Friday, November 4, 2011

Formal Letter 1




Look at this task.

You are attending a course in London. Last week, because the trains were delayed by bad weather, you were late for college every day. On the worst day, the train was 1 hour 20 minutes late and you missed two classes.
This is an extract from an information leaflet you have picked up at the station.

We hope you have a pleasant journey with Capital Rail, but if you have any comments or complaints about our services, please write to the Customer Care Manager at the address below.
What we promise to do when things go wrong:
  • If you are delayed for more than one hour you may claim rail vouchers to the value of 50% of the journey made.

Write a letter to the Customer Care Manager at Capital Rail complaining about the poor service you have experienced and asking for compensation. Use your own words as far as possible. Write about 250 words. You do not need to include addresses.

Read the instructions carefully and highlight the key points. Ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of your letter?
  • What do you want it to achieve?

Content

Your letter should include the following points.

  • Why you are writing
  • Which of your journeys were delayed
  • How long the delays were
  • What happened as a result of the travel delays
  • What compensation you require

Organisation

Decide how you will organise these points into about four paragraphs. What kind of things can you say in each paragraph?

Style and register

Thinking about what you want the letter to achieve, consider these questions:

  • Should the letter be formal or informal?
  • What tone is appropriate, eg angry, humorous, sarcastic, cool and factual?



Layout of a formal letter

This is how we organise a formal letter, although in the CAE exam it is not necessary to write addresses.

                                                                                                                        22 York Street
                                                                                                     Bridewell
                                                                                                     BR8  450

The Principal                                                                                        24 November 2006
Clifton College
Clifton
CL5 2RE

Dear Sir,
         I am interested in applying for a place on a computer course at your college and I would be grateful if you could send me full details of the courses you offer and the fees, together with an application form.
          I look forward to hearing from you.
          Yours faithfully
             S. M. Gilchrist
             S. M. Gilchrist  (Ms)


Letter of complaint

In the first paragraph explain the reason for writing.
In the second paragraph explain exactly what the problem is. Give all the necessary details about where and when it happened and who was involved. Give other relevant information in further paragraphs if necessary.
In the final paragraph  explain what action you want to be taken.

Useful language
I am writing to complain about …
                   to express my concern about the fact that …
                   to express my annoyance at ….

I must insist that you ….
I must urge you to ….
I feel I am entitled to a refund. 
I feel I am  entitled to some compensation for the inconvenience I have suffered.
I hope you will consider the points I have raised very carefully.
I shall expect a written apology at your earliest convenience.

Endings

It is usual to end letters which expect a reply with a sentence on a separate line. The most common ending is:
I look forward to hearing from you.

1 comment:

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