1. Kathy_N
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    Kathy_N New Member

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    Im a student in need of help!!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kathy_N, Apr 1, 2007.

    Im suppose to write a friendly letter to the faculty and staff at my school about myself,my academics, and so forth on about me to be the boy/girl of the year --
    but how to start off is a difficult thing for me so i came here in search of a tutor/helper to guide me through my writing ect.

    so please help!!!!!!!!

    and oh yeah this is due by tuesday<<--- this coming tuesday =_='
     
  2. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Friendly letter implies that it is to be somewhat informal, as opposed to a scholarship application.

    In the absence of any previous lessons on the expected structure/content details of a friendly letter, attack the task the same way you would an essay. Introduce yourself in the first paragraph, mentioning the three target areas.

    Next paragraphs, expand upon the three listed target areas.

    Last paragraph summarize.

    Don't forget the closing (Sincerely, and the signature, the greetings at the top etc.)

    Try to get a first draft out today, so that you have a day to come back and revise it Monday.

    That's the best advice I can give with the information on the assignment presented.

    Terry
     
  4. Evelyn
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    Evelyn Senior Member

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    Just to get started, you might try writing a friendly letter as if to another student like yourself (say, like your best friend's old best friend from where she used to live, who's coming to visit and wants to meet you ---
    or something like that :)

    (After you've gotten through the first draft, you can change mood and wording from:

    "Hi, I'm Kathy!...."

    to:

    "Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Thank you for considering me for Boy/Girl Of The Year. My name is Kathy N___ ...")


    I'd include your name, age, and a note about where and with whom you live ('rents, sibs, & pets).

    Then I'd move on to academics: favorite subjects, academic awards, any special projects (science fair, term paper(s) you got an 'A' on, thingo you did in Art Class that everyone oohed and aahed about, etc.).

    If you've ever made straight A's, ranked especially high in your class, or done an "Honors" anything, mention it. (If you really struggle with some particular subject, but are (truly) improving, mention that too, along with how you achieved the improvement.)

    Next, whatever you do after school: sports, music programs, school clubs or Girl Scouts or 4-H, whatever. If you work part-time, mention it here, with some note as to something you've learned from it ("...after three weeks of working at BurgerQuick, I was promoted to Assistant Manager on the Swing Shift. This job has helped me to learned resoponsibility, patience, and a healthy respect for the Fry Vat." :)

    If after school, you really do pick up your little brother from elementary school, go home, wash the dishes, start supper, and then go upstairs to read Jane Austen to a bed-ridden elderly relative (or stuff like any one of these things); then tell them about that - but only if it's really true.

    (Do not lie on this thing. Not one little bit. Lies in this sort of letter or essay will *always* come back to bite you.)

    A sentence or so about your plans for the future ("I really enjoy being in the Science Club, and I hope to study Chemistry or Biology when I reach college...") is appropriate, but you don't have to put one in.

    Close by thanking (whoever's going to read this) for the opportunity to apply.

    Now, that's the first draft.


    The next step is to go back through and change the wording to eliminate any slang you put in the "to a friend" version. For an (extreme) example:

    "I, like, *totally* sucked at math until last year, when the parental units sicced a tutor on me and, after she grilled me into the ground, I finally started getting some of it."

    should be more like:

    "I didn't do very well in math until last year, when my parents helped me find a tutor. Ms. Whozernose helped me improve my grasp of fundamentals and more advanced concepts, and now my math grades are steadily improving."

    That's your second draft.


    Now, print it out and proof-read it. (Yes, you used spell-check, but that only does so much.) Correct any spelling, grammar, or punctation errors; and then proofread & correct it again.

    Next, print it out and ask anyone who can't get away fast enough to proof-read it for you. Parents, siblings, neighbors: anyone better at spelling, grammar, or punctation than you are, or even pretty close to being as good.

    (If they make suggestions for changing wording or content, use you own judgement about taking them. But if they tell you you've used "there" when you probably meant "their," make sure they're right :) and then make the correction.)

    You can't proof-read this too much: if there are an awful lot of candidates, the people deciding may just toss any letters with mistakes in them.


    If you can, try reading the letter out loud (to a parent, or a pet, or the mirror, or an empty room - whatever won't make you die of embarrassment :). Sometimes wording that looks fine on the page jumps out as awkward, and/or just not really what you meant, when you hear yourself say it.


    As an extra touch, consider getting some high-quality resume paper from a stationery store or photcopy shop to print your final draft on. Paper with what they call a "high rag content" takes ink better, and feels nicer in the hands - it just might make your letter seem that much better than all the others.
    (Stick to clear white in color.)

    I always get about five sheets (they cost about $0.10 - $0.15 apiece), since one last typo always seems to show up on what was supposed to be the final draft (and then one last, last! typo on what was supposed to be the final, final! draft (and then I mess up my signature (and then I go to fold it to put it in the envelope, and get it crooked))).
    (But maybe you're not as clumsy as I am :)


    Good luck with your letter!

    - Evelyn


    PS. In the places where I've suggested specific wordings, the style is probably too formal and stilted for your "friendly letter." That's because of a flaw in my own writing style, which tends to be too formal and stilted most of the time :)


    PPS. When you're all done with this letter, be sure to save a copy. You can use it as a starting-off point for all the scholarship and college application letters & essays you'll be writing over the next few years.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can email me for help, if you still need it...

    love and hugs,maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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