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Things to Consider for Reference Letter Writers

Below are some compiled tips for drafting an effective letter of recommendation for a student seeking admission into a graduate program. When drafting the letter, the writer should keep in mind the following points and tailor the letter for each student.

Key Points

Good letters of recommendation are broadly positive, detailed, and personal. These letters focus on the student's ability to conduct research, and go beyond basic elements such as course grades to provide an inside look into details of a student's character that are unlikely to emerge from other components of a standard application package. If you can't write a letter with these qualities, or if your knowledge of the student is to casual, then often the best thing that you can do for your student is to tell him or her and decline their request to write a letter. Discussing suggestions for alternate authors would be a good way to approach this conversation.

Additional Information

Additional tips for writing a great letter can be found at:

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