Letters Asking for Advice

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Letters Asking for Advice

Letters/e-mails asking for advice can be:

  • formal — sent to an official person;
  • informal — sent to a friend;
  • semi-formal — sent to an advice column in a magazine

depending on the situation. Details of the problem should be mentioned.

Plan

Greetings

Paragraph 1: reasons for writing.

Paragraph 2-3: description of problem(s).

Final paragraph: closing remarks.

(Full) name.


Useful language

Opening remarks:

Formal:

I am writing to ask if you could help me;

You would do me a favor if you could advise what to do;

I would appreciate if you could give me some advice about;

I would be most grateful to you if you could help me in the dilemma;

I am writing to ask for your advice;

I would be grateful if you could offer your advice;

Could you possibly offer your advice;

I wonder if you could help me with a problem;

You are the only person I could ask for advice on my problem;

I come to you seeking advice on a personal matter;

You are the person who seems to know right from wrong;

Informal:

I’m writing to ask for advice;

Can you give me your advice?

I’ve got a problem and I need your advice;

I don’t want to be a nuisance, but I need your advice


Closing remarks

Formal:

I would appreciate it if you could give me your advice as soon as possible;

I look forward to receiving your advice;

It would be of great help if you could advise me;

What do you suggest / recommend?

Informal:

What do you think I should do?

Please let me know what you think I should do;

Please tell me what to do;

What would you do in this situation?

What ought/should I (to) do?

If you were me what would you do?


Ask for a piece of advice on some of the following:

  1. how to tell you roommate to tidy the room on regular basis
  2. how to persuade parents to accept your vegetarianism
  3. what to do on your first trip abroad
  4. what to put on for a job interview
  5. how to ask for salary raise


Asking for/giving advice ideas. Relationships:

  1. You are always jealous of you girlfriend/boyfriend. He/she is tired of your jealousy and wants to split up.
  2. You have been friends for two years. While being friends you fell in love with your friend. He/she does not know about your feelings.
  3. You are being gossiped about. You hate being the subject of much local gossip.
  4. You are always having family rows, breaking for no reason. You think your family do not understand you and disagree with you on anything.
  5. You find yourself constantly torn between the pressures of work and personal life. You need to earn a living, but you also want quality time for your partners, family, friends and for yourself. It can often feel as though there just aren't enough hours in the day or days in the week. And while you rush around trying to fit more and more activities into less and less time, it is often your relationships that suffer.
  6. You are being criticized by your friend/partner. It creates a lot of tension in your relationship. It makes you feel like you’re constantly under attack or as though nothing you do is good enough.


Asking for advice. Holidays:

You want to spend a two week holiday in your friend’s region. Write a letter asking for information and advice. In your letter:

  • ask how to find somewhere to stay;
  • ask for advice about what to do there;
  • ask about what clothes to bring along.


Asking for advice. Addiction:

You have been noticing that your friend is getting a computer addict.

You value your friendship very much. Write a letter to a psychologist. In

your letter

  • describe your friend’s everyday actions
  • explain why you think he/she needs a professional help
  • ask how to persuade your friend to make an appointment with a psychologist


Asking for advice. Changing accommodation:

You will move to a new city for work. You know some people who live there.

  • ask them for help finding accommodation
  • tell them where you would like to live
  • tell them about a type of place you are looking for


Asking for advice. Study abroad:

Your friend has been studying abroad for quite a long time. Write him/her a letter. 

In your letter

  • tell him/her when and where your study program starts;
  • ask about pros and cons of accommodation (host family/dormitory/rented flat);
  • which things to take with you for the first time of staying abroad.


Asking for advice. Study abroad 2:

Your friend has recently left to study abroad at one of the most prestigious university. Write him/her a letter. 

In your letter

  • ask him/her about different study programs for foreign students
  • necessary exams and how to prepare for them
  • the procedure of obtaining a foreign passport and visa



Sample

Dear Amy,

First of all, I want to thank you for your previous letter, in which you shared the latest news with me. I am happy to hear that you are doing well and the problems you wrote about before were solved.

Unfortunately, I have come across with a range of troubles and badly need your advice. You are the only person I fully trust and I rely on your experience a lot.

Maybe you can give me some advice and things will get better soon.

My first problem is about my weight. I have never been on a diet, and I do not know which to choose and which will not do any harm to my health. I have tried to do some healthy exercises, such as playing ball games and swimming but they are not very interesting to me and I get bored very soon. Can you advise any other good ways to keep fit and healthy.

Besides I should mention I am not satisfied with my appearance a lot. I understand that everyone has different looks but I feel uneasy when my class mates talk about me behind my back.

Another problem is about my English at school. I think I am very bad at learning English so I get low marks in English tests.I know how well you speak English and I thought you could give me some tips on this matter. I tried to listen to and learn English by watching TV programmes in English, but I hardly understand them and it drives me crazy.

And finally, the problem about my relationship with my parents. I do not share their way of spending our weekends and holidays. I can not reveal my thoughts and feelings to them and it even makes me feel worse. Hope your advice will change the things. Write to mean soon as you can. Thanks a lot in advance for your patience and understanding.

Yours truly

Joanna

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