Academic Writing--Assignment #3


Assignment #3 is a revision of Assignment #1. If you did not do Assignment #1, you may still do Assignment #3.

If you did a draft of this assignment, pay attention to my comments on your marked paper. If you do not understand something I wrote, please email me and ASK questions.

As you work on Assignment #3 and prepare to write a letter of application for your final exam, please keep the following suggestions in mind:
1. Re-read the instructions thoroughly.
Some of you are not paying attention to what the employers want from applicants. For example, in the au pair advertisement, Mr Collins does not ask for a CV or references. However, in the Bristol advertisement, Ms Widecombe asks for your CV and two references (referees). Keep in mind: the content of your letter should be based on what the employer requests, not on some “formulaic” template.
2. Include specific details about your experience or related experience, which will require some thinking beyond the obvious.
For example, how could your job as a server in a café or restaurant translate into tending children? Show that you are intelligent and can use your related experience to be a fine au pair, camp teacher, cook, etc.
3. Accentuate the positive.
Don’t focus directly on your lack of experience; most young people your age have little or no job experience, and employers realize this. However, you are highly intelligent and have completed more than two years of university, no small matter; the employer is seeking bright young foreigners with excellent speaking and writing skills in a second language, something that you can offer, but you need to prove it, and your letter offers proof. For better or worse, this letter will demonstrate your natural abilities, education, and characteristics to the employer. In short, don’t lie, but be confident (without being arrogant).
4. Organize your letter according to the instructions given in the assignment:

The Advertisement:

Au Pairs Worldwide Recruitment Agency

We place au pairs from all over the world with families in the UK. We carefully select all our au pairs and host families and provide constant support for our clients. We are specialists in processing visas for non-EU citizens from the following EEA (European Economic Area) countries:


Interested candidates should send a handwritten letter requesting an application form. Your letter should include:

• Your name, nationality and contact address
• Your age and your current occupation
• The area in the UK in which you are interested in working
• The dates you are available to start work in the UK
• The period of time you wish to work in the UK
• Your reasons for wishing to be an au pair in the UK
• Your reasons for believing that you are suitable for the post

Once we have received your letter, we will send you an application form and a request for two personal references.

Please address all enquiries to:

Mr Stephen Collins, Director, Au Pairs Worldwide, Astley House, Andover, Hampshire HX2 4RE.
Parts of the Formal Letter (a Reminder):

The heading
"The heading" is simply your name and mailing address.
Telephone contact

Email Contact

Date the Letter of Application is being written and sent.
Inside address
This is the recipient's full name, title, and address (including country)
Formal salutation
Dear Mr Collins, (UK)

Dear Mr. Collins: (US--note period after "Mr")
Body of letter
The body consists of approximately four main paragraphs, which present very specific information--well-written, of course--about the job applicant:
Paragraph 1: State your reasons for writing the letter;

Paragraph 2: Introduce yourself, give details about your current education/occupation, and state your preferences in regards to the job;

Paragraph 3: Discuss your work experience/relevant qualifications

Paragraph 4: Request additional information/application form

(NOTE: Be sure to address other information that the advertisement requests.)
Formal call for action
The call for action consists of one sentence that implicitly or explicitly asks the recipient to follow up on his or her application.
Complimentary close
Yours sincerely, Yours truly, etc.
Signature (your handwritten name)
(First name, last name. If you have a common name like "John Smith," you might consider including your middle name as well.)
Typed name
5. PROOFREAD and correct all errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, and sentence structure.
This aspect matters very much because this is your first contact with the prospective employer; therefore, you want to make a good first impression by showing off your English-language skills.
6. Pay attention to format
If you have any questions, please email me.

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