Written letters are a very important type of writing. Make sure you have a clear and consistent style and sense of character in the letter. Make sure you write appropriately to audience - if you are asked to a family member you would use a different tone than if you were writing to your boss!
-Clear Structure (see right) with topic sentences
-Think about the audience (this will affect the language you choose)
-Think about the purpose (this will affect your language - e.g. if you are asked to PERSUADE then use PERFECT techniques).
-Different sentence types
Model Example for a structure:
23rd January 2012
I am writing to inform you why today’s lesson is so important. By the end of today’s lesson, you should understand exactly how to structure a formal letter, and you will all have had a chance to write your own. I am looking forward to reading your letters and seeing how much you have managed to learn.
There are many reasons why learning to write a formal letter is a vital skill. Firstly, what you learn today will help you to pass your functional skills exam. The exam will be a valuable qualification to put on your CV.
Secondly, when you are applying for jobs/college/university you will need to be able to write a formal letter. If you don’t know how to do it, people are unlikely to take you seriously. Today’s lesson isn’t just about the exam; it’s about having a skill that you can use for life! The skills you learn today may help you get your dream job...
Finally, when you put as much effort as you can into a lesson, it makes me happy! I’m going to be making a note of who is working well today and will be making a positive phone call home for the student whose letter I am most impressed by.
Give 100% in today’s lesson and you’ll find you can achieve a great deal; I can’t wait to see what you can produce before the end of the day!
1) Highlight the topic sentences in each paragraph
2) What are the topics of each paragraph?
P 1 = Introduction
P 2 =
3) Look at the punctuation this letter. Why is it effective?
Structure for Success
(Address your letter to Dear + the name or job title of the person you have been asked to write to, then start a new line for the opening paragraph. N.B. Although it is good practice to teach and expect students to put dates and addresses on formal letters, and to sign them appropriately, these are not required and not rewarded in the exam.)
2. Paragraph 1: Introduction
(Why are you writing? Give the general aim and minimum information only, e.g. to complain, apply, request, disagree, and an indication of what you are responding to e.g. a recent holiday or a letter in last week’s newspaper.)
3. Paragraph 2: Details of situation
(Give previous history of event or your background or experience. Say what happened exactly if you are making a complaint, or focus directly on the text you are arguing with. This section should include specific data such as names, dates, facts and details.)
4. Paragraph 3: Further development
(Give further support to your claim or request. Summarise the current situation and
why you should be given consideration e.g. other problems which occured with your holiday accommodation, how well you fulfil the job requirements)
5. Final paragraph: Future action
(Say what you wish to happen next e.g. that you look forward to being called for interview or expect to receive some compensation as soon as possible. Suggest, firmly but politely, what may happen if you do not receive a response to a complaint.)