Paula’s Sample Cover Letter

Dear _____,

Greetings from the Ott Writing Center. I hope that you remember the times you spent training and working as a writing tutor at Marquette. I often think of you and wonder how you are and what you are doing.

Recently my interest in former tutors has led me to engage in a research project that will look at the long and short-term effects of being a peer-writing tutor in college. The goal of the study is to assess the value of peer tutoring on the tutors themselves. I am very interested to learn more about the ways you may have put your training and experience to work on the job and in your life. I also believe that the enclosed survey will provide a useful opportunity for you to reflect on your time as a tutor and as a student. Except for your time and trouble, there are no foreseeable risks in participating in the research.

I hope you will take some time out of your busy schedule to respond to the survey. The amount of time it will take will vary with your answers and experience. In any case I trust that you will find it worth your while. I know your response will be of significance to the Writing Center. I expect that the responses I receive will also become part of an archive at the Writing Center Research Project at the University of Louisville, so that your response can be a part of a larger national study that I expect to take place over the next year or so. I plan to report on this research next month myself at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Let me know if you’d like a copy of the paper. By responding to the survey and returning it to me, you are, in effect, giving me your consent to use your response as outlined above. You are not required to complete or to sign the survey or to answer anything that might make you feel uncomfortable. The responses will be coded to the master list of former peer writing tutors, and should I quote you in any form, I will not use your name and will seek your permission first.

I’ve pasted the survey below and have attached it as a Word document you can fill out and attach to a return e-mail. If you could respond by March 1, 2004, that would insure that your response will be part of the original study. If you have any questions about the Peer Tutor Alumni Project, you can reach me by phone at 414-288-3590.

Aside from the survey, I am very much looking forward to hearing from you, and I would love to see you and show you our new location in the Raynor Library. To see a before-and-after comparison, see It’s so exciting to be in the center of campus.

Thank you so much.

Best regards,

Paula Gillespie


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