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See the attached document for instructions and expectations for the assignment.

Unit 1: Professional Communication

Cover Letter Assignment Description

Learning Objectives

This assignment was designed to fulfill the following course learning objectives:

· Write for specialist and non-specialist audiences

· Manage writing processes and projects

· Design usable and rhetorically effective documents

· Respond ethically to writing tasks

Prompt

In this assignment, you will write a cover letter in response to a specific job ad, graduate school program, scholarship The cover letter should be tailored to the specific position and organization. You need to contextualize important qualifications and covey the appropriate persona. Your job is to persuade the hiring manager you are a good fit for the job in terms of both skills and company culture. At the same time, the letter should demonstrate your communication/writing skills and document design skills.

Minimum Requirements

1. Your cover letter should be 1 page and formatted as a formal letter.

2. Your cover letter must be tailored to a specific job/position/organization and not a generic document that could be sent anywhere.

3. Your letter should be well organized and written in a concise, clear manner. 

Unit 1: Professional Communication

Resume Assignment Description

A Complete Submission Contains:

· A screenshot of the job ad you are applying for (or graduate school program, scholarship, etc.)

· A resume (saved as .docx)

Learning Objectives

This assignment was designed to fulfill the following course learning objectives:

·  Write for specialist and non-specialist audiences

· Manage writing processes and projects

·  Design usable and rhetorically effective documents

· Respond ethically to writing tasks

Prompt

In this assignment, you will write and design a resume in response to a specific job ad, graduate school program, scholarship, etc. Your task is to develop a resume that is tailored to a specific position. At the same time, the resume should demonstrate your communication/writing skills and document design skills.

Minimum Requirements

1. Your resume should utilize good design skills, meet the recruiter’s needs, embody the principles of usability we discussed in this unit, and must be accessible for all audiences, including persons with disabilities.

2. Your resume should be 1 page, but 2 is acceptable in certain situations if the content and design meet your user’s needs and seem rhetorically appropriate and usable.

3. Your resume and must be tailored to a specific job/position and not a generic document that could be sent anywhere.

4. I advise against using templates because they sometimes have accessibility issues, but if you address those issues, you may use one. Be warned, however, that templates might “look pretty” but aren’t necessary designed well. I recommend you try to design your own resume and practice essential document design skills. Remember that you can modify templates to make them more usable, accessible, and unique.

Assignment 1: Cover Letter
Rubric

A
Excellent

(Above and
beyond

expectations)

B
Well Done

(Meets
expectations

and is
excellent or

almost
excellent in
one or two

areas)

C
Satisfactory

(Meets
expectations)

D
Needs Work

(Almost meets
expectations)

F
Failing
(Below

Expectations)

4 3 2 1 0
Audience (x2)
• The cover letter is an excellent match to audience needs (fulfills the reader’s needs and

(contains the information the audience needs to make a decision or take an action)
• The cover letter is tailored in some way to the specific job and organization and is not

overly generic
• The cover letter is an excellent match to the genre, following the good writing advice

discussed in course readings and class discussion

Context and Purpose (x2)
• There is a clear purpose
• The cover letter contextualizes important qualifications rather than simply summaries the

resume
• The cover letter makes a persuasive argument that the writer will be a good fit for the job

or organization
• Ideas are clear, coherent, and demonstrate complexity
• The cover letter identifies and considers the influence of appropriate contexts on the

issue: cultural and professional (the writer has considered company culture and conveys
the appropriate persona in their letter)

Design
• Excellent match of design elements to document genre
• Effective use of design principles (white space, alignment, etc.)
• The cover letter is formatted as a formal letter and not an email

Style and Editing
• Clear and succinct prose
• Word choices are concrete and specific

• Excellent matching of level of formality and technicality to audience
• Gender- and culture-appropriate language
• No grammatical, mechanical, or typographical errors
• Errors do not affect usability

Structure and Organization
• Follows structural conventions for the genre
• Arranges parts logically
• There is a clear beginning, middle, and end
• The letter effectively makes use of the FES (“forecast, expand, summarize) method of

organization

Critical Thinking
• The writer is aware of and clearly identifies the writer’s own assumptions and/or beliefs
• The document identifies the assumptions and/or beliefs of the appropriate stakeholders
• Claims are clear and substantiated with evidence
• The evidence is appropriate to the audience and/or stakeholders
• Evidence adds insight to the writer’s own ideas
• Content and design decisions seem to take into account insights from readings and class

discussions

Student Ownership
• The document seems unique to the writer and also tailored well to the specif

Assignment 1: Resume
Rubric

A
Excellent

(Above and
beyond

expectations)

B
Well Done

(Meets
expectations

and is
excellent or

almost
excellent in
one or two

areas)

C
Satisfactory

(Meets
expectations)

D
Needs Work

(Almost meets
expectations)

F
Failing
(Below

Expectations)

4 3 2 1 0
Audience (X2)
• The resume anticipates and fulfills the reader’s needs (contains the information the

audience needs to make a decision or take an action)
• The resume is tailored to a specific audience and is not overly generic

Context and Purpose (x2)
• The resume (in terms of language and design) is suited to someone who is skimming, in a

hurry, or “choosing their own adventure” in how they read the resume
• The resume seems to be persuasive in that it seems the writer will be a good fit for the job

or organization (the resume is not treated as informative, but persuasive)

Design
• Excellent match of design elements to document genre
• Effective use of design principles (white space, alignment, etc.)
• The resume is a usable, accessible document that follows best practices identified by our

readings and class discussions
• The resume’s design follows the recommendations of the Ladders Eye Tracking study and

accounts for how recruiters read resumes

Style and Editing
• Clear and succinct prose
• Word choices are concrete and specific
• The resume makes good use of keywords and strong action verbs
• Gender- and culture-appropriate language
• No grammatical, mechanical, or typographical errors
• Keywords are utilized and are logical
• Errors do not affect usability

Structure and Organization
• Follows structural conventions for the genre
• Arranges parts logically
• The organization of information meets the reading needs of our users and users do not

have to “hunt” for important information

Critical Thinking
• Decisions are made based on research/evidence and insight
• Claims are substantiated with evidence and/or examples (details used to support fit)
• Keywords are utilized and make sense (avoids “Keyword stuffing”)
• Content and design decisions seem to take into account insights from readings and class

discussions

Student Ownership
• The assignment is unique and not simply a generic template
• If a template is used, the writer made logical modifications to increase usability and

accessibility
• The document seems unique to the writer and also tailored well to the specific rhetorical

situation
• The assignment goes beyond minimal expectations
• If necessary, the writer took risks

Assignment Completion
• Fulfills assi

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