How To Check Your Letter

You should spend 2-3 minutes checking through your letter once you have written it. This is crucial as one of the marking criteria is 'Grammar' and this includes correct, spelling and punctuation.

In 2-3 minutes you do not have enough time to completely rewrite your letter if you have used the wrong structure but you can check quickly and easily for these types of mistakes:

  1. Spelling mistakes.
  2. Capital letters, full-stops and general punctuation.
  3. Missing, or mis-use of articles 'a, an and the'.
  4. Prepositions: in, at, on, by, for etc...
  5. Word formations: success, successful, successfully.
  6. Letter 's' endings.
  7. All words/phrases have the correct tone.
  8. Letter opening and ending are appropriate.

Do not change words for synonyms if you are not 100% sure about the new word you are using. It is better to be accurate than to insert a word you are not sure about.

Below are two letters with ten mistakes in each of them. Can you identify them all in 2 minutes?

 

Dear carolyn

thank you for agreeing to house-sit for me. If you need to contact me during my holiday,
I’ll be staying at the imperial Hotel in Bundaberg. If it’s urgent, however, please ring my
mobile phone, which I’ll keep with me at all times. I’ve written the numbers on a sticky
note which I’ve left on the fridge.

My cat needs to be fed twise daily so each morning and evening put a handful of cat
biscuits in his dish. You will find these in the kitchen pantry. Also, please check
throughout the day to make sure he have fresh water. You can give him a small bowl of
milk in the evening.

I would like you to water my plants too. The indoor ones in the lounge only need water
once every few day but the plants on the balcony need to be watered daily unless there
has been heavey rain. Finally, for security, please clear my mail box every day and keep
the outside lights on at night.

I look forward to seeing you on my return

Yours,
katie

CORRECTIONS IN BOLD

Dear Carolyn,

Thank you for agreeing to house-sit for me. If you need to contact me during my holiday,
I’ll be staying at the Imperial Hotel in Bundaberg. If it’s urgent, however, please ring my
mobile phone, which I’ll keep with me at all times. I’ve written the numbers on a sticky
note which I’ve left on the fridge.

My cat needs to be fed twice daily so each morning and evening put a handful of cat
biscuits in his dish. You will find these in the kitchen pantry. Also please check
throughout the day to make sure he has fresh water. You can give him a small bowl of
milk in the evening.

I would like you to water my plants too. The indoor ones in the lounge only need water
once every few days but the plants on the balcony need to be watered daily unless there
has been heavy rain. Finally, for security, please clear my mail box every day and keep
the outside lights on at night.

I look forward to seeing you on my return.

Yours,
Katie

Dear sir or madam

I’m writing to ask if I could please be given another room in college.

At present I share a room with another student who, unfortunately, is very noisy This makes it very difficult for me to study. I have asked this student on many occassions to let me work quietly but there has been no change. He plays his radio or watches TV constantly and often invites friend round for partys which last till late in the night.

I have tried working in the library but it is not open at all the times I need. I am very woried about this situation, as I have to finish my final year project this term and have my final exams coming up at the end of the year.

I would be most greatful if you could please give me a room by myself or a room sharing with a student who is quiet.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your helps.

Your faithfully
Jan Hutt

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to ask if I could please be given another room in college.

At present I share a room with another student who, unfortunately, is very noisy. This makes it very difficult for me to study. I have asked this student on many occasions to let me work quietly but there has been no change. He plays his radio or watches TV constantly and often invites friends round for parties which last till late in the night.

I have tried working in the library but it is not open at all the times I need. I am very worried about this situation, as I have to finish my final year project this term and have my final exams coming up at the end of the year.

I would be most grateful if you could please give me a room by myself or a room sharing with a student who is quiet.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your help.

Yours faithfully
Jan Hutt

Once you have checked your letter you are ready to move onto the second part of the writing exam: IELTS Writing Task 2.