice about finding a place to live.
Write an email to your friend. In your email:
• describe where you lived when you were a student at the university
• recommend the best way for him/her to look for accommodation
• warn him/her of mistakes students make when choosing accommodation
Begin your email as follows:
Dear …………….,

Dear Mike,

It was great to hear of your acceptance to Oxford University, congratulations! I would be delighted to share my knowledge about the housing options nearby.

Initially during my degree I stayed in the halls of residence. While these are comfortable and convenient, I don’t recommend them due to lack of privacy and repressive rules. In the intervening years I secured a room in a shared flat close to the law campus.

As you are a mature student, I wouldn’t recommend the halls, so I will focus here on searching for a flat. By far the best way is to join one of the student Facebook groups, there are several that specialise in Oxford accommodation with undergraduates regularly posting requests for flatmates.

However, be wary of their exact location and inclusions. Distances can be underestimated, and a flat that is 10 minutes’ walk to the law campus might three times that from your business faculty. Also, make sure that you clarify what utilities are included in the rent.

All the best for your housing search, please feel free to get back to me anytime for further elucidation.

Kind regards,

(191 words)

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