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    Letters of Recommendation:
Selecting the right people
How to go about doing it
Writing the recommendation

    What the site contains:
What is a Statement of

What do colleges look for
in an SoP?

How do I start writing mine?
How do I polish my SoP?
Can I see some sample

What about recommendation

Can you help me with
Scholarship SoPs?
What other resources can I

    Writing Tips:
Starting the essay
Writing the Essay
Editing and Rewriting
Polishing the essay
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If you are writing the recommendation yourself

Make them sound different
Writing all your recommendations in the same style is just asking for trouble. Remember that these recommendations will stay on your record for a long time to come. So even if you aren't caught during the application phase, it's quite possible that they'll come to haunt you, say, when you're begging for an assistantship.

Don't use too many superlatives.
None, if possible. And never in pairs. Saying that you're the 'most brilliant' student to have walked the halls of the college is poor English and likely to result in that recommendation getting excluded if your transcripts don't back it up.

Make it believable
There's no doubt that you're the brightest student your professor has ever seen (like the dozen others who have asked him to recommend them). But if your professor puts you in the top 5% in every category that he's been asked to rank you, and your transcripts show that you averaged in the bottom 25% of your class, it's bound to raise some eyebrows. So take it easy on those adjectives and percentages. Make sure you match up the assessments in the recommendation with the hard figures that your transcripts reveal.

Try and talk about aspects of your personality that haven't been covered elsewhere
The recommendation really is a magnificent opportunity to do this. So instead of getting your professor to describe your entire project (which you've already talked about in your resume/essay), say that he saw you grow during the year that you were assisting him on the project. How your already superior fundamentals in the subject were reinforced by your having developed considerable finesse and accuracy in the laboratory.

Refer to the essay writing part of this site
Think of it like an essay. In fact, it is an essay. So for god's sake, give it structure and flow; and work on that content.

Try to get across outstanding achievements
Read your resume and essay again. See if this recommendation provides you with a chance to bolster some of the claims you've made elsewhere.

Co-ordinate with your goals
Think of what you'd like to be doing in the near future. For example, science and engineering students generally seek assistantships in research or teaching once they're at their university. It's quite likely that the person reviewing your application for an assistantship will look at your application recommendations. If someone recommending you has said something about your having presented a seminar on 'Big dams are examples of poor engineering', or having conducted outstanding research as part of your project, it would substantially add to your chances of clinching the assistantship.

Use discretion and good judgement
Since you're depending on others for this part of the application, your staying sensible is of utmost importance. Everything from scheduling meetings with the person recommending, to giving them a deadline, to suggesting what they should highlight in their assessment requires a lot of tact on your behalf. So stick you
Selecting the right people How to go about doing it Writing the recommendation yourself

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