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

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。

A letter of recommendation is a letter that makes a statement of support for a candidate and should reinforce how a candidate meets the university’s admissions criteria. It should give an overall picture of the candidate’s personal characteristics, performance, experience, strengths, capabilities and professional promise.


The exact contents of the letter should obviously be tailored to the individual in question and will differ according to circumstances. Check to see if there are any particular requirements or areas on which you should focus.


The letter should ideally be about one page in length and generally consist of three parts: opening, body, and closing. The presentation and professional appearance of your letter often impacts the individual’s chances. Ensure that it typed and written in a serious and business-like style. Proofread it carefully for typographical and grammatical errors.


The following are some general pointers on how to structure the letter and what to include, and also some things to avoid.


  • Use a business letter format; address the recipient as “Dear [name]”. If the recipient is unknown, then use “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To whom it may concern”.


  • Use the first couple of lines to introduce yourself and your role. The recipient of the letter does not need to know your life history but you should clearly state your position and your relationship to the candidate, e.g. was he/she a student in your class or seminar; how long for? how frequently did you meet with them, etc.?


  • The next paragraph should confirm the facts that you know the candidate will be supplying to the university along with your letter. The most obvious thing is to confirm the person’s academic grades but you will probably also confirm dates of courses at this point.


  • In the third paragraph, provide your judgement on the candidate’s skills and qualities. It is appropriate to state that their contributions to your class or college were highly valued, and aim to single out any exceptional qualities that the candidate has, e.g. their drive and enthusiasm, attention to detail, skills of analysis or ability to lead. Try to describe the student in terms that reflect his/her individual strengths. How well does he/she organise their thoughts and communicate them? What evidence is there of his/her judgement, reliability, organisational and analytical skills? Whatever strengths you choose to highlight, always try to back up your judgement with some concrete examples – papers, exams, grades, class presentations, etc.


  • If you have sufficient information, use the fourth paragraph to give a couple of examples of times when the candidate excelled. You can ask the candidate to tell you about any extra-curricular activities they have been involved in, or invite them to highlight anything they would like you to include.


  • Close the letter on a positive note and indicate if you are willing to receive further correspondence about the candidate’s application. You should include your contact details too. The closing should briefly summarise your previous points and clearly state that you recommend the candidate for the programme or opportunity they are seeking.


  • End the letter appropriately – “Yours sincerely” when writing to a named recipient, “Yours faithfully” when you do not know who will be receiving the letter.


If you are still unsure about what to include, imagine that you are in the position of the selection panel reading the candidate’s academic application. What information would you like to know and what qualities would you like the candidate to have? Try to focus on the areas which will give the recipient the most useful information about the candidate.


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