The Cover Letter presents a formal argument about your growth as a writer in WRIT 110 and the evolution of your draft process. It is not an informal document or reflective journal. It is a polished commentary on your own work. Thus, the Cover Letter should include a clear thesis about your growth as a writer, how your writing process has evolved, and why you deserve a good grade. Remember: All successful cover letters make an argument—that you’re the best candidate for a job, that you have a unique skill set, that you’ll make a great member of a team, etc. Limit yourself to 2-3 full pages (single-spaced) in business letter format. The Cover Letter serves three very substantial purposes: It allows you to present your writing process. In the letter, you examine and comment on your writing process. In a very specific way, you reflect on the issues you have confronted as a writer. This may include issues such as the nature of drafting, making global revisions, creating an argument, developing a thesis, making sentence-level revisions, etc. This is a very specific examination of your own thinking, writing, and revising. Look to your peer review notes on your drafts—What did you do? What did you struggle with? And how have you progressed as a writer? What kind of process did you implement in creating your polished papers over the last fifteen weeks? How has your writing process changed? What do you still need to do to make your process more effective? It allows you to rhetorically preface your own work. This is the first document that I read in your portfolio. Use the cover letter to showcase your progress. Illustrate what you’ve learned about your own writing process, about how you use rhetoric and language as you write, and about reading critically. Examine your own evolution as a thinker—using your own work as evidence. If you suggest, for example, that you’ve come to make a distinction between revision and editing, you must explain what that distinction is and how, specifically, it is obvious in your work. You must support your claims about your process with evidence from your own portfolio (quotes from your essays, comments from peer review, notes from draft responses, conversations during conferences, etc.). Additionally, plan to incorporate at least 2 outside sources from earlier in the semester related to the creative process and the writing process. Arguments referring to specific documents, decisions, and evidence are persuasive. General statements have no persuasive power. Keep in mind, your goal is to convince me you have achieved the Course Objectives stated in the syllabus. It allows you to identify problems in drafts and discuss changes you would have liked to make if you had the time. This shows me you are aware of any weaknesses of a draft. Consider adding a paragraph that includes detailed changes you would have made to each draft if you had more time. Preparing for the Cover Letter Here are some reflection questions to help you begin drafting your letter: What is the most difficult part of writing many drafts? How did the difficulty change? What kind of solutions did I develop to combat this difficulty? What worked? What failed? What makes a draft “successful” or “unsuccessful”? What is it like to read a “successful” draft? How does that reading experience influence my life as a writer? Do I examine my drafts or rely on my feelings following the completion of a draft? Do I return to the draft, re-read, and then draft a note? Has that author’s note process changed? What am I most concerned about when revising? Global revision? If so—which issues seem central and reoccurring in the revision process? What am I most concerned about when editing? Sentence-level revision? If so—which issues seem central and reoccurring in the revision process? How do I receive and sort through the reactions of my workshop group? How do I make revision decisions given several different pieces of advice? Specifically, how did my polished papers move from the first 3-page draft to the draft it is now? What issues did I readdress? How would I categorize that experience? What did I “learn” from that process? Format An example of how to format your cover letter is attached. When you download the example, make sure to view the comments to see extra notes regarding formatting advice. Assignment Guidelines 12 pt. TNR or Calibri font, 1-inch margins, single-spaced, business cover letter formatting according to the example linked above. Develop your draft in a single Google doc. Include at least 2 outside sources from earlier in the semester related to the creative process and the writing process. Utilize past drafts and assignments as examples of your growth/evolution as a writer. The due dates for your cover letter are as follows: 12/3 – Rough Draft (at least 1.5+ full pages, single-spaced) Finals Week – Final Draft (at least 2+ full pages, single-spaced) in your final portfolio
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