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Jordan Shoemaker

Cover Letter Draft

The purpose of this cover letter is to illustrate my progress in
meeting the courses Student Learning Outcomes. I will provide
examples of assignments that represent my competence in meeting
the six SLOs; rhetorical focus, ethical research, persuasive
arguments, organization and focus, academic language and design,
and collaboration.
The discussion board assignments, specifically DB #2,
demonstrate my understanding of the SLOs of organization/focus
and academic language/design. For example, I correctly identify
successful elements of organization and design that have parallels
in the three Wikipedia pages, The three similar characteristics of
organization that are most apparent include the introduction
paragraph, table of contents, and a picture. As well, my
understanding of academic language is shown by identifying the
writing style and the similarities between the Wikipedia pages, All
three pages share a similar writing style convention, that being one
of a formal reporter. From what I can tell, the author's of the articles
attempt to provide facts, and only facts, to their readers.
The discussion board assignments also stand as strong examples of
meeting the SLO of collaboration throughout the semester. For example, in
DB #9, I provided an alternative form of a classmates argument that
helped to accomplish their goal, an example of an appropriate thesis may
be, The topic of the death penalty is one that is contested among
Americans, however a majority of them support it. It is for the reasons of
[] that the majority of Americans support the death penalty. This is an
appropriate thesis because it presents for readers a clear understanding of
what the paper will be about.

The ethical issue prompt best represents my accomplishment

of the persuasive argument SLO. Addressing opposing arguments is
key to a successful persuasive argument, and the following quote
from my prompt is an example of this, Proponents of HGE argue
that the technology can be used to solve the problems associated
with certain genetic diseases, if not cure the diseases altogether
[] however to apply this research to humans introduces a bevy of
problems. First, I introduced an opposing view and then countered
the claim; the use of however indicates the distinction between
arguments. This assignment also represents success in meeting the
ethical research SLO. Upon reviewing the sources, it is clear that
they are discipline appropriate because of the use of scientific
The discussion board assignments also provide examples of
meeting the SLO of rhetorical focus. For example, in DB #3, the
discussion of plagiarism is in the context of college courses with an
audience of college students. This exemplifies an understanding of
rhetorical focus because I first had to focus on what I wanted to
accomplish in my discussion, then I had to understand my audience
to formulate a argument relevant to the context of discussion.
Understanding the audience is paramount in a successfully written
argument. If I were presenting this argument to elementary schools
students instead of college students, the writing style and context
used would have changed for sure.
Despite my successes in meeting the SLOs, there are aspects
where I do need to make improvements. An example a shortcoming
in the ethical research SLO lies in the ethical issue prompt in which I
employed the incorrect use of in-text citation. It does not match the
requirement called for by the MLA writing style. Another example of
a shortcoming in the collaboration SLO is that of DB #12, the peer
review of editorials. I do not believe I contributed to the
improvement of my peers work because I failed to provide
sufficient constructive criticisms that my peer may have used to
revise his editorial. I have trouble providing criticisms because
sometimes I do not have faith in my own writing styles, so I
question my ability to to provide effective criticism. I hope that
understanding my weaknesses as well as my strengths will help me
improve my writing style as a college student.