Lesson 4:1 Peer Review of Application Package

To: Thomas Howey, ENGL 301 Student
From: Jenny Zhu, ENGL 301 Student
Date: December 14, 2019
Subject: Peer Review of Application Draft

Hi Thomas, thanks for submitting your application package super early. I didn’t realize it was already posted, so apologies for the delay in the peer review. Comments regarding your assignment are down below. 

First Impressions:

Your application package is nicely done! The required documents for this assignment are all present and well-formatted visually. Your experience and interest suits the application very well. 

Application Posting:

The page for the St. Clair Lab does not specifically specify the application requirements, as you have mentioned in your memo to the team forum but including whatever information in present from that page in your application package would be useful to the reader. The citation is correct.

Cover Letter:

The first paragraph clearly introduces yourself and the purpose of your cover letter. The question mark is not necessary after the last line of the first paragraph, as this is not an interrogative sentence. Expanding on your tasks at the Simard Lab would make your cover letter stand out from the others, because many lab experiences can be similar. What is your URO project about? Adding some technical skills there could be beneficial. The second last paragraph adds a unique touch that further explains your interest in the field and the program. 


The major sections are present and well organized. Your experience shows that you are eager and qualified for the Master’s program. This sentence: “Assisted with wide range of laboratory tasks, including processing and extracting samples, morphotyping nematodes, conducting literature review, and lab clean up”  uses “ing” verbs, so “lab clean up” could also be modified to fit the pattern. Similarly to the cover letter, could it be useful to include the title of your project? Overall try unifying the format of each bullet point. 

Reference Letter Requests:

Your letters are friendly and polite. Would it be possible to make them a bit personal and give a bit more background as to why you are applying for the MSc in Ecology? Good touch on adding your student number. 

Grammar and Typos:

Cover letter

  • Sometimes exclamation marks may be inappropriate in a professional letter but that is up to your discretion. 
  • “…and I think provide an unique…” 
    • Replacing “an” with “a”. Explanation: Although “u” is a vowel, the word “a” should be in front of unique because of the pronunciation of the “u”.


  • “Coordinated with other staff members and volunteers to place courses for events and sailing races, perform on water rescues when necessary, and assist with duties such as reception and administrative work?”
    • Checking that the tenses match throughout the sentence


You have a great application package that could be used as a template for future applications. The cover letter and reference requests were professional, and the resume portrayed why you are a good candidate. By being more consistent with the style of writing (especially in the resume), and adding a few more details to your package, your work will be even stronger. Best of luck in applying to this program! If you have questions, please reach out to me at jennyszhu@alumni.ubc.ca

Link to Application Draft: https://blogs.ubc.ca/engl301-99a-2019wa/2019/11/27/4-1-rough-draft-of-application-package-tom-howey/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.