A Blog of Writing Resources from The University of Scranton's Writing Center

Category: Resources for Graduate Students (Page 2 of 2)

A Template for Writing a Cover Letter

Your name  

Your address  

Your phone number 




The date  


The hiring manager’s name  

The company name 

The company’s address 



Paragraph 1:   

  • Sentence 1: What job are you seeking and where did you see it posted/who referred you? Be sure to mention the specific position and the company’s name.  
  • Sentence 2: Briefly mention your current employer/position or your university and major.  
  • Sentence 3: What unique experience/quality qualifies you for this position? Be memorable.  
  • Sentence 4: (optional) Reiterate your desire to be considered for this position.  

Paragraph 2:  

  • Sentence 1: What has been the focus of your educational/professional career?  
  • Sentences 2-10: Summarize your professional career so far (relevant coursework, research projects, internships, campus leadership opportunities, employment history, etc.) What have you learned? What skills do you have? What programs are you familiar with? Who have you worked for/studied under? Remember some of this is already in your resume, so spend time on the items that may not be listed there. 
  • What skills/qualities are they asking for in the ad that are not outlined in your resume? This is a good opportunity to address those. Use specific examples. Use the same verbiage as the ad.   
  •  (Optional): Are there any extra curriculars that show your leadership/communication/conflict management skills? Are there any service projects that show your values?  Are there any gaps or clarifications you need to explain in your resume? If so, include that here.  
  • (Optional): What was one major challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? Or what is one professional accomplishment you are particularly proud of?  

Paragraph 3:  

  • Sentence 1-3: Why do you want this specific job at this specific company? Show that you know the company’s mission, goals, and values. Show that they align with your own personal philosophy and professional goals.  
  • Sentence 3-4: What unique experience/perspective/qualities can you offer compared to other applicants? How will you be an asset to their team?  

Paragraph 4  

  • Sentences 1-4: Let them know that you’re eager to further discuss your qualifications. Perhaps highlight any part of your resume you’d like them to pay close attention to. Close by thanking them for their consideration. 


Your Name  

Your degree/License  


Looking for a visual template? Check out this template in Canva. Just be sure to make a copy to your account by logging in, clicking file and then “make a copy”

A visual template for a cover letter


The Proof is in the Writing

By Danielle DePasquale

After finally finishing a written assignment, one may be quick to submit their work immediately. Not having to look at that assignment ever again brings about a sense of great relief. However, receiving that assignment back covered in commentary about minute spelling and grammar errors dampens that sense of accomplishment. Even though writing the final sentence of a concluding paragraph may seem to signify the end of the writing process, proofreading your work is just as essential. Reviewing your work ensures that you’re submitting an assignment that is logically sound and addresses the task at hand. Hence, I highly recommend reading written assignments aloud, which allows you to actually hear what your writing sounds like. We are all human and mistakes happen when typing up assignments. This way, you can make any edits or adjustments needed to express your ideas clearly and concisely. If you find reading your own writing aloud tedious or don’t want to disturb your roommates, you can plug in some headphones and access the “Immersive Reader” function available in Microsoft Word; this tool has the computer read your paper back to you. It’s a great tool to check for typos, grammar errors, redundancy, and verbose phrasing.  This is how you access it.

Check out this video demo here: Immersive Reader Video Demo.mp4



And proofreading your paper doesn’t have to happen right away. In fact, stepping away from your writing and revisiting with a clear head will enhance your ability to conduct a comprehensive and meaningful review of your work. In the future, I implore you to try either strategy before you submit your next assignment.



A Quick Resource for Writing in Specific Contexts

A Resource for Writing in Specific Contexts

The way that we write—the tone, the style, the formatting, and the organization—depends on the context. It’s likely that the five-paragraph-essay from high school will simply not work in most situations that require writing, especially when you need to write strictly-structured pieces, like an abstract, a cover letter, or lab report. There are so many types of assignments that you’ll need to create during your college career, like annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, and poetry explications. Your instructors will rarely include sample papers or detailed formatting guides, so it can be overwhelming. On top of that, each discipline has their own conventions, style, and citation format. The use of personal pronouns might be recommended in for your philosophy essay, but those same pronouns will probably cost you points in an essay for your upper level nursing course.

Knowing how to respond to different writing situations comes with experience and exposure to each field.  However, this resource is a great guide to get you started in understanding special formats and discipline specific standards: https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/

Benefits of this resource: It walks you through specific writing assignments, step by step.

Drawbacks of this resource: You’ll notice it has other topics about writing, citations, and sentence-level concerns. While all this information is useful, I’m not sure it’s the best resource for citations or for revising sentences.

However, I would say it’s one of the most user-friendly resources  with quick guides in discipline-specific writing and  examples of specific writing formats.

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