Practical & Creative Writing Lessons : How to Write a Recommendation Letter

Laura Turner is going to talk about how to write a recommendation letter for a student. Usually, when you’re asked to write a recommendation letter, you want to write the best letter possible.

Sometimes, you’re asked to write a letter for a student and you’re not totally sure whether or not this student is going to be perfect for the thing that you’re recommending them for. But it’s really not your place to figure out whether they’re going to be good in this place or not. It is your job however, to tell the institution or the job, what they can do well and the worries that you may have about them.

Some of the best recommendation letters written for me also included weaknesses that they saw in me, that my professor saw in me, but then, sort of saw it, grow out and become something better as they grew to know me. So, include most definitely the great points about the student. You know, how hard working they are. Include very specific points so you just, you don’t want to just come off as though you are just writing that recommendation letter because they asked you to and so you want to do it well. You want to actually make it very specific so it will be honest.

If you want, you can be even more honest. Then, you’re sort of lay everything out for the person that you’re writing to. They don’t see that you are putting a facade on for them.

Mention very specific instances, know exactly who you are submitting to and know exactly the institution and the kind of institution it is or the kind of job it is and how the student that you know and you have taught for so many years has demonstrated the ability to do this job or to be accepted into this program.

That is the best kind of recommendation letter you can give. It’s one that is not just something that you have on your computer that you’ve written as a template and you substitute their name in, but something that actually has really specific stuff is directed to a specific person and has specific goals in mind.

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