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Scientific Writing Online "Shortie": Writing a Strong Cover Letter

Course Objective:

Once you’re ready to submit your manuscript to the target journal, an important task remains  – writing a convincing cover letter. You’re telling the editor why he or she should read the manuscript carefully, send it out for peer review and, ultimately, publish it. It is essential that you make good use of this opportunity to catch his or her attention and explain the novelty, relevance and interest of your findings. In this online webinar, we will look at how to write a clear and convincing cover letter and at how to strike a delicate balance between neither under- nor overplaying your findings.

Feedback is one of the best learning experiences: Participants of Module 2 will be given individual feedback on their texts in order to strengthen their future cover letters.


Module 1a: Writing a strong cover letter (1 hour)

  • Content of a cover letter
  • A template: the basic layout of the letter
  • Convincing without exaggerating
  • Useful phrases
  • A checklist for revision

 Module 1b: Language and style: Writing clearly and concisely (1 hour)

  • Paragraph structure: forest followed by trees
  • Writing short, concise sentences
  • Improving word order
  • Internet resources

Module 2: Feedback (1 hour)

  • The group and trainer provide feedback on texts

It is possible to participate in Module 1 only.

Target audience:
Doctoral candidates, postdocs and clinician scientists

Maximum number of participants: unlimited for Modules 1a and b, 3-4 participants per group for Module 2, max. 6 groups

Methodology: Input by trainer, Q&A, writing and editing own text, feedback.


Module 1a and b: come prepared with questions on the topic

Module 2: write (part of) a cover letter (1/2-1 page A4). Your text will be proofread/edited by two/three other students and the trainer and discussed in the session.

Please check that your PC meets the requirements beforehand (microphone, camera, Internet connection).  

Next workshop: to be announced


For module 1 0.3 CP and for both modules 1 CP for transferable skills training can be credited.


Ivonne Dietzel
Program Coordinator
Bldg. 907, Room 01-212
University Medical Center
Langenbeckstr. 1
55131 Mainz

Tel. +49 6131 17-7631