Letters to people in official positions and whom you don’t know typically adopt a formal style and polite tone, and they are structured in three paragraphs:
- the topic of the letter/reason for writing it
- background information, arguments and factual details
- request or suggestions for future action
they have a particular style, and structure which is different from any other kind of writing:
- style – short paragraphs; short sentences; dramatic vocabulary; statistical information; stacking of adjectives and descriptive phrases before the noun (e.g. ‘The Japanese-owned lightweight racing yacht Sunshine II…’,‘Divorced former model and mother of two, Susan Smith…’)
- The expression should be impersonal (do not use ‘I’ or ‘We’ and do not give any opinions).
Use interview material and direct speech as well as reported speech.
- structure – contrary to normal chronological sequence, news reports begin with the very recent past (usually yesterday); go on to fill in past background prior to the event; return to the immediate present and how things are developing; then finally speculate about the future.
Interviews typically adopt an empathetic tone.
- Style – question/answer format. If you must skip a line between questions and answers, or, use names in the margin like a play script to distinguish between the interviewer and interviewee.
- The interviewer should not speak that much allowing the interviewee to speak the most. It is through the interviewee that you will show your understanding of the text as they will most likely be someone mentioned in the passage.
- Write in first person perspective with personal language (do use ‘I’ and ‘we’ and do give opinions
To show understanding of a viewpoint you may be asked to write a diary entry. Don’t worry , it’s easy.
- Style – almost identical to an informal letter, but packed full of thoughts and opinions.
- The audience must be yourself, not the diary. Never treat a diary like a person!
Always include some kind of plan/intention for the future.