Jo Doran, Ph.D., M.F.A.

Assistant Professor & ESL Coordinator, Northern Michigan University

Cover Letter Assignment – 493

Cover Letter, Personal Statement, Statement of Purpose, Query Letter, Teaching Philosophy or  Mission Statement(100 points)

Based on your main project, I will approve one of the above documents. If you have a current cover letter/alternative, I will still require that you work on this piece and revise it, based on my feedback. Those of you working with Project #1 (Graduate School) will work on the required document for the university application. Those of you working on Project #2 (Job Application) most likely will create a cover letter. Those of you working on Project #3 (Personal Project) will choose, based on my approval, a project-specific document.

Cover Letters:

Read the following:

While I give you necessary freedom to create an individual cover letter, I will grade you on the following:

  • Appropriate content for your chosen audience
  • Use of your letterhead (should match resume)
  • Correct left-block alignment
  • Proper letter format
  • Inclusion of contact person’s name to whom you will send the letter
  • Use of three (or four) paragraphs
  • Evidence (strong!) of research of company/organization
  • Use of show-not-tell – very strong use!
  • Included signature
  • Use of correct grammar/punctuation/ spelling/syntax.

Your assignment is to create a cover letter, personal statement, or statement of purpose based on a job application or your graduate school enrollment. If you are working on the Personal Project, we will determine the most appropriate and helpful document for you to create.

If you create a cover letter for a job application, the cover letter must be specific to that job position. If you create a cover letter for graduate school enrollment, the cover letter should mirror the application requirements.

Personal Statements

Read all the links under Personal Statements at this link.

Statements of Purpose

Read the one link under Statement of Purpose at this link.

Query Letters

Read all three links on Query Letters, if you plan to write a strong query letter (or letters)…

Teaching Philosophies

Just like writing a personal statement – and perhaps even more so – writing a teaching philosophy entails mapping, freewriting, and some very rough drafts at the beginning. While you may not be writing a teaching philosophy, per se, you will need to read all the links on teaching philosophies and, in your own way, work through freewriting, etc. to develop a response paper for this project.

Mission Statements

While Mission Statements are short and concise, the planning should be extensive.