It doesn’t matter how good you think you are as a writer — the first words you put on the page are a first draft.

The passive voice. Two sample cover letters, one for a typed letter and one for an email letter, are included.

Think about Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks. Awful, right? The FMLA allows for 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period – but the leave is unpaid. If I’d written this without them, you would just be looking at a stark wall of text.

If you stumble over something, your reader will probably stumble over it, too. Use a 10- or 12-point font that is easy to read like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial. This handout contains seven errors our proofreader should have caught: three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors. See if you can spot them! (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and developing an argument. Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Content is important. 3rd ed.

The secret to good writing is good editing. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors. The rule for most writers is, “If in doubt, cut it.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer John McPhee has called the process “writing by omission.” Novelist Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (and not William Faulkner, although he may have popularized this version of it) exhorted a version of the oft-repeated phrase, “In writing you must kill all your darlings.” This is true at every level: If a word isn’t necessary in a sentence, cut it; if a sentence isn’t necessary in a paragraph, cut it; and if a paragraph isn’t necessary, cut it, too.

Instead, you need to step away and come back later with fresh eyes. For emails and other short things, the old college favorite of a topic sentence followed by supporting paragraphs and a conclusion is hard to get wrong. Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers, and one of the industry's most highly-regarded job search and career experts. Editing If you’re not sure whether something is a cliché, it’s better to just avoid it.

Then give it a try, if you haven’t already! What else do you need to do to properly format a cover letter to send with a resume when applying for a job? Don’t neglect it. Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader?

If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Some of the things you’ll learn to watch for (and that I have to fix all the time in my own writing) are: Overuse of jargon and business speak. I have some essays I go back to every few months for another pass — they’re still not done yet. Are the claims you make accurate?

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Next time the need for discipline arises, parents might consider a “time-in”: forging a loving connection, such as sitting with the child and talking or comforting. Is the meaning of each sentence clear? For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. Don’t neglect it.

How should an email cover letter be spaced? Align your cover letter to the left.

A lot of the time when something you’ve written “just doesn’t work” for people, the structure is to blame. Writing is thinking: It’s rare that you’ll know exactly what you’re going to say before you say it. Campus Box #5135 Should you single space or double space a cover letter? But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. For longer pieces, structure is something you’ll need to put a lot of work into. Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Final Paragraph: Conclude your cover letter by thanking the employer for considering you for the position. Chapel Hill, NC 27599 Even 10 minutes will do in a pinch for things like emails. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it.

Most writing mistakes are depressingly common; good writers just get better at catching them before they hit the page. (See our handouts on introductions, conclusions, thesis statements, and transitions. In Microsoft Word, select your letter and click on Align, Text, Left. Provide details on your qualifications for the job. While you might not be lucky enough to have access to an editor (Hey, Alan! ), there are services that can help. Your NameYour Street AddressYour City, State Zip CodeYour Phone NumberYour Email Address. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2006. It’s much more likely you’ve written too much than too little.

Leave a space between the final paragraph and your closing.

Go through what you’ve written and look for the bits you can cut without affecting the whole — and cut them. Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? As Orwell said, “Never use a long word when a short one will do.”.

At the end, you need, at the very least, to go back through the draft, tidy everything up and make sure the introduction you wrote at the start matches what you eventually said.