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Sample Essay

Sample Question
You recently stayed at one of a chain of large hotels and encountered a number of problems during your stay
which you feel were the fault of the company. Write a letter to the company’s head office, detailing the problems
that you had, describing what happened when you complained to the hotel staff about them. Suggest ways in
which the hotel group could improve its service to customers.
Write your letter. Do not write any postal addresses.

Sample Essay

Dear Sir or Madam,
I’m writing to complain about your Hotel Blue Star, where I was staying for
two nights on 24th-25th of November during my business trip. Despite of
recommendations of a friend of mine, I encountered three major problems that
made my stay rather unpleasant and unnecessarily complicated. Although the hotel
facilities were of high standard, I certainly cannot say the same about your
service.
For the first night I reserved a table for four people in your hotel
restaurant. For some reason the reservation had not been made and my business
partners and I had to wait in the lobby for more than half an hour to get a table.
Considering that my guests were some of the most important business partners of
mine, this was most unpleasant.
The next evening I arrived at the hotel very tired at 7pm, hoping that my
dinner, which I ordered in the morning, will be delivered to my room at 7.30pm. At
8 o’clock, starving, I rang the restaurant. They knew nothing about my order.
Therefore I had to wait for my dinner for another 45 minutes to be ready.
The same evening I rang the reception, asking them to prepare my bill for
the following morning as I was about to leave at 6am for the airport and could not
wait. This had not been done either, which meant another wait for me. It took
more than 20 minutes to get my bill ready. Not mentioning that my taxi booking
was omitted too.
I strongly advise you to inform your hotel staff in the reception as well as
in the restaurant about the appalling service I had to endure and instruct them in
the service they should provide, especially for business people, who usually lack
the time for waiting. I don’t require any financial compensation, although your
apology and information about steps that have been taken to avoid such a situation
in the future is awaited.
Yours faithfully,

© Macmillan Publishers 2003.

Appropriacy of register and format Q.Assessment Content Q. and I strongly advise you to … appalling. If there are occasions when the vocabulary is too simple. and the word order of the final sentence is wrong – it should be wait for another 45 minutes for my dinner to be ready. which is excellent. why? If not. The letter is appropriately formal and appropriately laid out. In the third paragraph will be delivered should be would be delivered as it refers to a past hope not a future one. Accuracy Q. There are a few mistakes. endure. The shorter sentences are used for brief. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A. with excellent linking producing some longer sentences that make complex points very well. © Macmillan Publishers 2003. which are missing? Are any additional points included? If so. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A. steps that have been taken. and it also includes suggestions to the manager. to avoid such a situation and awaited in the final paragraph. suggest alternatives. Are all the main points mentioned in the question covered? Where are these points covered? If any are not covered. being forceful in the points made and the annoyance expressed but remaining polite throughout. Are there any mistakes in the use of vocabulary or grammar? Correct any that you find. why not? _______________________________________________________________________________________ A. In the first paragraph Despite of is incorrect (‘of’ should not be there). Most of the main points mentioned in the question are covered in the letter. Are the style and tone of the letter appropriate? How would you describe them? Why are they appropriate or inappropriate? Is the format suitable for a letter of this kind? If so. what are they. Range Q. made my stay rather complicated and unnecessarily unpleasant and of high standard (first paragraph). most (meaning ‘extremely’) unpleasant (second paragraph). knew nothing about and starving (third paragraph). omitted (fourth paragraph). and are they relevant? _______________________________________________________________________________________ A. The language used is certainly not too simple. give examples. There is some very good use of vocabulary and structure. Is there a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures? If so. The tone is entirely suitable. since it describes what happened to the writer in the hotel and the results of this for the writer. There is no mention of complaints made to the staff at the time. clear descriptions of what went wrong and are therefore entirely appropriate. . particularly in the final paragraph. but this is not a major disadvantage and does not reduce the effectiveness of the letter. for example.

Therefore (third paragraph). The only mistake with linking is in the fourth paragraph. the writer says that three problems will be detailed and each of them is explained very clearly. for example Although (first paragraph). © Macmillan Publishers 2003. Target reader Q. The fact that the writer does not want money in return. The letter is extremely well-organized. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A. summarize the writer’s point of view briefly. is very clear at the end. The reader would be absolutely clear about what happened. Is the letter well-organized in terms of the beginning. the writer’s feelings about it and what the writer expects to happen as a result of the letter. The next three paragraphs detail concisely and clearly what happened and why it caused problems for the writer. If not. presenting a forceful and very clear view as to what the writer thinks should happen and expects to happen. If there are occasions when the linking is inadequate or inappropriate. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A. which is incorrect. The opening paragraph gives the appropriate background and explains precisely what the writer’s purpose is. Do you feel that someone reading this letter would be clear what the writer’s point of view is throughout it? If so. Does the letter flow well in terms of the linking of points and ideas within paragraphs and between paragraphs? Give examples of places where the linking is good. There is a great deal of excellent linking throughout. At the beginning. say what you feel is unclear in the letter. The final paragraph is excellent. middle and end? Is it divided into paragraphs appropriately? Describe briefly the content of each paragraph. which meant (fourth paragraph) and as well as. especially for and although (final paragraph). For some reason and Considering (second paragraph). . but wants to be informed that action on service has been taken. suggest improvements. where the last two sentences should be linked by not to mention rather than beginning another sentence with Not mentioning.Organization and cohesion Q.