Writing: Activist/outreach letter

Write a letter to someone, making a case for something you have learned about in this class.

You can write to an individual or an organization, but make sure that your tone is appropriate. If you’re writing to your grandmother, I don’t expect to read the same kind of letter as I would if you were writing to the State of Maryland.

Include at least 2 sources from our class readings, at least one of which should be from unit 3; additional sources are welcome, but as always, check in with me if you’re drawing from outside of class. Quote your sources conversationally and persuasively, as you would if you were using them in an informal discussion, but include full citation details in a bibliography at the end!

Most letters are not 1200 words long (though if yours is, that’s okay). Most of you will need some more material to make up to the word count. I suggest that you include a reflective section at the end. Tell me why you decided to write this letter.

When I grade your work, here is what I will be hoping to see:

  • A clear sense of the letter’s purpose
  • Appropriate style for the audience: show me that you thought deeply about how best to address this person or organization
  • Careful use of class material: the sources you cite should integrate with your focus and don’t appear to have been dropped in at random
  • A persuasive, nuanced, reflective argument or narrative
  • Evidence of thoughtful reflection that connects the class’s themes to a larger world


Nuts and bolts:

  • Length: 1200 words (approximately 4 pages). Submissions of less than 1000 words (approximately 3 pages) will incur penalties.
  • Submit your finished assignment to the dropbox in ELMS before midnight on Friday December 12. Email and paper submissions will not be accepted except by special agreement.
  • Essays must be in Word (.doc or .docx), RTF, or PDF format. Use Times New Roman or a similar font in 12-point, with 1-inch margins.
  • Graded assignments will be returned no more than two weeks after submission. In addition to the expectations laid out above, please see the Assessment and Expectations page for my general grading rubric.

Points/grades breakdown
49-50: A+ | 47-48: A | 45-46: A-
43-44: B+ | 42-43: B | 40-41: B-
38-39: C+ | 36-37: C | 35-36: C-
33-34: D+ | 31-32: D | 29-30: D-
28 or below: F

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