Genres of Application Letters Assignment

One of the first things we should do in examining “How should we live?” is to examine what are the things we want or think we want. Applying for things we want: jobs, colleges, loans is one of the ways we attempt to get what we want. In this assignment, you’ll use the genres of an application call, cover letter, and rejection letter to comment on our goals, pleasures, and dreams in life and the failure to achieve them.

This assignment asks you to think about exploring point of view, ethos, voice, and style. You’ll move through several of these as you take on each component of the assignment.

In the application call, you’ll post what the call is for in terms of an applicant. This should be an unconventional call–something that would not normally be requested for a job, college, or application. Maybe it’s a call for a pet, best friend, or an endangered pleasure that Holland writes about. In this call, though, you should reference ideas, themes, or arguments from one of the readings you’ve done so far. Think Doyle, Miranda, Gray, Liu, or Holland as a starting point for your call.

For the cover letter, you’ll now take on the persona of an applicant and decide who this person and their those will be and how they’re trying to convince those posting this the call that they are the correct applicant. Consider where the conflicts are between the call and the cover letter. Is this comedic or satirical? Or are you making a point with some of these conflicts?

Then, for the rejection letter, take on another persona and decide how you’re going to reject and what you’re saying with your rejection. How does this perspective on the application add complexity and nuance to the ideas you’re addressing? How do you bring new insight and points with the rejection? How do you make your reader feel about the applicant and the rejector?

The genre of this assignment is creative non-fiction, but don’t be afraid to use poetry, dialogue, or other narrative techniques when necessary. The call should be at least 250 words, the cover letter at least 500 words, and the rejection letter at least 500 words.


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