Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Use Real-Life Templates For Writing Success > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Use Real-Life Templates For Writing Success

At some point along the way, most of us have used what are commonly called "fill-in-the-blank" writing templates. We might have used them to write a letter, format an essay, or set-up a resume or CV.

You know what I'm talking about here. It's those form letter templates that you see in many writing texts and workbooks.


For example, in the case of a letter, a "fill-in-the-blank" template would look something like this:


This is to advise you that your probation period in the position [POSITION NAME] expired on [DATE].

The [NAME OF REVIEW COMMITTEE] met on [DATE OF MEETING] and determined that your probationary appointment was successful and that you should be immediately appointed to [NAME OF POSITION] [NAME OF ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT].

Accordingly, this is to inform you that effective [DATE OF APPOINTMENT] you are officially appointed to the position of [NAME OF POSITION] for an initial period of [NUMBER OF YEARS/MONTHS]. Terms and conditions of your employment are covered by [OFFICIAL CONTRACT NAME/NUMBER].

Would you please report as soon as possible to [NAME OF OFFICIAL], [TITLE OF OFFICIAL] in the [OFFICIAL NAME OF HR GROUP] so that the details of your appointment may be properly documented.

Congratulations [NAME OF APPOINTEE]. All of us at [COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION NAME] look forward to working with you in the future.



Although this "fill-in-the-blank" approach can work, it has a number of shortcomings as follows:


- Because of their generic nature, they tend to generalize so much that they resemble a computer generated form letter.

- They don't provide specific information on how a professional would properly fill in the required information [BLANKS].

- They don't provide mental stimulation or show how a professional might word the letter in a specific real-life context.

- The content is typically watered down to try and cover every possible situation.

- Thus, they are virtually useless for 98% of real-life situations, since they lack real-life content.


On the other hand, here's what a "real-life" template would look like for a similar situation:

Dear Jessica:

This is to advise you that your probation period in the position Customer Service Agent (Temporary) expired on November 30, 2004.

The Staffing Review Committee met late last week and determined that your probationary appointment was successful and that you should be immediately appointed as Customer Service Agent (Ongoing).

Accordingly, this is to inform you that effective December 1, 2004 you are officially appointed to the position of Customer Service Agent in the Customer Support Group for an initial period of 36 months. Terms and conditions of your employment are covered by the Customer Service Group Employment Agreement.

Would you please report as soon as possible to Jim Jackson, Chief of Human Resources so that the details of your appointment may be properly documented.

Congratulations Jessica! All of us here at MedWay Systems Inc. look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.


Sharon Smithson Manager, Customer Support Group


Clearly, the "model" that most of us would rather work with, if we had to write a similar letter, is definitely the second one, the "real-life" template.

You can relate to it. It talks about real-life people in a real-life situation that you can identify with. And, you get to see exactly how a professional worded it.

There are other advantages to "real-life" templates:

Fully-Formatted Final Versions

"Real-life" templates are fully-formatted as final documents so that you can see exactly how they looked when they were sent out in a "real-life" situation. They don't look like some kind of "draft" form letter.

Content With Value

Working with "real-life" templates, it is much easier to adapt them to YOUR actual situations because they give you visual and intellectual cues that you can relate to.

Naturally, when you see how a copywriter or consultant has dealt with a "real-life" scenario, in terms of word choice, context, and punctuation, it is much easier to adapt to the real-life situation that you are writing for. In that way, the actual content has value.

Easy To Work With

"Real-life" templates are just as easy to work with as other templates. You simply load them into your word processing program and edit and adjust them to fit your own specific situation. Presto! You have a fully formatted real-life letter ready to be printed and sent out in the mail.

You also have the comfort of knowing that what you are sending has already been used in other "real-life" situations.

Real-Life Content

With real-life templates, it is much easier to find an adaptable "fit" for the situation you are writing for. Not only do they give you the final format of a document, their content provides an excellent real-life sample and gives food-for-thought to assist you in the writing process.


For illustration purposes, many real-life letter templates as well as real-life resume templates can be found at my main Writing writing help Web site:

Now that you've checked those out, I ask you, would you rather work from a "fill-in-the-blanks" generic template, or a fully-formatted "real-life" template?

© 2005 by Shaun Fawcett

Shaun Fawcett, is webmaster of the popular writing help site He is also the author of several best selling "writing toolkit" eBooks. All of his eBooks and his internationally acclaimed f-r-e-e course, "Tips and Tricks For Writing Success" are available at his writing tools site:

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


PACIFIC • Scoop: Reed Hastings Is Writing a Netflix Book
Scoop: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is writing a book about Netflix and the secrets to its success, an industry source tells me. The book will be co-authored by ...
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is writing a bookCNET
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is writing a book about his company's famous cultureQuartz
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Is Writing A Book About His CompanyTubefilter
all 11 news articles »

The Cut

Chris Christie Is Writing His Memoirs
The Cut
With the New Jersey governor's life firmly behind him, Chris Christie has now set his sights on becoming a published author. The Associated Press reports that his book, Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your ...

and more »

New York Times

Food Writing in the #MeToo Era
New York Times
Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times. Traci Des Jardins, a Northern California chef with six restaurants who once beat Mario Batali on “Iron Chef America,” first told ...

The Chronicle of Higher Education

How Essay-Writing Factories Reel in Vulnerable Students
The Chronicle of Higher Education
I logged onto it, and I was given a number of promises, including that none of the work would be plagiarized (yes, I see the irony), and that all the essays would be written exclusively for my needs. The site guaranteed that one of a small army of ...

Fox News

British ex-Olympian admits writing lewd messages in pig's blood in ...
Fox News
Lizzie Purbrick, who competed in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow for the United Kingdom, admitted she wrote lewd messages in her lover's home with pig's ...
Woman Sentenced for Writing 'Big Dick Lord' in Pig's Blood on Former Lover's WallThe Cut

all 30 news articles »

Inside Higher Ed

For Fate of SAT Writing Test, Watch California
Inside Higher Ed
"Everyone agrees that writing essays and developing extensive research projects are essential for college readiness and success," he said. "We believe that the SAT essay provides a strong complement to the multiple-choice section by asking students to ...
Duke University to stop requiring SAT, ACT writing scores - AJC.comAtlanta Journal Constitution
Duke gets rid of SAT essay, ACT writing score requirementsWTVD-TV
Duke University to stop requiring SAT, ACT writing scoresKIRO Seattle
WSOC Charlotte
all 39 news articles »

New York Times

Writing Prescriptions to Play Outdoors
New York Times
In his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods,” Richard Louv wrote about what he called nature-deficit disorder, and cited about 60 scientific studies looking at the benefits of nature and the problems that can come from being too isolated from the ...

The Young Witness

Help to unlock your writing potential
The Young Witness
Writers seeking to unlock their potential are invited to take part in a workshop to be held at the services club, Young, on Saturday, August 5. The Lambing Flat branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers will host the event which will be ...

DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ: Writing heroes with auras
Peninsula Daily News
I AWAITED MY heroes. For years I've hung on their words in novels such as “Into the Beautiful North;” in an essay on the New York Times' Modern Love page; in the fertile “Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape.” With their writing, these ...

Writing on Philosophy: It's Not Rocket Science. It's More Complicated Than That.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (blog)
I don't know any academic field whose writing regularly indulges in sentence structure as complex as in analytic philosophy. Let me exemplify for you with a wonderful sentence from Page 182 of a recent philosophy book by Ruth Garrett Millikan, Beyond ...

Google News

Why I Write

I started writing as a way of keeping safe memories... Read More

Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 5 of 6

PASSED, PASTPassed is the past tense of pass. Past means... Read More

A Few Keys to Writing Effective Dialogue

Every writer expends a great deal of creative energy developing... Read More

Six Tips for Creating More Lifelike Story Characters

Working on my first humorous novel, I started with a... Read More

Become the Writer You Always Dreamed of Being

So you want to be a writer, except you don't... Read More

Writing Your Best-Selling Non-Fiction Book Title

Your struggling to sell just a few copies of your... Read More

Ten Tips To Get Started Writing Your Book

You are far more likely to successfully write and publish... Read More

Writing as a Gift

What am I supposed to give Anthony as a wedding... Read More

How to Catch the Writing Bug

----------------------------------------------------------Permission is granted for the below article to forward,reprint, distribute,... Read More

Platform Development Tip #1: Switch Writing Hats!

Around eighty percent of nonfiction books today are written by... Read More

10 Tips To Help You Pack More Power Into Your Business Writing

1. Before you write anything down define not what you... Read More

Recipe for a Style Guide

Wired Online has recently announced its plans to drop capitalization... Read More

Keep your Book Dream Alive

Is your book nearly finished, finished, published, or even in... Read More

Scenes and Structure

Beginning writers often tend to think of a book as... Read More

The Power of Punctuation

Punctuation, when used creatively, is powerful. Note, however, that when... Read More

How To Stay Fit While Writing

Day after day, writers tend to sit for hours writing... Read More

Should I Keep Writing?

Writers are an insecure lot.It's easy to understand why. You... Read More

How to Create Incredible Characters Easily

Creating incredible characters can be easy if you know of... Read More

Hero?s Journey ? The First Threshold

Beyond three and four act story structure, lies the Hero's... Read More

Five Common Errors to Correct Before Submitting a Letter or Report

First impressions count in writing too! So it is always... Read More

Memoir Writing Help, Memoir Writing Ideas

You might not need any memoir writing help, per se,... Read More

10 Secrets For Everyday Writing Success

During my 25-year career in a variety of professional positions... Read More

Characters In A Romance Novel

Before you even begin writing your novel, you need to... Read More

Freelance Writing: How Many Regular Clients Should You Have?

This is a tough question for every freelance writer. For... Read More

Idea-Mining for Writers, 102

As many authors are fond of stating, "Ideas are all... Read More