Writing a Letter of Reference
Each year, faculty and staff receive numerous requests from students to prepare letters of recommendation. These letters can weigh heavily in decisions for scholarly pursuits or employment. In fact, a strong reference letter may make the difference to a student in gaining admission or selection.
Should You Write a Letter?
We urge all faculty and staff who are asked to write letters of recommendation to make thoughtful decisions about whether or not to provide a reference. You are not obligated to write letters when asked. It may be in a student's best interest that you decline the request if you do not feel that you know the student well enough or cannot support his/her candidacy. The most helpful letters will be written by those who have meaningful knowledge about the student.
The following links provide useful tips and information about writing reference letters:
- Tips for Writing References
- Suggested Guidelines for Reference Givers
- Writing a Reference Letter (legal guidelines from the National Association of Colleges & Employers)
Sample Reference Letters
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