Category: English A exam format

Letter of Complaint Question

a) Pretend you went to your favourite fast food restaurant and while there you received poor service.

Write a letter of complaint to the manager of the restaurant in which you describe in detail what happened and how you would like the situation to be addressed.

(25 marks)

Students if you want us to review your letter of complaint you can email your work to

P.S. CSEME PRO members please check under the teachers membership tab for more sample English A questions or search for ‘letter’ to see all the questions based on letter writing.

How to Write a Letter of Complaint

A letter of complaint, or complaint letter, is normally written to deal with a problem situation when other attempts have failed to rectify the situation.  As stated before, the letter of complaint is a business letter  (click the link to read the post).

When you are responding in in written form, you should avoid angry, hostile or sarcastic tones.

You are more likely to get specific action on what you want, if your written response reflects tact, courtesy and emotional intelligence.



The writer’s tone is his/her attitude towards a subject.  The writer’s tone is created by the his use of language, that is, the style of address, word choice, point of view and voice.


Structure of a Letter of Complaint

  • Purpose of the letter
  • Begin with a detailed description of the product or service
  • State what is exactly is wrong with the product or service
  • Briefly describe the inconvenience you have suffered
  • Indicate precisely how the situation should be corrected
  • Ask for prompt handling of the claim


Body of the Letter

Paragraph 1: Describe what is wrong with the product or describe the issues/problems. Give the date of purchase and place of purchase, if applicable.

Paragraph 2: Explain how you would like to resolve the problem.

Paragraph 3: Explain that you look forward to receiving a reply with a resolution. Set a date or time limit in which to receive the reply. Give a phone number where you can be reached.


Language Structure of the Letter of Complaint

Here are some helpful language structures that are used in letters of complaint:


I’m writing:

  • Because……
  • On account of…
  • On the subject of….
  • To draw your attention to…..



  • I must object…..
  • I must complain about…..
  • I find it quite distressing that …..
  • I feel something ought to be done/ said about……
  • It’s time that….was/were…….



  • I expect to be compensated for the compensated for inconvenience I ……
  • I expect better service from……..
  • I would like to know what action you will take to resolve this situation.
  • I look forward to a prompt reply/ a full explanation
  • I await your response/ suggestions/ comments


See the shop for the Letter of Complaint Lesson Plan.

Check back tomorrow  for sample letter of complaint questions.


Expository Writing- The Business Letter

Yesterday we looked at the types of expository writing that are present in the CSEC English A 2018-2023 syllabus

A Letter Defined

A letter is a written correspondence between two persons or a person and a company or between two companies. Letters can be formal or informal. Informal letters are also known as friendly letters. Whereas, formal letters are also known as business letters.Today were are only going to focus on business letters.

Types of Business Letters

They are many types of business letters. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Letter of Complaint
  2. Letter of Requests
  3. Letter of Apology
  4. Application/Cover Letter

These are the four major types that might occur in Section B of the CSEC English A Exam.

Examining the Four Types of Letters

Letter of Complaint

letter of complaint is written to deal with a problem situation when other attempts have failed to rectify the situation.

Letter of Request

A letter of Request is a formal way of asking a person or company for something. It would be that you are asking for sponsorship for an event or you are asking your principal to permit an event. 

Letter of Apology

There are formal or informal letters of apology. However,a formal letter of apology is a way of expressing regret towards a past action or occurrence. This can be done to or by a manager, teacher, principal or a company to a client.

Application/Cover Letter

An application/cover letter is a written document submitted with a resume’ which explains the position the applicant is applying for as well as highlight skills and traits that the applicant might have that is not highlighted in the resume’. 

Structure of the Business Letter

The structure of letters evolve over time and there the structure of the business letter is no different. There are three different structure that I currently teach my students to use. You might also be familiar with them. These are:

  1. The Indented Format
  2. The Semi-Block Format
  3. The Block Format

NB: The difference between the semi block and the block letter format is that the paragraphs for the semi- block letter format is indented. Whereas,  paragraph for the block letter format is formed by skipping lines.

Also note that the block letter format is often used when typing a letter. This is not often employed when one writes a letter.

At all times remember to check to ensure that all of the following is present in your business letter.

  • The sender’s address (your address)
  • Date
  • Receiver’s address
  • Greeting
  • Subject Line
  • Body of the report
  • Closing


I have noted with increasing worry the following errors being made by students. The following are things that you should not  do when structuring your business letter:

  1. Do not abbreviate addresses, names, and other words.
  2. Do not put a colon (:) between dear and the name of the person.
  3. When using the block or semi block format do not put a date after the receiver’s address.
  4. If you are using the indented format the closing should be on your right.
  5. If you are using the block or semi block format the closing should be on the right.
  6. Use Dear Sir/Madam when you do not know the name of the person you are sending the letter to.
  7. The receiver’s information should be structured as follows:


               Mr. John Brown,             (Name of the Receiver’s)

               Manager,                           (Position of the Person)

               Brown’s Auto King,         (Name of the Company)

               17 John’s Road,                ( Address)

               Spanish Town,                  ( Address)

               St. Catherine.                    ( Address)

Come back tomorrow when we will drive into the various types of business letter.

Expository Writing on the CSEC 2018-2023 Exam

We have a basic ideas of the types of writing that will be on the CSEC English A exam. We also know what  is Expository Writing. So today, we are going to explore the types of Expository Writing on the January 2018-2023  exam paper. In order to do this, we are going to refer the syllabus (please note that  reference is taken from the updated and original versions of the syllabus).

The syllabus refers to Expository writing as Informative Discourse (pages  13-17 old syllabus) and (pages 8-14 in the updated syllabus).  The topics listed below are based on the activities that are listed on the before mentioned informative discourse pages .

  • Business Letters
  • Report Writing
  • Statistical Report
  • Job Applications
  • Expository Essays
  •  Writing
    • Minutes
    • Notices
    • Emails
  • Completing forms

It is important to not that this post makes reference to Section B of the CSEC English A Paper 2. This section is marked out of 30 marks.

Marks are allocated as follows:

  1. Content- 10 marks
  2. Organization of Content- 10 marks
  3. Language Usage, Mechanics- 10 marks


The rubric is as follows:



Come back tomorrow as be explore all of the listed expository writing topics and provide sample questions.

Types of Writing on the CSEC English A Exam Paper


There are four major types of writing. These are:

  1. Expository Writing
  2. Narrative Writing
  3. Descriptive Writing
  4. Persuasive Writing

These are listed above in no particular order. These four major types of writing are covered on the CSEC English A examination papers.



Expository: The word expository contains the word expose, so  expository writing is the type of writing that  exposes, or sets forth, facts and provides information to the reader. It is probably the most common writing genre you will come across throughout your day. In an expository piece, a topic will be introduced and presented in a logical order without reference to the author’s personal opinions.

Narration: Narration tells either a story or a part of a story and describes what happens in a series of events. Narrations commonly follow chronological order; however, they may start in the middle of a sequence and use flashbacks to take the story back to an earlier time. Narration uses time markers like then, later, or after that. Your main idea and the narrative must be closely related, and the narrative should fully develop the main idea.

Description: A description creates a picture of a person, place, thing, or sensation by appealing to one or more of the senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. As with all modes, the description should suit the purpose and audience of the paper.

Persuasive/Argumentative: The aim of persuasive or argumentative writing is to influence/convince the reader to assume the author’s point of view.

Argumentative essays depend on giving reasons instead of quarreling over opinions. Positions must be supported, not just asserted. Even though positions on a controversial issue cannot be proven right or wrong, arguments can convince others to accept or reject a particular position.


Come back tomorrow, we will dive into Expository Writing….