Recommendations from an Employer, Coworker or Friend Recommendations from Faculty or Staff Tell the student how strong a letter you feel you can honestly write for them; give them a chance to ask someone else if you cannot write a strong letter. Ask for as much information from the student as possible application form, due date, copies of work done in course, etc. Use a letterhead that matches your relationship with student: Department stationery, House stationery, etc.
The following article was written by Tara Kuther and posted on About.
It is the rare applicant who can easily think of three professors to ask. Instead most graduate school applicants find it easy to obtain two letters, one from their primary advisor and another from a professor with whom they have worked or taken multiple classes, but the third letter often is a stretch.
Applicants often must turn to faculty with whom they have had less contact in order to obtain a third letter of recommendation. Can you write a helpful recommendation letter? You may have a very strong positive opinion about the student yet the strength of a recommendation letter lies in its details.
Do you know enough about the applicant to write a letter with sufficient detail? Pause before making a decision. Whenever a student — any student — requests a recommendation letter you should pause before responding. Quickly assess what you know about the student and determine how supportive you are of his or her academic intentions.
That said, lack of outside of class experience with a student should not stop you from writing a letter if you have good things to say and can support them. Just because you can write a letter on behalf of the applicant does not mean that you should.
Inform students about the purpose of recommendation letters, what makes a good recommendation letter, and how your letter, while positive may not offer the types of details characteristic of helpful recommendation letters. Not every student who asks should receive a recommendation.
Frequently professors receive requests for letters from students who were little more than names and faces. If you have nothing to say about a student other than he or she attended class and earned a grade your letter will be of little help.
Explain this to the student. You are doing them a favor by refusing a letter.
Should you give in? Sometimes students will be pushy. Students often struggle to find that last recommendation letter and may ask for your letter regardless of your warnings. Some faculty give in. They again explain the content of their letter and that it is not helpful, but agree to submit it.
If your letter only includes course grades and other neutral information you might reconsider and submit the letter as long as you have explained the ramifications to students.
Recommendation Letter Samples for Students. The recommendation letter is a letter written by a mentor, supervisor, professor, or teacher that can confirm a student’s knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm toward education and the acquisition of new knowledge. You have to write a recommendation letter for one of your classmates. The sad truth is that very few students know how to write recommendation letter. And even those who know are not sure where to begin. But writing a letter of recommendation is in no way different than writing an essay. Yes, the structure is different. Here are some general guidelines that I have compiled from my experiences as an anxious applicant reading my many letters of recommendation, as someone on admissions and hiring committees, and now as a full-time professor writing at least a dozen of these letters each year.
Some professors argue, however, that it is unethical to send a letter that you think will help the student gain admission to graduate school.Your letters of recommendation should demonstrate your abilities with specific anecdotes of your professional experience.
Avoid performance reviews. A letter of recommendation should be just that, a recommendation. Writing a letter of recommendation for a co-worker has a lot in common with writing a letter of recommendation for someone who worked for you, starting with the obvious and most important point: if you can't write a positive letter without fibbing or stretching the truth, don't do it at all.
Approach one of your previous supervisors who knows your work ethic and your character, preferably a previous supervisor you have a good relationship with who will write an honest (and positive) letter of recommendation.
A "general" reference letter is to be used whenever making applications for various positions. When applying for a specific position, a more customized targeted recommendation letter should be used that focuses on the specific position or program in particular.
While the write-it-yourself letter might seem like a chore, you can take this opportunity to write yourself an A+ letter of recommendation.
Consider for a moment what makes for a good letter of recommendation. Writing a letter is a significant undertaking, as it requires you to customize your words to the candidate and make your letter unique.
Even though the specifics will vary, strong letters of recommendation do have certain features in common.