Sometimes I will require you to add a cover letter to your writing, but I’ve found that it’s always a good idea to do so. It reflects well on you as a student and thinker, someone concerned about success in a thoughtful way instead of just for “points.”
These are short notes, emails, or pages on top of the assignment that let your teacher (or professor) know what you are thinking and learning through the assignment. Imagine 1-3 brief paragraphs written fairly informally (but properly!) to the teacher. They might include information like:
- What you’re turning in (and whether it’s a final copy, a revision, a draft, etc.)
- The topic you chose to write about and why
- Any parts of the paper you are especially happy about: the ideas, the style, the process of writing it, etc.
- Any parts of the paper you felt did not come out as well and that you wish feedback on
- Any questions or comments you have about the assignment as it affects your paper. (Do not offer a critique of the assignment, directions, etc.)
Sample Cover Letter
I’m turning in the second draft of my essay on Disney princesses, the one I revised after last week’s workshop.
I think it’s going well, and I’m happy with my ideas around revisionist history in Pocahontas. I also like the introduction where I use the metaphor of sandcastles that have to constantly be rebuilt.
What I’m having real trouble with, still, is the conclusion: I just can’t seem to avoid repeating myself. Do you have another idea I could try with it? Also, I’d appreciate any comments you can give me on my verb use, which I’ve been working on since the last paper—that’s hard!