When doing my writing correction classes, I have noticed that an easy way to increase the scores of IELTS students is to focus on improving their letters. The main disadvantage of the exam is that you just receive an overall score for writing and it is difficult to identify whether task 1 or 2 is the problem. While the letter is only worth 33%, it is crucial that you maximise your score in this area because it can make up for some small grammatical issues or a slightly weaker essay. The best way to check your current score is by using my writing correction service which you can find out more about by pressing the green button below. 

IELTS Band 9 Formal Letter

IELTS Matt's Advice

The city library is going to be replaced by a supermarket. Write a letter to your city council 

1) State how you heard about it

2) Explain the disadvantages of building a supermarket

3) Describe why the library is important.


Dear Sir or Madam, 

I am writing to complain about the proposed replacement of our local library. 

I visited the library this morning and was dismayed when I found out that it would be replaced by a grocery store. The librarian informed me that it would close in two months and that the plans had already been approved. This was surprising since my local friends had not heard anything about it. 

There would be several drawbacks if you built a supermarket in this area, most notably for the local businesses. These shops have been here for decades and it is clear that they would not be able to compete with such a large store. Additionally, the area already has severe traffic congestion issues and these would be multiplied by constructing the supermarket.

Most importantly, the library is absolutely crucial for our citizens. The key reason is that it allows poorer citizens the opportunity to read books without the exorbitant costs of the local bookshop. If you continue with your plans to close the library, this will inevitably widen the social inequality in our region and will have an adverse effect on the educational achievement of disadvantaged children. 

I hope that you will reconsider your decision. 

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Lawrence

1) Use the instructions to form your three body paragraphs. You should aim for one paragraph for each of the three points that you have to include.

2) For each of these paragraphs include at two sentences (preferably three) 

3) Avoid using contractions or informal phrasal verbs. 

4) Try to base your letter on real life situations. Imagine your own local area and how you would be likely to hear about this news, why another supermarket would be bad for that area and the reason that a library is important. 

5) If you start with Dear Sir or Madam, then finish with Yours faithfully. 
If you begin with Dear Mr/Mrs Smith
then finish with Yours sincerely. 

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