Writing a good reference letter for grad school

The following article was written by Tara Kuther and posted on About.

Writing a good reference letter for grad school

Alicia Chang I was flattered and a bit intimidated when I was asked to write a letter of recommendation for the first time. And at the time, I was a mere year-old second-year PhD student. As luck might have it, an esteemed professor in my department had recently told a story about her first experience writing a letter of recommendation that calmed my nerves a little.

But once she got the hang of it, the process became easier and more efficient every time. Be Selective First things first: To make sure you produce the most effective letter possible, follow the tips below.

For example, why is she applying for this particular program? What skills and experiences does she think will stand out most to the admissions committee? What are some of the accomplishments she is most proud of? Ask for a copy of her resume or supporting materials —then use them to tailor your letter of recommendation e.

Pinpoint Her Best Traits Admissions committees receive hundreds or thousands of applications for far fewer available openings. To pinpoint these characteristics, recall your interactions with the applicant: Is there a particular accomplishment that stands out to you?

Have you observed her overcome an obstacle at work —and how did she get through it? How might these experiences help her succeed in grad school? More importantly, make sure to provide examples and specific behaviors to back those traits up.

So, avoid overly flowery or ambiguous language in your letter. Be as detailed as possible when describing your candidate, and always give concrete examples to emphasize the traits you mention. Does she have a great sense of humor?

Is she a great listener, always willing to lend an ear or a helping hand?

writing a good reference letter for grad school

Or, perhaps her interests outside of work could provide the selection committee with a better sense of her personality. For instance, if she just completed her first marathonyou may have witnessed her determination.

Front Matter

Finally, and perhaps most obviously, double-check the deadlines and submission guidelines to make sure your letter is in good shape and serves its purpose.

With your help, the applicant is well on her way to a successful and fulfilling future. After completing her Ph.Applying for graduate school can be tedious and nerve-wrecking, and perhaps the worst step is getting good a recommendation letter for graduate school.

But the process can be . Sample Graduate School Recommendation Letters Print The three sample recommendation letters that follow, which you can download by clicking on the link below, are effective because they detail what makes the students stand out as exceptional and because they paint individual pictures of each student.

Here is a sample reference letter for graduate school, tips for how to ask for a recommendation and what information you should provide. Academic Recommendation Letter Examples and Writing Tips. Top Reference Letter Samples for .

Sample Grad School Recommendation Letter by a Professor. Don't Apply to Graduate School Without a Recommendation Letter. What a Pastor Needs to Know to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation. Don'ts for Getting Letters of Recommendation for Grad School. Essential Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation.

Inform students about the purpose of recommendation letters, what makes a good recommendation letter, and how your letter, while positive may not offer the types of details characteristic of helpful recommendation letters.

Strong letters of reference are vital for individuals who wish to enter graduate school. When employees decide to further their education – often because they wish to increase their value to their employer by learning new skills – they face strong competition not only for a place in a good graduate program, but also for the financial aid resources that they may need to cover the costs of.

Writing Letters of Recommendation to Grad School - Current Grad Students