SEE BELOW HOW TO ANSWER PAST QUESTIONS ON FORMAL LETTERS
1.The nation-wide strike by secondary school teachers affected your school adversely . Write a letter to the Minister of Education suggesting ways for preventing future strike actions.
2. Write a letter to the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency in your country complaining about environmental pollution of your area and requesting that urgent action be taken to improve the situation.
3. There was a riot in your school resulting in extensive damage. And the Ministry of Education ordered your school to be shut down. Write a letter to the Commissioner of Education, explaining the causes of the disturbance and appealing for the school to be re- opened.
4. You have been sent on indefinite suspension for the part you played in a resent disturbance in which valuable school property was damaged. Write a letter to the principal of your school describing the part that you played and apologizing for your involvement.
5. Write a letter to the Commissioner of Agriculture of your state deploring the low-level of food production in the state and suggesting measures which the Government should take to ensure that there is sufficient food for all.
6. The performance of your country in a recent international sports competition has generated a lot of comments. Write a letter to the editor of one of your national newspapers discussing the factors responsible for the level of performance and the lessons that should be learnt.
7.You were an eye-witness to a fight in your dormitory in which a junior student was given a black eye and the principal has threatened to expel all the boarders unless the facts of the matter were made known to him. Write a letter to the Principal stating what actually happened.
8. You were about to leave school after spending six years as a student. Write a letter to the principal expressing your candid views about the strengths and weaknesses of the school and giving suggestions for improvement.
9. You are one of those arrested by the Police at the scene of a crime. Write a letter to the Commissioner of Police giving details of the crime, pleading your innocence and requesting to be released.
10.There has been wide-spread complaints against the teaching staff: absenteeism, lateness to classes, failure to prepare lessons and so on. As the senior prefect, write a letter to the Principal informing him of the situation and requesting him to take necessary action in order to avert a riot that is being secretly planned by students.
11.The transistor radio you bought from a departmental store with a two-year guarantee developed a fault after six months. You took it to the technical section of the store where the foreman refused to accept it, alleging that the guarantee does not cover the fault reported. Write a letter to the General Manager of the store lodging your complaints explaining the nature of the fault and requesting the store fulfill its guarantee.
12. Write a letter to the newly elected Chairman of your Local Government Council congratulating him on his election and stating the priority needs of your community.
13. Write a letter to the Commissioner of Agriculture informing him of invasion by certain pests of the farms in your locality and asking for advise and help in controlling them.
14. You were an eye-witness to an incident in which a crowd of angry traders beat a suspected thief to death. Write a letter to the Divisional Police Officer in your area giving an account of what happened.
15.The sanitary condition of your community is appalling and there are fears of an outbreak of communicable diseases. Write a letter to the chairman of your local government area, drawing his attention to the problem and suggesting ways of dealing with it.
16. Activities such as debates,drama,and excursions are now rare in schools in your country. As the Senior Prefect,write a letter to to your principal suggesting the revival of these activities and pointing out what students stand to gain from taking part in them.
17.Your school has been performing poorly in public examinations for the past three years. Write a letter to your principal suggesting ways of making students more interested in academic work.
18.Activities such as debates, drama and excursions are now rare in schools in your country. As the Senior Prefect, write a letter to your principal suggesting the revival of these activities and pointing out what students stand to gain from taking part in them.
19.The poor and needy in your country have not been adequately provided for. Write a letter to the head of your Social Welfare Department describing their plight and suggesting ways of improving the situation
20.As a concerned student, write a letter to the Principal of your school informing him of recent acts of bullying by senior students and suggesting ways of arresting the situation.
21.Write a letter to the police officer in charge of your area thanking him for the prompt intervention of the police in a recent clash between two villages in your locality and suggesting further measures for preventing a future occurrence.
22.Write a letter to the Chairman of your school’s Board of Governors on the need for a library in the school, requesting him to build and equip one for the school.
23.Write a letter to the Postmaster of your area expressing your dissatisfaction with the operations of the Post Office, and suggesting three ways of improving the services.
24.Write a letter to the Minister of Works in your country complaining about the deplorable condition of the roads in your area and the effects this has on the lives of your people
ARE YOU ASKING YOURSELF WHAT TO DO?
The questions above have been provided by WAEC to assist you understand the required standards in English Language final examination.
If you ask examiners they will tell you that a very substantial portion of essays marked are letters.Formal or informal.The obvious reason is that students tend to regard letter-writing as a way out as opposed to the monumental task of crafting other brain-bursting essays inside the exam hall.Is this due to ill preparation or laziness? Or is it due to examination tension and the temporary paralysis of the brain leading to inability to think of relevant points to put together for an impressionable score?
With reference to letter-writing it is one thing looking for the easiest way out and it is another eventually finding your self in a maze or getting caught like mouse in a trap! Our honest opinion is that most letters are mouse traps for students and their tutors need to let them know this. Why do we say so?
a…letters are the most technical of all the essay forms!…there is a list of content that must be seen and included in certain ways without which students can lose substantial marks…
b…letters hardly give examiners room for discretion or sympathy to students as in other forms of essay…
c…students hardly feel compelled to study the finer details of what is required for letters…the usual attitude is that they have been writing letters for long and should be able to accumulate “enough” marks with lesser effort than would have been expended on other forms of essay.
d…the advent of e-mails and net writing (such as we are presently using for this write-up) has ensured that students commit more spelling and punctuation mistakes which they don’t even realize … especially when writing informal letters!
i. pick one of the questions above…
ii. then remember the notes below
What are the essentials of letter-writing? Is there a checklist for tutors and students to use for doing fairly well in letter-writing? Please find below our humble submissions under layout,language and style for formal letters
2. Address of writer.
3. Designation of the addressee.
4. Company’s or Organization’s address in full.
7. Reason for writing stating any reference or advert seen with name of source and date of publication if possible.
8. Tone of letter should reflect the respect or deference to the addressee if a senior or a person you expect some favor from…even if it is a letter of complaints on something you are angry about your words need to be diplomatic and never uncouth!
9. Short sentences are preferable.
10. AVOID GRAMMATICAL,PUNCTUATION AND SPELLING ERRORS (more notes on these coming up).
11. Balance the length of sentences and link your paragraphs.
12. Balance the number of sentences in each paragraph.
13, Apart from your introduction and conclusion use only 3-5 paragraphs with each expressing different ideas.
14. For conclusion restate the reason for writing.
15. State yours “faithfully” with small letter “f”.
16. Don’t forget to sign and write the name of the writer or your name
…for both formal and informal letters the tone should agree with the purpose of the letter…if it is for sympathy or condolence it should give comfort…even if it is a complaint against certain behavior it should indicate disapproval of such behavior without betraying annoyance or anger of the writer.
iii. check past Q/A booklets for similar answers
iv. then write yours…that is, do your own work,learn from the mistakes you make along the way, and the world will be a better, brighter place for you,at least academically (WIKI)