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Why are Recommendation Letters Important?

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. The resources in this section are designed as a quick guide to writing effective letters of recommendation. It is specifically for the high school teachers and guidance counselors who may be asked to write letters of recommendations for students. Recommendation letters are an important piece of the college application.

They want more than just a statistic. As a potential recommendation writer, you are providing an important and integral service for your college-bound student. A good recommendation letter brings the applicant to life on the page.

However, writing such a letter can be challenging if you are unaware of the conventions. What follows are some guidelines for high school teachers and guidance counselors for writing good recommendation letters, including knowing what to expect or ask from the student requesting a letter, how to incorporate sensitive or negative information, and what format a letter of recommendation should follow.

Purdue Online Writing Lab. Writing Letters of Recommendation for Students Summary: Common Words that Sound Alike Numbers: Text Elements Visual Rhetoric: Process and Materials Overview: An Introduction Researching Programs: Practical Considerations Researching Programs: According to William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid at Harvard, they are "extremely important.

If you're a student, examples of great letters of recommendation can help you understand how to get strong letters yourself from your teachers. If you're a teacher, the examples in this guide will inspire you to support your students strongly as they apply to college. Keep reading for four excellent letters from teachers that will get anyone into college , along with expert analysis on why they're so strong. Are you looking for job recommendation letters? If so, check out my great post here!

They seek to gain a sense of the student as a "whole person," rather than focusing on pieces of who she is based solely on grades and test scores. Since they rarely meet the student in person, the recommendation letters, along with the student's own personal essay, play a huge role in illuminating her intellectual and personal qualities.

That's why recommendation letters from teachers, especially those who know their students well, carry a great deal of weight in applications. A letter that expresses a strong vote of support, as well as highlights a student's impressive academic and personal strengths , can have a powerful effect on that student's chances of admission. Let's look at some samples of strong recommendation letters, one from an English teacher, another from a physics teacher, the third from a history teacher, and the final one from a math teacher.

Then we'll break down exactly why these letters of recommendation are effective. From the first day of class, Sara impressed me with her ability to be articulate about difficult concepts and texts, her sensitivity to the nuances within literature, and her passion for reading, writing, and creative expression- both in and out of the classroom.

Sara is a talented literary critic and poet, and she has my highest recommendation as a student and writer. Sara is talented at considering the subleties within literature and the purpose behind authors' works. She produced an extraordinary year-long thesis paper on creative identity development, in which she compared works from three different time periods and synthesized cultural and historical perspectives to inform her analysis. When called upon to give her thesis defense in front of her peers, Sara spoke clearly and eloquently about her conclusions and responded to questions in a thoughtful way.

Outside of the classroom, Sara is dedicated to her literary pursuits, especially to poetry. She publishes her poetry in our school's literary magazine, as well as in online magazines. She is an insightful, sensitive, and deeply self-aware individual driven to explore art, writing, and a deeper understanding of the human condition.

Throughout the year Sara was an active participant in our discussions, and she always supported her peers. Her caring nature and personality allow her to work well with others in a team setting, as she always respects others' opinions even when they differ from her own.

When we held a class debate about gun laws, Sara opted to speak for the side opposite her own views. She explained her choice as motivated by a desire to put herself in other people's shoes, view the issues from a new perspective, and gain a clearer sense of the issue from all angles.

Throughout the year, Sara demonstrated this openness to and empathy for the opinions, feelings, and perspectives of others, along with shrewd powers of observation, all qualities that makes her outstanding as a student of literature and burgeoning writer.

I am certain that Sara is going to continue to do great and creative things in her future. I highly recommend her for admission to your undergraduate program. She is talented, caring, intuitive, dedicated, and focused in her pursuits. Sara consistently seeks out constructive feedback so she can improve her writing skills, which is a rare and impressive quality in a high school student.

Sara is truly a stand-out individual who will impress everyone she meets. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at callmeclemens gmail. This is a thorough, glowing recommendation for a student that Ms. Scribe clearly knows well. What other features make it stand out as a strong letter of rec?

Scribe has a high opinion of Sara and her skills at writing and literary analysis. One way that she expresses this is by using powerful and specific language. She doesn't merely say Sara is a good writer.

She says she's articulate about difficult concepts and sensitive to the nuances within literature. She calls her insightful and self-aware with shrewd powers of observation. These descriptors don't happen by accident. Scribe took the time to choose her words carefully , and that effort paid off with a strong letter that captures Sara's special qualities. Scribe also supports her characterization of Sara with examples.

She describes her thesis paper and how she responded to questions thoughtfully under the pressured situation of her thesis defense. She gives the example of the debate on gun laws to illustrate Sara's openness to many different points of view. In addition to illuminating her intellectual and personal strengths and supporting them with specific examples, Ms.

Scribe speaks to Sara's goals for the future. She points out that she is talented at writing, poetry specifically, and that she is committed to continuing to improve as a writer in her future. This letter, by virtue of its wording, length, and specificity, shows that Ms.

Scribe took the time and effort to recommend Sara thoughtfully and with conviction. The fact that she knows Sara well and is committed to helping her application succeed with a thoughtful letter further adds weight to her assessment. This letter would be a boon to Sara's application, especially if she's applying to study writing or English.

She clearly impressed her English teacher and, in return, got a memorable, complimentary letter of recommendation for her college application. This next example is similarly enthusiastic and detailed. It's for a student applying to an engineering program. Want to build the best possible college application, with the strongest recommendations? PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies.

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It is a great pleasure to recommend Stacy for admission to your engineering program. She is one of the most exceptional students I have encountered in my 15 years of teaching. I taught Stacy in my 11th grade honors physics class and advised her in Robotics Club. I am not surprised to find out she is now ranked at the top of an extraordinarily capable class of seniors. She has a keen interest in and talent for physics, math, and scientific inquiry.

Her advanced skills and passion for the subject make her an ideal fit for your rigorous engineering program.

Stacy is a perceptive, sharp, quick individual with a high aptitude for math and science. She is driven to understand how things work, whether they be the old computer hard drives in the school library or the forces that hold our universe together.

Her final project in class was especially impressive, an investigation of frequency-dependent sound absorption, an idea that she said was sparked by not wanting to bother her parents with her hours of guitar practice at home. She's been a strong leader in Robotics Club, eager to share her knowledge with others and learn new skills. I have the students in the club prepare lessons and take turns leading our after-school meetings.

When it was Stacy's turn, she showed up prepared with a fascinating lecture on lunar nautics and fun activities that got everyone moving and talking. She was our only student teacher to be met with much deserved applause at the end of her lesson.

Stacy's personal strengths are as impressive as her intellectual accomplishments. She's an active, outgoing presence in class with a great sense of humor. Stacy's the perfect person to get a group project rolling, but she also knows how to sit back and let others take the lead. Her cheerful nature and openness to feedback means she's always learning and growing as a learner, an impressive strength that will continue to serve her well in college and beyond.

Stacy is just the kind of driven, engaging, and curious student that helped make our classroom a lively environment and safe place to take intellectual risks. Stacy has my highest recommendation for admission to your engineering program. She has demonstrated excellence in all that she puts her mind to, whether it's designing an experiment, collaborating with others, or teaching herself to play classical and electrical guitar. Stacy's endless curiosity, combined with her willingness to take risks, leads me to believe there will be no limit to her growth and achievements in college and beyond.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at milevamaricfanclub gmail. How does she communicate her recommendation? Randall plugs for Stacy right off the bat with a statement of outstanding ranking: A statement like this is pretty extraordinary and will make an impact in the mind of its readers. Stacy sounds like a special student, and she chose her recommender well.

Like in the last example, this letter uses strong, specific language , calling Stacy a perceptive and sharp person who has the confidence and good humor to take intellectual risks.

Through its accurate and expressive language, this letter helps Stacy come to life in the mind of the reader. Beyond the evaluation, Ms. Randall gives specific examples of Stacy's academic and personal strengths. She talks about her successful teaching in Robotics Club, her leadership in group projects, and her dedicated practice to teaching herself to play the guitar. Rather than spreading the letter too thin, Ms. Randall highlights a few core themes. She connects Stacy's love of music with her passion for physics by talking about the frequency-dependent sound absorption project.

All the threads tie together in a nice, memorable bow. This letter is a strong vote of support for Stacy's application to an engineering program. Her physics teacher admires Stacy's skills and goals, and she made it clear that Stacy had her highest recommendation in this letter. This next example also comes from a teacher who's extremely impressed with his student.

It focuses on the student's performance in class and his volunteer work outside the classroom. It is hard to overstate the meaningful contributions that William has made to our school and surrounding community. As both his 10th and 11th grade History teacher, I've had the pleasure of seeing William make profound contributions both in and out of the classroom.

His school and community service is motivated by a strong sense of social justice, which he informs through a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of historical trends and events. I can say with confidence that William is one of the most caring and driven students I've ever taught in my fifteen years at the school.

As a child of immigrant parents, William is especially drawn to understand the immigrant experience. He produced an extraordinary semester-long research paper on the treatment of Japanese-Americans in the U. William has a great capacity to draw connections between past and present and to ground his understanding of current issues in the context of historical events. He never retreats to a simple answer or explanation, but is comfortable dealing with ambiguity. William's fascination with U.

In sophomore year, William noticed that the college planning seminars students attended included little information for first generation or immigrant students.

Writing Letters of Recommendation for Students

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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 .

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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 . 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.

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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 . Writing Letters of Recommendation for Students Summary: The resources in this section are designed as a quick guide to writing effective letters of recommendation.