How to write a killer cover letter for a postdoctoral application By Bill Sullivan Many graduate students applying for their first postdoctoral positions underestimate the importance of the cover letter. While it may be true that your awesomeness is beautifully outlined on your curriculum vitae, your cover letter often will dictate whether the busy principal investigator puts your application at the top of the heaping pile or into triage. First impressions are everything for some people, so leave nothing to chance. A letter that appears to come off an assembly line is likely to ride directly into the trash bin.
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This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. APA American Psychological Association style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences.
For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart of all APA citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart.
You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Include a page header also known as the "running head" at the top of every page. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
Major Paper Sections Your essay should include four major sections: Title Page The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation. Include the page header described above flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page.
This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide. Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page.
APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.
Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced. Beneath the title, type the author's name: Do not use titles Dr. Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author s conducted the research.
Your abstract page should already include the page header described above. Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research.
Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions.Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback.
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After the hard work of perfecting your manuscript and selecting a target journal, one more task remains before submission: writing a cover letter.