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Two points about the letters assignment: peer review and format

by Steve Krause on October 13th, 2014

I’ve skimmed through/peeked in a bit on the peer review process for the complaint and adjustment letters, and based on what I saw, I wanted to pass along two important things about this assignment.

First for peer review: you should review and comment on all of the letters from your peer review colleagues. In other words, you’re not just commenting on the adjustment/response letters that you received to your letter. Rather, you are commenting on all of the adjustment letters written by all of the peers in your group. Given that these letters are generally pretty short, this shouldn’t be that big a problem. Be sure to finish this up by the end of the day today.

Second, these letters should follow a formal letter format. I haven’t covered this quite as clearly this term as perhaps I should have– the readings I’m using this term don’t address these formatting issues in the same way that readings I’ve used before have done this more clearly. But remember you are writing a letter and not an email or what-have-you, and that requires a more formal formatting structure.

Fortunately, this isn’t rocket science. Here’s a link to what these letters should look like on the Purdue OWL. A few things to think about:

  • You should use the “block format” or the “modified block format,” and not the “semi-block format.” The only real difference between the block format and modified block format is where you put your address and the date– in the modified block format, you put it to the right. Personally, I prefer the block format because it’s easier: you just line everything up on the left.
  • Note that the writer’s address goes at the top, followed by the date you are sending the letter. The name and address of who you are writing to comes next. Now, two things about this for the purposes of our assignment:
    • You don’t have to provide us your home address (in fact, for privacy reasons, I’d prefer you make up an address, sort of like the way they do this in the Purdue examples.
    • Part of what you need to do for this assignment is to do the research to find a specific person to complain to and a specific address to send that complaint to. In other words, do not write to Mr. Comcast with the address 123 Cable TV Way.
  • Note that the complaint letter and response letter my wife wrote (which I shared at the beginning of the term) follows this format. The response from DTE is written on their stationary with a masthead and address at the top, which is why the adjustment letter writer didn’t type out an address in their response.

Like I said, not a big deal and not difficult to do; it’s just something you need to do.

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  1. Carly permalink

    I definitely went into this with the email mind set from finishing our last assignment, but it was nice being able to look at some of my more experiences peers writing to see how I needed to format this letter. It’s a nice advantage to this class.

    A lot of us in my group ended up with our addresses at the bottom of the letter, under our signed names. Is that still proper format, or should it be at the top like the Purdue Owl site?

    • Steve Krause permalink

      No, that’s actually not right. You should put it at the top like in the Purdue examples because (and I don’t make the rules, I’m just telling you what they are) that’s the way it’s done.

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