Portfolio Item #1
The primary purpose of the cover letter is for you to address the assessment team by
introducing your portfolio to them. It is used to evaluate your mastery of communication
and critical thinking skills.
The cover letter is written and typed in a formal business letter format. This is your
opportunity to address the assessment team and introduce your portfolio to them, so in
place of a return address put your name, program, and expected graduation date.
Writing the Letter
You should choose each of the pieces you want to use to demonstrate your skills in the
portfolio before you write your cover letter. You should also complete the cover sheets
for each piece before you write your letter. Your self-assessment of each of those items
will help you write your cover letter. You should clearly identify each of the pieces you
have chosen for each of the intellectual skill areas (Communication, Critical Thinking,
and Information Literacy). Be sure to tell the team why you chose each particular item
and how it fulfills the requirements of the specific skills you have chosen it to represent.
A good cover letter will consist of five paragraphs. You should have an introductory
paragraph addressing the Assessment Team and telling them you know the reasons for
submitting your GAP portfolio to them. The next three paragraphs will individually
identify your pieces and explain how each piece fulfills the requirements for that piece.
The last paragraph should be a strong closing paragraph. The Assessment Team should
know that your letter is ending. This is the time you may want to thank the team for
reviewing your work or you may add any personalized statement you would like. While
the cover letter should follow this pattern, remember that it should not appear too
formulaic or too much like anyone else’s cover letter.
Points to Ponder (or Things to Think About)
Remember your audience (who will be reading this letter?) and how they will be
using this information.
Be sure your letter is mechanically and grammatically correct, just like a letter you
would send to an employer.
Use proper letter format and type the letter (see business letter format page).
Identify all the items you are using and the class from which they came in the letter.
Using the cover sheets, explain how each piece fits into each category
(Communication, Critical Thinking, and Information Literacy).
Analyze your choices in the letter: Why is each piece a good example of
Communication, Critical Thinking, or Information Literacy?