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IELTS Writing Sample #180

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Modern communications mean that it’s no longer necessary to write letters.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Test Tip

Your ideas will form the basis of your argument and they need to be expressed clearly and appropriately.

Here are some expressions to help you present ideas.

I would argue/say/agree that …
In my view/opinion It seems (to me) that …
I tend to think that/ I feel that …
As far as I am concerned …
Some/Most people argue/think/say that …
It is understood that …
It is generally accepted that …
There is a tendency to believe that …
One of the main arguments in favour of / against …

Sample answer

In years gone by, before the age of the telegraph or telephone, letter writing was the main means of communication for most people. Since then we have developed faster and more direct ways of contacting people, and personal mail has become relatively rare.

It is true that in many cases where our parents would have written a letter, we prefer to pick up the phone, to email or even to text instead. These are perfectly suitable ways of inviting friends to call round or exchanging news with a family member, for example, and they have the advantage that the communication is immediate and we can receive a reply very quickly. In business, too, fax and email are extremely useful.

However, in my opinion there are times when there is no alternative to a letter. Letters are generally more formal and carefully composed than emails. This makes them more suitable for occasions when they are likely to be kept and re-read, perhaps several times, by the recipient, as with formal letters of thanks or sympathy. In addition, letters provide a written record, unlike telephone calls, so they are also a better way of setting out an important or complex argument, as in official complaints or legal matters.

In conclusion, I would definitely agree that there are fewer times when we need to write letters than in the past. On the other hand, I feel there are still some important occasions when a letter is the most appropriate form of communication.

(248 words)


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