How to Write an Academic Recommendation Letter
Academic recommendation letters are usually used by students that apply to universities or colleges, and when they are trying to achieve a scientific degree.
Writing a recommendation letter for a certain person is a serious event – pay attention to it. It is a big responsibility to write this kind of letter, because you become a guarantor of the person you’re recommending.
Many people that are chosen for recommendation ask the candidate to write a letter by themselves, with further corrections and a signature. But if you have time and you want to write it by yourself, some advice for writing a recommendation letter will be helpful.
- Always choose a person that you know to give a recommendation.
- Try to find out as much information about the candidate as you can. Ask the person to bring diplomas and other documents that prove their qualification.
- Write several sentences for each paragraph of letter.
- Create a folder for all the papers you have about the person you’ll recommend.
- Pay attention to the skills needed for the position for which the recommendation letter is written for.
- Show the copy of the written letter to the candidate before signing.
- No mistakes are acceptable.
- Don’t sign the first version of the letter. Rewrite the letter several times to make it the best that you can make it.
- Don’t write false information. Write honestly and openly.
- Don’t agree to write if you are not as competent as you should be as a writer.
- Don’t delay the writing until the last moment.
- Don’t write too short or too long of a letter. Two pages usually is enough.
Guidelines – How to Write Academic Recommendation Letter
- Firstly, make sure that you understand what the letter is needed for and who will be reading it. That will specify what kind of information you can include in the letter.
- Inquire what kind of information is expected from you in the recommendation letter. You can ask about it from the candidate.
- Spend time with the candidate, ask them for documents that prove their qualification.
- Write a draft comprising of all the impressions you got from speaking with the candidate. Add all the facts, skills and information you found out. But be careful while writing and formulating your impressions – you need to write without faults and misperceptions.
- Use a logical structure when writing the letter. It will help to define the main information you need later.
- Use key components: a paragraph that explains how you know the candidate, an evaluation of the person and their skills with examples, and a summary that shows why you recommend this person and for what.
- Describe the candidate with with detailed, specific information that will present why the candidate is appropriate. Try to present the candidate in a positive light. Be honest in describing – remember that details are easy to check.
- Proofread the letter. Better to edit it several times. A recommendation letter should be perfect, so be attentive. Use the right tone, check grammar, punctuation and structure.
A recommendation letter highlights both the strengths and weakness of candidate, skills and education. However, before you sign your letter, be sure that your letter honestly reflects your opinion.