The One with the Cover Letter

Lane Co. fair beauty 3.1 by jmb_craftypickle on Flickr

On a whim, I signed up for the EdX.org course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s focus was on being a critical reader, note taking and annotation and to start brainstorming ideas for our final writing project:

With two topics being presented as part of this class, from the start, I choose to focus on business writing. Writing memos or to-dos comes easy for me, but I get hung up on where business writing really matters: The resume and cover letter. Yikes! While I’m not actively searching for a new job, getting comfortable with the process, will benefit me in the long run.


Photo by jmb_craftypickle is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One with the Tone

Tone by delete08 on Flickr

On a whim, I signed up for the EdX.org course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s assignment was to experiment writing in different tones or styles. With the example of writing a colleague for a favor we were instructed to write two versions. The first one, neutral/formal, the second informal and the last, formal but with more of a negative tone. Here goes!

Original writing

Good Morning Sue,

I hope you are doing well. I have an important meeting later this week and I was wondering if it would be possible for me to borrow your office. Two representatives from ABC company have asked to meet with me and your office is quieter and better suited for multiple visitors compared to mine. The meeting will only be an hour and the date and time are flexible, depending on your availability, etc. I would be happy to trade offices a well.

Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance!

– Shannon

Informal

Hey Sue. Can I borrow your office later this week? It’ll only be for an hour. Date/time is flexible depending on what you have going on. Let me know. Thanks!

Formal with negative tone

Hi Sue,

I know things are busy, so I wanted follow up just in case you didn’t see my previous email. I have a really important meeting this week and I wanted to know if I could borrow your office. Two representatives from ABC company have asked to meet with me and, if possible, I want to avoid meeting them in my office since it’s next to the lunchroom and can get loud at times. The meeting will only be an hour. I haven’t set a date yet since I was waiting to hear back from you.

Let me know.

– Shannon

Thoughts

Like I mentioned in my first post, writing emails is easy for me. I do memos like this on a daily basis so I enjoyed the first part of this assignment. However, writing the 3rd version (polite but insistent) was uncomfortable and difficult. I struggle with how to be firm without coming off as bitchy or rude. Email makes this challenging since tone can be lost or misinterpreted when you can’t hear how something is being said.


Photo by delete08 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One Where I Signed Up for an edX Course

Arts Crawl 11.20.09 | kellywritershouse | https://www.flickr.com/photos/kellywritershouse/

On a whim, I signed up for the EdX.org course BerkeleyX: ColWri2.2x Academic and Business Writing. It is a 5 week course with weekly journal assignments. I’ll be posting responses to the journal prompts here as I go.

This week’s assignment was to write about what type of writing you do normally, your thoughts on writing and what areas within writing you want to improve in the most.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with writing. I disliked the writing process at times, but I felt found myself drawn to the idea of being a writer. Call me Carrie Bradshaw! Or, call me someone who knows that being a strong written communicator can come in handy in the business world. Those emails aren’t going to write themselves! Which is where I come in. For ColWri2.2x’s first journal assignment we were asked to describe the type of writing we do most and for me that’s business writing. Emails and memos, mostly, but on occasion, training materials/documentations and slide decks. It may not be glamorous but I feel in my element when typing up a memo or documentation.

I didn’t feel as in my element when it came to academic writing. The essay section of the SAT, for example, was a nightmare. The writing prompt I had was lobsters (why?) and I’m pretty sure I got the lowest possible grade on that essay. In college, writing assignments went either way. Sometimes I felt happy with something I had written or surprised by positive feedback I’d written. Other times, it was a a source of frustration, stress and tears. No, with college and work experience behind me, I welcome the challenge of writing, but I do psyche myself out of it sometimes.

As far as improving, I’d like to get better at the idea of sitting down and just being a writer. Here’s to less talking myself out of writing and more talking myself into writing. There’s really no harm in writing, even if it’s not “great” or “perfect”. Practice is the only way to improve and it’s never too late to start.


Photo by kellywritershouse is licensed under CC BY 2.0