Structuring Your IELTS Letter (Part 2)

In a previous blog post, we began exploring a formula called ODAC, which basically breaks up your IELTS letter into four key elements – Opening, Details, Action and Closing. If used appropriately, it could help you structure your IELTS letter effectively, improving your chances of securing a high band score for the task.  

Read on to find out more about the remaining two parts of the formula.

Action

As mentioned previously, there are always three bullet points presented in the question for you to address in your letter. Although there are no hard and fast rules about formulating the bullet points, one of them, which is usually the third, will very often be something action-oriented – for example, say what action you would like the company to take or suggest someone he/she could take in your place. In other words, you will be asked to perform some kind of action, such as making a request, giving instructions, proposing solutions, providing an explanation, laying out a plan or making suggestions.

In order for you to explicitly state what you are intending to do next or what you would like the recipient to do, spend some time learning useful functional language (i.e. set phrases). That way, you will find it easier to finish writing the task in the recommended twenty minutes.

Closing

The opening, as well as closing of your letter, should perfectly fit the tone you’ve used in the letter. The word ‘tone’ refers to the way in which (formal or informal) you write the letter. Generally speaking, the tone is decided on considering who you’ve been asked to write to, the context, and the purpose.

Even though getting the closing of the letter right might seem to be the least of your worries, please be aware that using an inappropriate closing formula will most definitely have an adverse impact on your final Writing score.

So, now that you know how the ODAC formula can help you structure your Task 1 response in the IELTS General Training test, it’d perhaps be a good idea to give yourself some practice using it before test day. Good luck!

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