Writing a Letter of Reference
Writing a letter of reference is an important and time-consuming
responsibility. The best letters paint a picture of that person in concrete
terms—how and when you knew the referee and your assessment of those
encounters. Giving a concrete example is very powerful. Please be advised
that asking the student for a resume, transcript or samples of work from
your class can really assist you in writing and an effective letter. You can find
a sample of a reference form below:
Reference Form [Word] [PDF]
Some faculty/staff prefer to write a letter on departmental stationery.
Either way is fine. Remember to keep a copy of any reference you write for
often students will ask for a new reference after several years.
All reference information should be based on firsthand
knowledge and, if possible, written documentation. When providing
information, you should avoid personal matters (e.g., marital status,
health, disabilities, race, religion, etc.) that by law should not be
included in employment decisions, even if you believe that such information
might enhance the student's candidacy.
If you would like resources on how to construct a letter of recommendation,
please click on any of the sites below.