I have known Thomas for 2 years and was delighted to serve as his professor in my History course on Taiwan Politics and Cross-Strait Relations, as well as his graduation thesis adviser at the University of Minnesota.
After reading through the criteria of the Rhode Scholarship, I strongly believe that you would struggle to find a student more deserving and more in need of it than Thomas. The Rhodes Trust looks for students who possess exceptional scholastic abilities, as well as the drive to use those abilities to their full potential. Since I have known him, Thomas has demonstrated his superior intellect and thirst to understand the culture and consciousness of his fellow man on multiple occasions.
On a personal level, Thomas is a young man of strong character who fully embodies all the traits you look for in potential candidates. Specifically, I was astounded by his kindness, selflessness, and devotion to helping the less fortunate in any way he can.
Every summer vacation, instead of using his free time for himself, he would travel to Indonesia to do volunteer work teaching English to children living in rural villages. I have absolutely no reservations about recommending Thomas for the Rhodes Scholarship.
I have no doubt he will uphold the standards of a Rhodes Scholar and become a shining member of your community. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding his character, past academic work, or any other qualifications related to the scholarship.
Graduate School Recommendation Letter Template Letters of recommendation for graduate school are taken even more seriously than those for undergraduate applications. Our template for grad school applications highlights exactly how to portray your student in a positive light. While taking my Scandinavian literature course, Joyce demonstrated an extraordinary interest and ability to analyze classic Icelandic sagas.
In it she analyzed the Christian themes of Saga and explored how they relate to the current perception of Christianity in modern day Iceland. As a member of habitat for humanity she provided invaluable tutelage and mentorship to countless underprivileged children. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding her character or past academic work. McGregor was a treasured member of our faculty for 6 years and was loved by students and teachers alike.
For instance, you might be writing about Michael, whose powerful commitment to equality and education led him to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance at the school. MIT offers an insightful breakdown of the questions its admissions officers would like answers to in a letter. These questions are a useful guide for recommenders writing to any college. They shift the focus from what a student does to what a student is like, in terms of her intellectual curiosity, specific skills or talents, passions, and personality.
Some other impressive qualities include communication skills, resourcefulness, and innovative problem-solving. Admissions committees often also look for demonstrated leadership and the ability to collaborate with others in an interactive and diverse environment.
Beyond these personal qualities, letter writers might speak to unusual circumstances or challenges that the student has faced or survived. These can be especially meaningful to explain a dip in academic performance or to show how a student has overcome hardship. Finally, a recommender may want to demonstrate her own familiarity with the school to which the student is applying. As a writer, how can you rave about your student in a sincere, genuine, and convincing way? Developing a "big spike" in a certain area shows passion, dedication, and the ability to sustain long-term focus.
As PrepScholar co-founder and Harvard alum Allen Cheng writes , top colleges are looking for students who are going to change the world. Therefore admissions committees are especially impressed by a "huge spike" in science, writing, athletics, or whatever your commitment might be. Of course, not all or even the majority of students are applying to Ivy League schools, but the takeaway message still applies. Instead, they can paint a specific picture and highlight the qualities that are most important to understanding who the student is and what drives her actions.
For students with extensive international experience, recommenders may rave about their multicultural, global perspective or unusual maturity and sophistication. Other students may have had to overcome hardships in their life, and the recommender could speak to their resilience and strength as a survivor.
At the same time, be careful with this kind of wording, as it may suggest different things to different admissions officers. The best recommendation letters "show," rather than just "tell.
Bring your letter to life with meaningful stories and examples. The second uses more powerful words, but more importantly it gives a specific example , thereby proving that Kate has strong writing skills.
It explains the grounds on which the teacher draws her conclusion that Kate is a good writer. It additionally suggests that Kate can sustain focus in a long-term project and impressed the teacher so much that her thesis became a model for future students.
The best recommendation letters support their praise of a student with specific anecdotes and observations. These stories accomplish a few things. Rather than just listing adjectives, the writer backs up her description with examples. Secondly, they make the letter more interesting and help the student come to life in the eyes of admissions officers. Officers may be up all night reading through applications. The last thing they want is a generic, boring recommendation letter that blends into all the others.
Interesting stories make both the letter and the student pop. Finally, the use of specific stories proves that the recommender is, in fact, qualified to assess the student. The best letters come from teachers who know a student well. In addition to sharing examples, you should take the time to be intentional with your word choice. Consider which phrases and adjectives will present the clearest and strongest endorsement of the student.
Calling someone a go-getter with a heart of gold who leaves no stone unturned and is a friend to all may elicit a yawn or eye roll from the admissions officer. Often finding just the right word happens in the revision stage.
Check if you wrote interesting when creative or innovative would work better. Perhaps you wrote hard worker when intellectual risk-taker would more accurately describe the student. For instance, a phrase like " leads by example " or " excels at working independently " could indicate that the student keeps to herself and has trouble working with others. You can also keep an eye out for sounding over the top with your phrase. While the best letters rave about their students, they have the examples to back up their praise.
As a teacher, it is incredibly fulfilling to witness a student make this kind of academic and personal progress. Joe is a trustworthy, reliable, good-humored student and friend who supports others in and out of the classroom. He was a pleasure to have in class, and his positive attitude and belief in himself, even in the face of difficulty, is an immensely admirable asset. I highly recommend Joe for admission to your undergraduate program. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions at fortheloveofalgebra gmail.
Wiles focus on to recommend Joe? Wiles writes a strong letter for Joe, with the same kind of enthusiasm and specific examples as the other three letters. Even though Joe may not have gotten the strongest grades in his math class, he found an enthusiastic recommender in his math teacher.
Even in a subject that may not come naturally to him, Joe is diligent and committed. This letter, like the others, is effective because it is focused, supportive, and backed up with examples. As you can tell from these examples, recommendations can communicate a great deal about a student. So what can teachers and students do to make sure they are sending a strong recommendation letter that will help their chances?
While these letters are about different students with different interests, they share certain fundamental features. One, they sound excited and enthusiastic. The teachers clearly communicate that they are impressed by these students and eager to help them get into college. Specific examples and stories are key for backing up the assessment. Plus, they make a letter more interesting and memorable.
Rather than just another engineering applicant, Stacy is the student who researched sound-absorption to spare her parents from hours of guitar scales. Teachers should incorporate all these features into their letters, and students should help provide them with the raw material to write about.
While students should choose a teacher who knows them well and has stories and observations to share, they should also give their teachers a detailed "brag sheet" and let them know what would go into their ideal letter.
That way it can be even more personalized and complement the story the student is telling in the rest of her application.
While recommenders may or may not share their letters with students, there should still be open, two-way communication when the student makes her request. That way students and teachers can work together to produce an insightful, enthusiastic, and specific letter of recommendation to send to colleges. Are you a teacher writing recommendations for your students? Read all about how to write an outstanding recommendation letter for your students , along with what not to include. Are you or a student you work with applying to a selective school, like Harvard?
Learn about what kind of letter she should get for the Ivy League. Best Travel Insurance Company Plans. Download it for free now:. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. You should definitely follow us on social media.
Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:. How to Get a Perfect , by a Perfect Scorer. Score on SAT Math. Score on SAT Reading. Score on SAT Writing. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? Posted by Rebecca Safier Jun 1, 4: Why are Recommendation Letters Important? The first example recommends Sara, a senior who loves to write and read poetry. Dear Admissions Committee, It is a great pleasure to recommend Stacy for admission to your engineering program.
Dear Admissions Committee, It is hard to overstate the meaningful contributions that William has made to our school and surrounding community. Dear Admissions Committee, It is my pleasure to recommend Joe, who I taught in my 11th grade math class. Download it for free now: Follow us on all 3 of our social networks: Ask a Question Below Have any questions about this article or other topics?
Search the Blog Search. Customize your test prep for maximum results. Want General Expert Advice? Our hand-selected experts help you in a variety of other topics! Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?
Review student recommendation letter samples, including reference letters, academic references, letters asking for a reference and lists of references.
Important Note: Are you looking for job recommendation letters? If so, check out my great post here! First, let's understand the role of recommendation letters in your application. Why are Recommendation Letters Important? The majority of admissions officers at four-year colleges, especially private schools, emphasize that their process is holistic. They seek to gain a sense of the student as a "whole person," .
Writing a letter of recommendation for a student applying to college is an important responsibility. Our expert’s template is designed to ensure you hit all the key points necessary to help your students get into the college of their dreams with a convincing reference letter. Before you write the letter, find out some specifics about why the student needs it. A recommendation letter for dental school differs greatly from a letter in support of an application to art school or a letter for a summer job opportunity. Also, make sure you know the date the letter needs to be written by.
I am writing this letter of recommendation for Susan Wells. Ms. Wells has been a student of mine and as AP English Professor I have been able to witness firsthand many examples of her exceptional skills and I remain impressed by her tenacity and solid work ethic. Writing Letters of Recommendation for Students Summary: The resources in this section are designed as a quick guide to writing effective letters of recommendation.