I have an interview with an orgainzation that does research in transportation planning. They have requested that I submit a writing sample before I meet with them.
Having recently graduated, my writing samples are mainly papers I have written for planning classes. Here is the issue:
One of the papers I wrote for a transportation planning class deals directly an issue the organization is involved with. In fact, I referenced one of their proposals in my paper. While I would love to use that paper as the writing sample, my concern is that (1) I dont want to seem like I am trying too hard to impress them, (2) Since it is a topic they are familiar with, any small error (whether it be figures slightly off, or an opinion they might not agree with) would likely be glaring. I received a good grade on the paper from a professor who is very in touch with the field, but I dont know if that necessarily means that it is good enough to submit as a writing sample. I am in the process of going over it again to double check everything, but I am not sure if that is enough.
Also, it may be worth pointing out that in my cover letter I mentioned the fact that I referenced one of the proposals in a paper I wrote. I dont think that they necessarily expect to read it, though, as they only asked for something that is representative of my writing ability, and didnt specify a topic.
My other potential writing samples involve planning issues as well, but not in the field of transportation.
What do you think?