Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques


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Cover letter writing and editing

To some people, writing, printing and sending a cover letter is past tense to them. It is still debatable within the industry circles about the importance or necessity of writing a cover letter. Most of the companies require a cover letter that is not worth the risk of even sending one. With everything said and done, you still want to make sure that your cover letter is well written and perfectly structured because it is some personal essay you got there.

As many people understand, cover letters provide an opportunity to cover qualifications that we cannot fully cover in the resumes that we send. These letters help in personalizing the job applicants in a bid to come out as more real to the prospective employers. Write your cover letter with the knowledge that someone will read it, and as such, you have to put it in a good way. When you utilize its full potential, you raise your chances of getting that job. The following tips will help you in coming up with the best cover letter in terms of format, review, and researching them. This is how you write different cover letters.

Writing an Email cover letter

When you are required to write an email cover letter, this is how you go about it:


  • Include salutation
    There are different cover letters that you can choose from and the mode of salutation depends on the amount of knowledge about the company. If you know the name of the hiring manager, you can start with “Dear {name},” followed by either a comma or a colon. Address the hiring manager in a formal manager using their proper title, Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. and so on.

    If you do not know the name of the hiring manager, consider addressing them using “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “Dear Recruiting team,” or “Dear {company name} Team.” As a last resort, used “Tow whom it may concern” though this salutation should be avoided because it can come out as a template letter.
  • Write the first paragraph of your letter
    You ought to mention the job you are applying for and how you found it in the job listing. All this should come in the first paragraph. It should be one or two sentences in length.
  • Write the body paragraphs of your letter
    Most cover letters contain one or two paragraphs since you do not want to overwhelm the hiring manager. When writing the body paragraphs of your cover letter, you need to pay attention to your qualifications as the ideal candidate, work experience that fits the job requirements, and the specific reason you want to work for that company.
  • Writing the final paragraph of your cover letter
    This is the conclusion of your discussion as well as how you will proceed with the application. You have to pay attention to the following:
    • Reiterate in a single sentence whey you are the perfect candidate for the position
    • Discuss what you will do next, like following up with the hiring manager in a week or two and include the date. Otherwise, you can always say you look forward for an interview to further discuss your qualification.
    • Provide your contact information like your email address and phone number for the hiring manager to get in touch with you.
    • Mention that you have attached your resume and references
    • Thank the hiring manager for his time
  • Close your letter with a respectful closing statement
    You can use “Sincerely” or “Best” and since you will not be able to sign on your email, you can finish the letter by typing your full name.

Writing a paper cover letter

  • Add the letterhead to the top of the letter. This should contain your full name, address, phone number, and email address. When creating your letter head, you ca use these guidelines:
    • Your name should be in 14 to 16 font size
    • Your contacts information and address should be in 12 font size
    • The font of your letterhead does not have to be Times New Roman or Arial like the rest of the letter. However, make it look professional and easy to read. The most important thing is the inclusion of up-to-date information to make it easy for the employer to contact you.
    • You can include an extra line under the letterhead to create a visual appeal as well as separating the letterhead from the rest of the page contents.
  • Write the name of the recipient, address and the date below the letterhead
    It does not matter where the date comes in or the number of blank lines that you have to skip between them. The idea is to keep it as professional as possible. Henceforth, use 12 point Arial or Times New Roman in the entire letter. Your margins should be one inch and use single spacing. Your font should be black and if your letter is being printed, use the standard-sized paper.
  • Address the recipient
    You can refer to the recipient using the proper title. First instance you ca use Mr., Mrs., Dr. and so on. If you are not sure about who the recipient is, you ca use “To Whom It May Concern,” or “Dear Sir or Madam.” However, it is important to best address the cover letter to a real person to make it look like you are not sending form letters.
  • Make your purpose clear in the first paragraph
    State your purpose in the first paragraph and this should not go beyond three sentences. State the position to which you are applying or the one you would like to have should it become available. It is not necessary to include how you came to know about the position unless it was through a mutual contact or a recruiting program. If this is the case, then you can make the most connection.

    If you are prospecting or writing an enquiry letter asking for positions that might be available, specify when you are interested in working for that company.
  • Your qualifications should come in the middle paragraphs
    You have to match your qualifications to the requirements of the position. If you are inquiring about positions, let the employer know how you can contribute to their bottom line, not what you want to get out of it. To do this, you must have researched on the employer’s history and background.

    Your qualifications should jump out at the reader through your research of the company in which you are seeking employment to help in tailoring your letter accordingly. This will come in handy if you land an interview. You have to pay attention to the following aspects:
    • The mission of the employer, what they promote as the one thing that makes them unique from their competitors.’
    • The customer base of the employer and their target audience
    • The history of the company, its founder, the evolution of its business, and the major highlights of its performance over the recent past
  • Incorporate a positive statement or a question in the last paragraph to motivate the employer to contact you
    Your closing paragraph should between two and four sentences long. Let the employer know that you have enclosed your resume and specify that you are readily available for an interview. Than the recruiter for their time and consideration and welcome them to contact you to continue the conversation.
  • Formulate an appropriate closing
    That the reader for his time. End with “Sincerely,” “Respectfully,” or “Regards.” Leave several spaces and print your name.
  • Add your signature
    If your cover letter will be submitted digitally, you can scan your signature, write it in with a digital writing pad, or make a digital signature stamp with appropriate software.
  • Make a notation of the enclosures
    If you age enclosed something like a resume with a letter, indicate that the letter contains enclosures by making the notation “Enclosure” or “Enclosures” at the bottom of the letter.

Reviewing your cover letter

  • Proofread and check your spelling
    If you have a spellcheck feature, use it. Some programs have grammar check that you should use. Then proofread the letter yourself and ensure that there are no common misspellings, you have not written in the passive voice, you have not used colloquial terms, and there is not incorrect punctuation.
  • Read your letter aloud and hear how it sounds
    It is not wise to rely on spelling and grammar checks to correct your mistakes. You can ask a fiend to proofread your letter. If there is no one available, you can spend some time away from your draft cover letter and return to it with a fresh perspective.

Your cover letter checklist

  • Double-check the name of the company to which you are applying, the name of the recipient and his or her address as well as the tile of the job for which you are applying.
  • Hammer down on your education position and your current job
  • Give a general feel of your achievements in the field for which you are applying.

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