Tips for writing an effective academic letter of recommendation

A letter of recommendation also known as letter of reference or a reference letter is type of an assessment document in which the writer mentions his or her qualities, characteristics and capabilities of the person they wish to recommend to an organization (such as an industry or a university) as an assurance of the individual’s ability to perform a set of tasks.

When writing an academic letter of recommendation, there are samples of recommendation letter that include a variety of letters. These letters of recommendation might be for a college, graduate school, and even exclusively for teachers.

Following pointers might help you to write an appropriate letter of recommendation:

  • When writing a letter of recommendation, focus on the particular university or school
    If you are writing a letter of recommendation for a school or university, ask the student about the information on school and the program the student has enrolled into. Focus on the student’s skills that highlight their ability to succeed in a task given to the student. If the letter is for a post of a teacher, ask for the job description. If it is a general letter, ask the applicant about the type of school he or she has applied for.
  • Explain in the letter of recommendation how you know the applicant
    Briefly explain in the introduction, how you know the applicant. If you are applicant’s professor from the previous school explain the number of courses the student took under your guidance or have worked with you in any capacity (as a teaching or research assistant or an advisee etc)
  • Include instances and examples
    Any letter of recommendation should consist of examples and instances that provide an insight of person’s skills and qualities. Think of instances when the applicant was in your class, and how he or she faired in your subject. Provide examples how the applicant’s insights helped you with your research.
  • Maintain positivity in the letter of recommendation
    There are sample of recommendation letters that you can find on the internet which have an angle that only highlights the applicant’s achievements and positive qualities. Maintain through out in the letter of recommendation that the applicant is a strong candidate for the school or the program he or she is applying for.
  • Collect Information
    Ask for the applicant’s CV or resume that will help you understand applicant’s achievements and skills in a better manner. If the applicant is a student ask them for list that mentions their coursework and their involvement in the same.

There are many websites that contain sample letter of recommendations, which will help you draft an appropriate letter for the applicant, thereby helping them increasing their chances in getting admission in the particular school or course they have enrolled in.

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