Sample Student Draft Cover Letter

Cover letter prompt: (1) Briefly describe the approach you took to this unit’s readings and summarize the main claim of your paper; (2) address how successful you believe the draft to be in its current form; and (3) ask 2-3 specific questions about your draft using at least two key terms from the Writing Lexicon. (~1 page)

Your letter should be addressed to your classmates —“Dear Readers” is a fine way of opening your cover letter!

Dear Readers,

The main idea that I tried to convey in this first draft was that through the depiction of masculine destructiveness and effeminate ineffectiveness, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove satirizes the American military and government and argues that the only way to salvage the world was to embrace something entirely devoid of human persona, as represented in the ideas of Dr. Strangelove at the conclusion of the film. I described the masculine depiction of Generals Buck Turgidson and Jack D. Ripper and drew a contrast between their actions that ultimately led to nuclear destruction and the idea of masculinity in the 1950s as anti-Communist national security. On the other hand, I showed how President Merkin Muffley and Group Commander Lionel Mandrake contained effeminate characteristics and, though they were the ones who tried to save the United States from nuclear devastation, were ineffective in the face of aggressive masculinity. Thus the film showed how convoluted and paranoid the military was and how bureaucratic and impotent the government seemed. Because of the inability of humanity to save itself, I argued that it ultimately took a mechanized world based on machines to save the human race.

My biggest problem right now is whether I have too many ideas (especially in the paragraphs concerning masculinity and effeminacy portrayed in Dr. Strangelove) in this paper that take away from its focus. If so, how do you feel about the structure of my essay? Were you able to follow it, or was it confusing at times? In addition, I feel that my prose is still wordy at times, and as it takes away from the clarity of my essay as a whole, I am definitely working on streamlining it more.

I believe that the point I made most successfully was the analysis of the characters in the film and how their personalities reflected a larger phenomenon in the 1950s political arena. I believe that I used the sources to my advantage; the Cuordileone piece was especially helpful as a foundation for my essay. However, I could probably have developed my last argument concerning the mechanized society as an answer to humanity’s incompetence and my conclusion more (in terms of analysis and transition). In addition, I feel that I can add in some more analysis of Dr. Strangelove.

The number one thing that I would appreciate you focusing on is the clarity of my motive and thesis and whether it was sustained in a straightforward fashion throughout the paper.

Thank you!