In General Writing Task 1, you are going to be given a task in which you are asked to write a letter of approximately 150 words in 20 minutes. It will always be a letter. The difference is that your tone can be formal, semi-formal, or informal.
I would go one step further than that and I will tell you not to get confused with formal and semi-formal because the difference is pretty slight and it doesn’t even count. So, really, your answer will be either formal or informal. The majority of times? Formal. You only write an informal letter to people you know very well, that is, friends and family. All the rest, need a formal reply.
Basically, in all tasks they ask you to talk about three things in your letter. Generally speaking, these will be:
1.) to state the reason of your writing
2.) to explain what the problem or your situation is in more details and
3.) to express what you want or what you expect or what you’d like to happen in the near future
Try to use one paragraph for each of these things, that is three paragraphs and the organisation of your writing will be ready without too much struggle.
Again, as in all writing tasks,
1.) You should be on topic
2.) You should be cohesive and coherent which basically means that you should be organised and your ideas should follow one another smoothly. Also, the use of linking words and connecting phrases is really important
3.) The variety of vocabulary you use is really important, too. Try not to use the same words again and again. Instead, use synonyms and linking words.
4.) In formal letters, the writing of complex sentences is greatly appreciated. If you need extra help with writing in a complex way then this lesson is for you. You can read it here.
5.) Correct grammar, syntax, and spelling are of vital importance so if you have weaknesses in these areas start sorting them out.