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I am trying, loosely based on this answer to make a template for my Statement of Purpose. How could I remove the empty extra line between the horizontal rule and the text? Moreover, how could be the first letter be of larger font in the title?

Any other suggestion is more than welcomed.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[left=1in,right=1in,top=1in,bottom=1in]{geometry}

\newcommand{\HRule}{\rule{\linewidth}{0.5mm}}
\newcommand{\Hrule}{\rule{\linewidth}{0.3mm}}

\makeatletter% since there's an at-sign (@) in the command name
\renewcommand{\@maketitle}{
  \parindent=0pt% don't indent paragraphs in the title block
  \begin{center}
    \MakeUppercase{\Large \bf \@title}
    \HRule%
  \end{center}%
  \textit{\@author \hfill \@date}
  \par
}
\makeatother% resets the meaning of the at-sign (@)

\title{Statement of Purpose}
\author{name}
\date{Ph.D. Applicant}

\begin{document}

\maketitle% prints the title block

Emergency medicine has always been a passion of mine\ldots

\end{document}
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Replace the center environment with the \centering switch to avoid additional vertical space. For the second issue simply use small capitals for the title. See code below for the modifications.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[margin=1in]{geometry}

\newcommand{\HRule}{\rule{\linewidth}{0.5mm}}
\newcommand{\Hrule}{\rule{\linewidth}{0.3mm}}

\makeatletter% since there's an at-sign (@) in the command name
\renewcommand{\@maketitle}{%
  \parindent=0pt% don't indent paragraphs in the title block
  \centering
  {\Large \bfseries\textsc{\@title}}
  \HRule\par%
  \textit{\@author \hfill \@date}
  \par
}
\makeatother% resets the meaning of the at-sign (@)

\title{Statement of Purpose}
\author{name}
\date{Ph.D. Applicant}

\begin{document}
  \maketitle% prints the title block

  Emergency medicine has always been a passion of mine\ldots
\end{document}
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For the extra line, you can tweak it manually by using negative vertical spaces :

\vspace{-0.2in}

However, be careful as this can mess up your document if you give too big numbers.

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