Motorway Is To Be Built Near Your House. As You Think That It Will Destroy

Suggested measures

Suggested measures

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Composition Letters

Letters to the authorities/editor are formal pieces of writing. They express a person's concern about and views on a certain matter and usually contain suggestions on how to tackle a problem. You need to state the nature of the problem and its causes and effects.

Each point should be presented in a separate paragraph containing a clear topic sentence supported by examples and/or justification.

Useful Language for Letters to the Authorities/Editor

To begin letters:

draw your attention to ... / bring ... to your attention ... / you on behalf of... I am writing to you in my capacity as ... / express my approval/disapproval of / support for... / protest about...

To state your opinion:

In my opinion/view, I feel/believe/think, It seems to me that, I tend to think that, I am totally opposed to/in favour of, It is my firm belief/opinion/conviction that, I am convinced that

To express cause:

because/owing to the fact that/due to the fact that/on the grounds that/since/as/ In view of/Because of/Owing to/ For this reason/Seeing that

To express effect:

thus, / therefore, / so / consequently, / as a result, / as a consequence, / for this reason To end letters:

I look forward to hearing from you.

I hope you will give this matter your urgent consideration/attention. I hope (that) you will give this matter careful/further consideration.


Paragraph 1

state reason(s) for writing and opinion

Main Body Paragraphs 2-3*

describe the problem(s) and consequences,

Paragraphs 4-5*

suggest solutions/ measures to be taken


Final Paragraph closing remarks Full name

* The exact number and division of paragraphs will depend on the specific instructions for each letter-writing task.

2 Read the instructions and the letter and complete the paragraph plan on the right, identifying the topic of each paragraph. Is each topic clear y stated in a topic sentence? Then, look at the words and phrases in bold, and think of similar ones which could be used to replace them

You live near a dangerous road junction where several accidents have occurred. Write a letter to the authorities, describing thepo le m and suggesting how further accidents could be avoided.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to bring to your attention the dangerous state of the road junction between Ellis Road and Wiltshire Avenue in the village of Hazlemere. During the last year there have been a large number of accidents at this junction and it seems to me that something must be done.

The basic problem is the lack of road signs on Ellis Road warning drivers of the junction. In particular, for traffic approaching from the north, there are no warning signs at all until they have reached the junction. Since the speed limit on this road is 60 mph, drivers do not have time to slow down, with the result that they go through the stop sign directly into the lane of east-bound traffic on Wiltshire Avenue.

Furthermore, the junction also presents a danger to the children walking to and from the local primary school. Due to the fact that there is no sa/e place to cross, several children have been injured in minor accidents. Yet more accidents have been caused by the/act that drivers have swerved to avoid children stepping off the pavement.

One solution to the problem would be to install signs on Ellis Road. These should be clearly visible and large enough to make drivers aware of the junction. Also, the speed limit must be reduced to make sure that cars travel at a speed at which they are able to slow down and stop safely.

In addition to this, a proper crossing must be provided for pedestrians at the junction. Doing so would ensure that drivers were not distracted by people crossing the road. Moreover, flashing lights would act as afurther warning, forcing drivers to slow down even more, thus reducing the danger to local people.

I hope you will give this matter your urgent consideration and that suitable measures will be taken before more accidents occur.

Yours faithfully, 7C. TVii^t

K.J. Wright

Letters to the editors of magazines and newspapers are written when a) we r wish to express our approval or disapproval of something which is of interest to the general public or b) when we wish to reply to letters or articles previously published and on which we have strong views.

• Letters of this type tend to contain a combination of formal and informal language such as idioms, phrasal verbs and rhetorical questions. This is done in order to have a more persuasive effect on the readers.

9 When writing a letter to the editor it is necessary to refer to what other people may think of the subject we are expressing our views on.

3 Read the model letter below. What is the purpose of the letter? Find examples of formal and informal language and give the topic of each paragraph. In which paragraph does the writer contradict the opposing viewpoint?

Dear Sir,

I am writing with regard to the upcoming reception which is to be held on 2nd June to welcome foreign VIPs. As a tax-payer, I consider I this event an extravagant waste of money, and would (ike to offer a little constructive criticism.

Officials took the hasty decision to spend outrageous amounts of money organising a two-hour event, while our school and roads are badly in need of repair. At the local council meeting held last month our honourable judge, Mr Peter Stevens, stated that the local government did not have the funds to repair these facilities. At the same time, they were arranging for foreign dignitaries to visit our town, at our expense. As a result, our children face a cold winter without proper heating in their classrooms , and as motorists, we will risk our lives driving on roads which require resurfacing.

Also, the local hospital has stated time and time again that as they do not have the medical equipment to tend to patients properly, they feel they are fighting a losing battle. It is unbelievable that the town's needs are being sacrificed for a few hours of rubbing shoulders with VIPs. If the council can spend thousands of pounds welcoming a I hand/ul of officials, then surely it can spend some money on improving the standards of services within our community — or do we not qualify as a worthy cause?

While I understand the significance of providing an appropriate /unction for these officials, I do not believe that the needs of our town and its residents should be overlooked.

To sum up, I believe that a compromise could be made by scaling down this expensive reception party and spending some of the money to meet our community's needs. What better way to greet visitors than by proudly showing off our town and its citizens?

Yours faithfully, rfliaaa "Steam Alison Brown


Paragraph 1

state reason(s) and give opinion

Moin Body

Paragraphs 2-3*

give arguments to support your opinion/Suggest what can be done

Paragraphs 4

Present opposing viewpoint and contradict it


Final Paragraph closing remarks Full name

* The exact number and division of paragraphs will depend on the specific instructions for each letter-writing task.

4 Collocate the following words and then explain their meaning. Try to include them in your letters.

last, hasty, constructive, to fight, thing, long, empty, step, worthy, limited

1 a losing battle

3 a(n) in the right direction

4 a(n) decision

6 criticism

5 Read the instructions and the model letter below. How many of the suggested points are covered? What is the topic of each paragraph? Underline any words/ phrases the writer uses to express her opinion.

Your local authorities have decided to open an adult education centre in your area where people from 18 to 30 can follow courses and activities which interest them. They have invited the public to write giving their views on:

- its value to the community

- opening hours

- facilities which the building should have

- the people who would use the centre

- location

Use some or all of these points in a letter to the local authorities setting out your views about their proposal.

Dear Mr Connelly,

I am writing in response to the decision to open an adult education centre in our area.

Firstly, let me state that I was delighted when I heard the news that such a centre was to be established in our community. In my view, it will provide valuable services not normally available to most people. It is not often that one has the chance to go back to school due to responsibilities such as work and child-rearing.

I believe that the centre should have as many courses and activities as possible. For example, by providing facilities such as a science laboratory, computer and arts centres, a /ully-equipped gymnasium and a library, not only will students benefit, but the centre will as well.

In order for people to be able to use the centre effectively, I think that the most suitable opening hours would be/rom 8.30 am to 8.30 pm, Monday to Friday. For those of us who cannot attend during the week, the centre could open on Saturdays from 8.30 am to 1.00 pm.

As far as people with children are concerned, perhaps the centre could set up a day-care unit so that youngsters could be looked after while their parents attend classes.

Regarding location, I would suggest that the centre be built along the riverside, overlooking Sunset Bay. It is a most inspiring place and very convenient as it is close to the bus and train stations. Alternatively, the centre could be built in the park beside the Museum of Fine Arts.

All in all, I think that an adult education centre will help to enhance our community both culturally and financially. I am looking forward to taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity that is being offered.

Yours sincerely, "Wtantfa, "ptruv&ui

Martha Flowers

6 Look at the following writing task instructions and then answer the questions below. The questions apply to both tasks.

a) A motorway is to be built near your house. As you think that it will destroy areas of natural beauty, write a letter to the local authorities expressing your views. You should explain what damage will be caused and suggest alternative routes.

b) You have recently received a number of comments from locat residents, some of which are printed below. As the representative of your local res-dents'committee, write a letter to the authorities outlining people's concerns and suggesting what should be done.

- They throw bottles into my garden and tear up my plants!

- Teenagers roam in gattgp and I get frightened!

- The streets are dirty and fall of litter!

- The walls are covered with graffiti!

- The pubBc telephone's always broken!

- Young hooligans race round the square on motor bikes !

• What greeting would you use?

• What is the main purpose for writing the letter?

• What is the additional purpose?

• What paragraph plan would you use?

• What useful expressions could you use as opening and closing remarks?

• How would you sign the letter?

7 Choose ONE of the writing tasks above, and write a complete paragraph plan with notes. Then write the letter in about 300 words.

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