Magrino specifies 4-5 pages single-spaced for the Sales Letter (excluding the references). I’m translating that into a wordcount of 2000 words for the final draft.
Format: Times New Roman or similar serif font; one-inch margins; single-spacing.
Work with eight or more sources, quoting (briefly) from most to all of them. At least five sources in the final draft should be scholarly. Include all (and only) these sources in a separate reference section at the end of the letter (on a separate page)
Remember to give page numbers when quoting and to supply the DOI for digital resources wherever available (some older ones may lack a DOI but expect recent sources have one). Use APA style for all references and in-text citations.
For additional details on the assignment, please consult Magrino, chapter 5, starting on p. 157.
Notes on the Sales Letter
1. There should not be a section in the SL with the heading INTRODUCTION. You have an unlabeled “introductory” paragraph (the first paragraph that you worked on last week). Having a subsequent section labeled “Introduction” will confuse the reader.
2. Similarly, since you should have several short sections devoted to the problem, having a section called just THE PROBLEM could be misleading or confusing (as I think it is in the first sample SL in Magrino).
You could have a section called THE GLOBAL PROBLEM indicating that you will then narrow your focus in subsequent sections. Depending on your project, you might have one section on the affected population or you might have two sections on two different affected populations. Or you might combine population with location and other factors of the problem into a single section, following this with a section on causes of the problem (etc.).
Descriptive titles are best: TWO MAIN CAUSES OF X, THE EFFECT OF X ON POPULATION Y.
3. Try to avoid single-paragraph sections. Some sections will be short but try to have two or more paragraphs in most of your sections (but it’s not the end of the world if you have some single-paragraph sections).
4. Keep your paragraphs relatively compact. Break up longer paragraphs into shorter, more focused units. Generally, shorter paragraphs will be more appealing to read and easier to follow, encouraging your patron to attend to your letter.
If paragraphs get to be too long, remember some of the good writing guidelines from expos:
(1) one idea (main point) per paragraph
(2) start each paragraph with a topic sentence that makes the main point of the paragraph clear to your reader from the start
(3) use transitional language to guide your reader between paragraphs by showing how each new paragraph or section relates to the preceding paragraph or section
Notes on Paradigm Research
1. For the final draft of the letter (and ideally for the RD as well), I strongly recommended that you have at least four sources for the paradigm that you are working with (more than four would be better) and that at least three of these sources for the paradigm are scholarly — or at least of high quality and written by an expert in the relevant area.
2. Remember that not all the sources used in your discussion of the paradigm will necessarily support your approach in a direct way.
For example, you may present some of the models, methods, or theories as unsuccessfulalternatives that your approach, or your chosen paradigm, will surpass. That said, most sources for the paradigm should be supporting your approach.
Recall how Gawande contrasts the merely short-term success of the use of oral rehydration for cholera in West Bengal in 1971 with the success of the BRAC oral rehydration campaign in 1980. Gawande uses the failure of the former example to achieve a lasting change in the world to clarify the value of the latter example as a model of success for his project (one of achieving a lasting change).
3. A successful paradigm will often adapt models from one context to the context of the current project. Again, we see this in Gawande. His focus is infant hypothermia, not cholera. But the method by which the BRAC project promoted oral rehydration (making it a norm of treatment in West Bengal and beyond) serves as a model for the way Gawande wants to promote kangaroo care (making it a norm of infant care in Uttar Pradesh and beyond).
4. In presenting your paradigm research, work to show the connections between your sources. Does a second source add additional information to what you gain from a first source? Does it challenge or contradict what you gain from the first source? Does it clarify an ambiguity or fill a gap in what the first source offers? Does it offer a second perspective on what the first source claims? Does it provide background or a context for the first source? Does it correct an error in the first source? Does it suggest an alternative or novel application of a method described by the first source?