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【留学希望者必見】英文推薦状/Letter of recommendationの書き方~その2

How to write a letter of recommendation

MBAなどで海外の大学・大学院に留学を希望する場合に提出しなければならない書類がありますが、その中のひとつに"Letter of recommendation/Reference letter"(推薦状)が挙げられます。

弊社のロンドンオフィスでは日頃から皆様のLetter of recommendation/Reference letterの添削・校正を行っておりますが、校正担当スタッフのサイモンが『Letter of recommendationの書き方』をまとめましたので、ぜひご一読ください。

Some things to avoid:


  • Simply providing one sentence or paragraph confirming the candidate’s grade or dates of attendance.


  • Mentioning the candidate’s weaknesses. Always try to present the person truthfully but positively.


  • It can be easy to fall into this, but avoid talking about the class in general with only brief reference to the student in question.


  • Saying anything that could be construed as libel.


  • Using generic, over-enthusiastic or unsupported endorsements. The best letters offer useful, balanced, well-observed and concrete insights into the candidate’s abilities and character.


  • Writing in an informal manner. Keep a business-like tone. Jokes, slang and casual language are to be avoided and may harm the candidate’s chances.


  • Including personal information not relevant to the application – this would include details about the candidate’s race, religion, nationality, marital status, age or health, etc.


  • Spelling mistakes, sloppy writing or typos. The letter is going to be hugely important to the candidate and is also a reflection of you and your institution.


 Ideally your letter should be written after consulting with the candidate and you may wish to use some or all of the following items as sources of reference to assist you:


  • Resume or curriculum vitae

  • Copy of transcript and/or list of courses completed

  • Copy of a graded paper or a written exam paper

  • An explanation of the type of graduate school he/she is hoping to enter

  • A list of the candidate’s achievements (e.g. volunteer work, awards)

  • Any literature that describes the course or institution to which the candidate is applying

  • Any specific recommendation forms or questionnaires (if provided).


It is much easier to write a recommendation letter if you can write it as soon as possible after you have taught a student, while your impressions are still fresh. You might consider encouraging students to make their requests early, rather than waiting until the senior year or beyond. These early letters can always be kept in your own files for future reference.

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