Sample Letters of Recommendation and Letters of Intent
Letter of Recommendation Should include: Your relationship with the person, how long you have known the person and in what context should be stated. Your qualifications to be writing the letter, telling the reader why they should be interested in your opinion, should be stated. State how the student stands out from all the others, exceptional qualities and skills, being specific to the objective (application for graduate school). Competency in area of expertise, people skills, organizational skills, communication skills, academic achievements, sound judgment, reliability, analytical ability, and so on. Be specific whenever possible, giving examples backing up what you are saying about the student. Rule of thumb: A letter of recommendation for school should be 1 to 2 pages. Too brief, a couple of skimpy paragraphs, may have a negative impact. Proofread and edit the final document; it represents you as well as the applicant.
EXAMPLE ONE Tom has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially the "at-risk" children he worked with at Magnusome’s School for Excellence. Tom has a special talent working with the children who need more guidance and support than those typically found in a traditional classroom setting. He connects easily with students and his talent at teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are both truly exemplary. With excellent written and verbal communication skills, Tom is extremely organized, reliable, and computer literate. Tom would be a tremendous asset to your program and I recommend him to you without reservation. If you have any further questions with regard to his background or qualifications, please do not hesitate to contact me. EXAMPLE TWO To Whom It May Concern: I have known Tomas Fairbairn since he came to our school as a new student. As a professor in sculpture/installation, I have watched him grow as both an artist and a person. He was a passionate and engaged first-year student, and he remained so throughout his career at Ontario University of Art and Design, pursuing his degree with diligence and focus while serving on the Student Union Board, and on many other university committees.
OCAD Career Services: Sample L of Intent; L of Recommendation . . .
In our third year here at UAD, we have a pre-thesis assignment which allows students to explore what it is they will do for a culminating experience. I was Tomas’s advisor that year and he absolutely stunned me and the other advisors with his proposal to do an interactive piece which had the viewer actually entering a sculpture of a one-roomed shack. There would be a bench along one wall which allowed for three people to enter the structure at a time. Once inside, all the lights would be doused and the participants would be left in complete blackness. This would last about three minutes. As the three minutes lapsed, the walls would become screens on which would be back-projected scenes from the 1930s depression era, and a hot, dry wind would be wafted through the small cabin interior. As the film faded to darkness again, another short interval of silence would take place before participants exited the structure. When the piece was finally executed for the final year thesis, viewers came out of there shaking their heads. It was, some said, if not a life-changing, at least a mind-changing experience. Tomas has worked hard to hone his creative identity and his skill sets to execute his vision. His work has become more focused, while at the same time, more complex over the few short years he has been with us. What he needs now is the kind of exposure which he will get in Savanna College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) sculpture and installation MFA program I have spoken with Dr. Jones in the sculpture department at SCAD, and shown him some pieces by Tomas. Professor Jones was enthusiastic about receiving Tomas’s application and portfolio....
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