How To Write Your Body Paragraphs

When you write the body paragraphs of your letter you must ensure that:

  1. You cover the bullet points you were asked to.
  2. You use the correct tone/level of formality.
  3. Your letter is structured correctly and flows well.
  4. You use a range of vocabulary to deal with the task effectively.

The phrases below cover the main reasons why you will need to write a letter. remember that you need to make sure you get the level of formality right in your letter.

Some of the phrases below are for formal letters only and are marked with a F and some questions are for informal letters only, marked with an I. The phrases that are not marked with an I or an F can be safely used in either type of letter.

I personally recommend that you use formal language for all of your letters, unless you are asked to write to a friend, in which case you can use informal language.

Generally speaking you should use contractions in informal letters such as 'I'm' instead of 'I am', and no contractions in a formal letter.

Apologising

I'm sorry about/that...

I'm really sorry that/about...

I'm very sorry for...

Please forgive me for...

I'd like to apologise for...

Please accept my apologies regarding... F

Please accept my sincere apologies as regards... F

I'd like to express my sincere apologies for... F

Asking for Help

I would be grateful if you could... F

I would really appreciate it if you could... F

Could you please... F

It would be great if you could... I

I was wondering if you could help me to...

I would like to know if you could...

I'd love it if you could help me to... I

Requesting Information

I am writing to find out about...

I am writing to enquire about... F

What I'm looking for is... I

I would like to know about/if...

Would it be possible if you sent me information regarding... F

Ending your letter

I look forward to seeing/meeting you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

I look forward to receiving your response.

I am looking forward to a swift a response.

A swift response would be appreciated.

Please let me know how you would like to proceed with this.

Please respond at your earliest convenience.

Here are a range of model answers you can use to help write your own letters:

Model Question and Answer - An Informal Letter to a Friend +

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

A friend has agreed to look after your house and pet while you are on holiday.
Write a letter to your friend. In your letter:

• give contact details for when you are away
• give instructions about how to care for your pet
• describe other household duties

Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write any addresses.

MODEL ANSWER BELOW

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

Model Question and Answer - A Formal Letter +

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.You live in a room in college which you share with another student. However, there are many
problems with this arrangement and you find it very difficult to work.

Write a letter to the accommodation officer at the college. In the letter:

• describe the situation
• explain your problems and why it is difficult to work
• say what kind of accommodation you would prefer

Write at least 150 words.

 

MODEL ANSWER BELOW

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 written your letter the final step is to check your letter for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Learn how to check your letter efficiently here.