Writing Letters of Recommendation

What students should provide to you:

  • Relationship to you (i.e., through classes, research, work, advising, etc.)
  • Name of the recipient of the letter, with complete mailing information
  • Purpose of letter, with key points that need to be addressed
  • Deadline
  • Resume
  • Written permission from the student

1st Paragraph:  State purpose of letter, how you know the student and the length of time you have known the student.

2nd Paragraph:  List at least three strengths that would make the student a good candidate for the graduate school or place of employment.  Make sure to include tangible examples that you have witnessed. 

Make sure to include key points that are required, i.e., student's potential, student's career goals, leadership ability, etc.

3rd Paragraph:  Reiterate your recommendation of the student, and where you may be contacted if there are more questions.

Make sure to print letter on school letterhead. 

If you have any reservations about writing a letter of recommendation for a student, do not hesitate to say no!