Information on Technical Communication

 Reader Analysis
 Formal Report
 Analytical Report
 Typography Hints
 Instruction Basics
 Memo Format
 Oral Report
 Progress Reports
 Letter of Application
 Simple HTML

Letter of Application Proofing

People cannot proofread their own work effectively, and this letter must demonstrate your communications ability and attention to detail. So, when you have finished your letter, have someone else review it as follows:

  • the physical document

    • 8 1/2 X 11?, heavy, white bond paper, crisp black print

    • type font: conservative font? (Times, Times New Roman)

      12 or 14 point

  • the visual quality

    • proper top and side margins

    • a standard letter format

    • signed in black ink

  • the style

    • clear (Have proofreader read it aloud to you without prereading. Note the places where the reader stumbles. The prose in those places is awkward; rewrite the whole sentence.)

    • avoids questions and imperatives

    • avoids "is" constructions wherever possible

    • avoids unnecessary subjunctives

    • avoids unnecessary passives

  • the content

    • Does it have the content that the reader expects? (Does it include a first paragraph that references the job, middle paragraphs that amplify the one or two points in the resume which will be most important to the addressee, and a final paragraph that asks for an interview?)

    • Are these paragraphs clear on a first reading? (Have the proofreader write one-sentence summaries of the middle paragraphs and compare those summaries with ones you have written. Any discrepancies between the two show lack of clarity.)

  • the grammar and mechanics

    • each sentence ends with a period and two spaces

    • subjects and verbs agree

    • avoids run-ons and fragments

    • proper names spelled correctly

    • verb tense changes only because of content needs