SAMPLE RECOMMENDATION LETTERS. Prepared by Richard E. Hughes, Ph.D . Many students come to me to do research, and many of them ask me later for.
Because of our highly competitive applicant pool, letters of recommendation hold substantial weight in our admissions decisions. A well-written letter for an outstanding applicant can show impressive characteristics beyond their own self-advocacy.
Both guidance counselor and teacher evaluations are most helpful when they are specific and storied. They should provide us with the information and impressions we cannot glean from the rest of the application. Try to give a complete sketch of the student and the context of their accomplishments. Support your conclusions with facts and anecdotes whenever possible.
Try to address the following questions in your evaluation:
Please pay special attention to the opening and closing of your evaluation. Remember, we are reading over 20,000 applications, and we appreciate strong statements that we’ll remember as we evaluate each candidate. With that said, please write in a way that makes you feel comfortable and do not shy away from giving us your honest impressions. We are only looking for glowing superlatives if they are backed up with examples and give us context; what is behind a student’s achievements. Above all else, make sure to go beyond a student’s grades and academic performance. We can get this information from other parts of the application.
Letters of recommendation are confidential in the MIT admissions process.
It is a great pleasure for me to recommend David for admission to MIT. He is one of the most extraordinary students I have encountered in 20 years of teaching. I taught David A.P. Calculus last year as a tenth grader, and he was one of the very top students in an extremely able group of mostly seniors. He has a high aptitude for math and was very much involved in his work, applying himself with persistence and dedication and often going beyond the regular class assignments.
David’s abiding interest, however, is computer science. He has developed a series of “strands” for use in providing computerized drill and review in the basic skills and techniques of algebra and arithmetic and has recently adapted these to other subjects. David’s work in this area has been so original and significant that he has published a paper on it and delivered several lectures to professionals in other parts of the country. This is a phenomenal accomplishment for anyone, especially a young man in rural Arkansas. It is also worth noting that both last year and this year David taught computer programming to a tenth-grade class of mine for two weeks. He took over completely, preparing lectures, assignments, and tests with great care and thought. His lectures were clear and well organized, and it was obvious that he had expended a great deal of effort to make the course the success that it was.
David’s personal qualities are as impressive as his intellectual accomplishments. An extremely kind, sensitive and sensible boy, he has had a difficult family situation for a few years now. He provides emotional support to his mother through her battle with cancer without allowing the situation to undermine his own stability and accomplishments. He has exhausted all that we have to offer him in this small community, and the maturity that he has demonstrated leads me to believe him capable of entering college a year early, as he now plans to do. I sincerely hope that you will be able to offer him a place in MIT’s freshman class.
Critique: Excellent! This recommendation is filled with comments from someone who clearly knows this student well. We get a clear sense for not only David’s intellectual capacities, but also emotional maturity. His genuine love for computer programming comes through in this teacher’s description. We also realize that he is pushing academic boundaries in his community and making opportunities for himself – a trait that is especially important for a candidate seeking college admissions a year early.
Jen was a student in one of my predominately senior physics classes. She took physics her junior year in high school and was a good student. Through hard work, she was able to develop a good understanding of the subject material.
Jen also had personal qualities that are commendable. In the two years that I have known her I have never known her to be dishonest or untrustworthy. Once on an exam paper I had made a grading error in her favor. She brought this to my attention even though it resulted in a lower test grade.
In conclusion, I feel that Jen has both the academic and personal qualities to be a credit to the college of her choice, and I give her my recommendation without reservation.
Critique: We receive thousands of recommendations like this each year. It is all positive, but it doesn’t give any real depth to the candidate. In this instance, the reader is left feeling the writer is reaching for something to say. Honesty and trustworthiness are certainly admirable traits, but they are not uncommon among the nation’s top college applicants. We are looking for a compelling reason to admit someone, so information on the class material does not help the candidate. Although Jen may be a hard worker, most of our applicants are. Although the comments are positive, it is difficult to grasp onto anything tangible to make this candidate’s case stronger. Was this faint praise intentional? How does Jen fare in comparison with other (more outstanding?) candidates at the school?
Mary has contributed to the school community in a variety of ways, most notably through her participation on the newspaper and yearbook staffs. Frankly, I am impressed with her aggressiveness, creativity, determination and ability to schedule extracurricular activities around a full academic workload. I have never heard Mary complain about her workload or refuse any assignment that she has been given. It is not adequate to say that she accepts responsibility readily. She seeks responsibility. Oh, for more such students!
As business manager for the paper and co-editor of the yearbook the past two years, Mary has done an outstanding job. She personally brought the town’s business community from the view that the school newspaper was a charitable organization to the realization that the paper is a direct pipeline through which advertisers can reach students. She also took the initiative to set up the advertising rate schedule for the paper that produced enough revenue to expand coverage from a four-page paper, so that it is an eight-page and often twelve-page paper. Her work as photographer for both publications has been equally outstanding.
Her motivation is not forced upon her, nor does she wear it like a badge. She has tremendous self-discipline. Mary is also a dedicated, versatile and talented student who will be an asset to your undergraduate community. She has my respect and my highest recommendation.
Critique: Good. Lots of specifics here give us a very clear impression and help us to know why that impression is held. We have evidence of her newspaper directives and overall character.
Jane is an outstanding young woman whose academic record may not fully reflect her ability. Her parents were divorced during her junior year, and, for several years before that, her home situation had been in turmoil with a great deal of fighting between her parents. Her father has an alcohol problem, and Jane certainly endured a great deal of emotional distress. The fact that she has been able to do as well as she has done given the circumstances says a lot about her. Now that the home situation has stabilized, her performance has improved. I believe her senior year grades are a much better reflection of her ability.
Critique: You may wonder whether or not the above information is appropriate in a letter of evaluation. It is! We appreciate anything that gives us insight and perspective into a student’s performance and the environment. Comments about problems that a student has experienced will help us understand the context in which they have accomplished whatever they have achieved. The extent to which they have dealt with these problems is useful to know as well.
I do not really know Mike very well. He has come to me for routine matters but generally has not had any problems that he has discussed with me. In this large school, I do not always have the time to personally get to know each of my advisees. From the comments I get from Mike’s teachers, I have the impression that he is one of the strongest students this school has seen.
Critique: We do not learn very much from this report, but we understand why. The counselor is very honest, and we are not left guessing as to the reason there is not more information and will turn our attention to other parts of the application.
Brian was in the top five in my class consistently. He is certainly motivated to study. His character and personality are admirable. Brian is an excellent student, hard worker and has above average reasoning ability.
Critique: This is an example of an evaluation in which we really don’t know what the writer is trying to tell us. The comments provided certainly do not give much substantive information. We are left wondering whether there is just not much to say about this student or whether the teacher just didn’t bother to put much effort into the recommendation. This is a situation where we will probably form our impressions based on the pattern of all the recommendations. If all are equally uninformative, we will assume there wasn’t much to say, but if the others are better, we will assume this teacher did not give much effort to the recommendation.
Many educators are overwhelmed by high number of requests by students looking for sample Letter of Recommendation for Student sample. To avoid being .
We have already discussed how to write a college recommendation letter, and included tips about what you should include and how to format it. This example college recommendation letter will assist you in visualizing exactly how your article should appear. Send your document to our professional editors to be sure it is concise and free of errors.
To Whom it May Concern:
I am pleased to recommend Anita School, who has been a student in my math class for the past three years. During that time, I have come to know her as a strong student and a role model for her peers.
Anita is a rare type of student who combines exceptional natural ability with a willingness and eagerness to learn. Anita is able to help her peers with difficult mathematical concepts, but does so in a way that is both practical and non-condescending. Although she is aware of her natural ability in the area of mathematics, Anita is constantly challenging herself. She is part of the school's Mathletics Team, which challenges local college/university students in mathematical competitions. She is also active in the community of the school by being a member of Greenpeace, and a cheerleader, while also playing defense on our school's soccer team.
Anita would make an excellent candidate for early admissions. I recommend her without hesitation. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Head of Mathematics
123 Fake Street
Image source: James Sutton/Stocksnap.io
The hiring process is never easy, and finding the perfect candidate can be a challenge. When you do find the individual you wish to hire, it is certainly to your advantage to notify the other applicants that they were not selected for the position. Before you say that you just don’t have the time to send letters to everyone you interviewed, let’s take a closer look at the candidate rejection letter and why it’s so important.
Writing a recommendation letter may seem like a daunting task. Here are some guidelines that can help you get the style, tone, content, and presentation of your letter just right. The end result will be an effective and professional recommendation.
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Your Job Title
City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Recipient’s Company’s Address
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,
I have had the pleasure of working directly with Anna Boston for the past four years as she served as a volunteer in the Physical Therapy department of St. Ansgar Hospital, where I hold the position of Manager. Anna has always demonstrated the highest level of respect and maturity as she interacts with patients and hospital employees alike. She is genuinely interested in helping others and provides services in a positive and caring manner.
Anna has impressed me with her ability to work well under pressure without losing her composure. For example, one day a hospital patient was upset due to a delay in her appointment. The patient was very angry, but Anna was able to soothe the patient and calm her down, which was good for the patient as well as our physical therapy staff.
In addition to her affable personality and professional demeanor, Anna also possesses specialized knowledge in physical therapy, sports medicine, and exercise thanks to her studies at Southern State University. It’s been a pleasure to watch her grow as a student and as a person.
Therefore, I heartily recommend Anna for any type of employment in the fitness and health fields.
Please let me know if you have any further questions about Anna. I am available to talk by phone or email. Thank you.
Your Signed Name (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
Use this college recommendation letter sample to help you write a great letter. I am pleased to recommend Anita School, who has been a student in my math.
You don't need to complete the same item (such as a recommendation or transcript) multiple times per student. Once the student has received your recommendation, they can add it to multiple college applications as needed.
If a student has requested a recommendation from you, it will be listed on their Student details page.
From the top navigation, select Students.
Click on any student's name to access their details page listing all their documents.
There are three types of recommendations:
1. General (Basic) Recommendation: Students request this type from anyone who can share information about them in any context. Students can request up to eight. (These will be shown as the type "General Rec" on your Documents page)
2. Academic Recommendation: Students request this type from a teacher or other academic figure who knows their academic history and potential well. Students can request up to four.
3. Counselor Recommendation: Students request this type from a school counselor or other counselor who knows their overall academic and extracurricular achievements well. Students can request up to four.
Each type of recommendation asks for some basic information about you and the student, and then lets you upload a letter.
|See this article for general information on managing all your recommendations (accepting or declining them, and so on). The instructions below talk about the specific information required by each of the recommendation types.|
Click or tap Start (to begin for the first time) or Continue (to continue work on a recommendation you already started). The information required for a recommendation depends on the type of recommendation it is.
General (Basic) recommendation
This is the simplest kind of recommendation.
1. Enter your contact information, information about how you know the student, and upload your recommendation letter.
|If you've already entered information about your school in My Organizations, click or tap "Select School" and select the school to automatically fill out the school contact information.|
2. Click or tap Submit.
This type of recommendation contains three parts.
1. Enter the following:
2. Click or tap Submit.
This type of recommendation contains four parts.
1. Contact Information: Your personal contact information, as well as general information about the high school. Your contact information is saved in the system, so if you receive another recommendation request, you won't have to re-enter it. If you've already entered information about your school in My Organizations, select the school to automatically fill out school information.
After selecting the school, you can edit or add information as needed, although any edits made here won’t be saved to your My Organization school information.
2. School Report: Enter general information about your high school that can help college admissions staff get a fuller picture of the student's background. Select Upload to upload a school profile document. On the Attach Document window, you can either:
|If you work with students from multiple high schools, we recommend that you complete all requested recommendations from one school before moving on to another school. That way, the saved school information is the same each time for multiple recommendations, and you can change the information for another school when you're ready to work on that school's student recommendations.|
3. Student Assessment: Answer general questions about the context in which you taught the student, and then several (optional) rating scales for you to rate the student.
4. Documents: Upload your recommendation letter. On the Attach Document window, you can either:
5.Click or tap Attach File to save the letter.
6. Click or tap Submit to submit the completed recommendation.
Below, you can choose from many different phrases to build a personalised reference letter for a student or employee. The completed letter can be found at the.