I am looking for a strong LOR. However, all three teachers, whom I approached, asked me to prepare the content of initial draft and mail them a copy of draft. It is becoming difficult to maintain distinctions in each lor as, all are written by me. It would be really helpful to get few ideas on making LOR strong appealing and also, separating content from teacher to teacher.
I am immensely happy to refer Master [ABC SirName] for master program in reputed universities like yours. As a professor in Mathematics department of [XYZ University], I have known ABC for four years. During these years, to my observation, I have come to know his major capabilities and intelligence.
ABC has always been consistent and punctual in classes. I have taught him engineering mathematics in three semesters. I was pleased with his ability to imbibe mathematical concepts smoothly and critical analysis of each topic that is being taught in class. He always used an inquisitive approach to make his doubts clear. His overall performance in mathematics indicates that he has a strong affinity towards analytical subjects. His analytical and logical skills implies that he will perform good at research works and surely, come up with innovative and creative techniques that could prove fecund for the society.
Specifically, his understanding and reasoning in topics such as probability, statistics, permutation and combination is appreciable among the class of fifty students. I found him among quick respondents to answer logical reasoning oriented questions. It is remarkable to mention that he used to suggest different approaches to solve a particular type of problem being taught in class. Needless to say, he had been keen to relate theoretical knowledge with real time applications.
It would be worth to add that ABC is intelligent, hardworking and diligent. He is friendly, keen at learning and implementing new things, and focused to his actions. His gesture towards classmates and teachers in and out of classrooms reflects his easy going with people and commands on soft skills that are keys to connecting with others. His participation in class works including assignment depicts that he has good command on written English.
I am delighted to recommend him as a powerful candidate to graduate program at your university. I am confident that ABC has potential for graduate study and will bring values to whatever he will engage in and also to the organisation to which he will oblige. I wish him best of wishes for his master program.
Pallaw, does the letter of recommendation instruction really require that you submit 3 letters? If the answer is yes, then you have to pick 3 different subjects or active participation mentors to write this letter for. That is the best way to get around the redundancy of your letter writing. Make sure that each teacher reflects upon a different skill set that you displayed during your time with them.
Take for instance this current letter that you wrote. This is from your Math teacher. So he can discuss your academic abilities such as your learning curve and quickness in learning. Now, for your next teacher, perhaps you have an experience working as a teacher's assistant? In that role, the teacher writing the recommendation can discuss how you work with a team and have the ability to inspire your comrades to work together in solving project difficulties. Finally, the third teacher can be your research mentor. This teacher can focus on your ability to work with minimal supervision and highlight your research ability skills as well as patience in solving problems that seem to not have any solutions immediately in sight.
If you can have each teacher focus on a different aspect of your abilities, you will have a better chance of developing a strong sense of character based upon your abilities for the recommendation. Try to write three different letters based upon my suggestion and see if it works for you. I can help you edit it in order to make it more relevant to your application when need be.
Letter of Recommendation 1
Hi, Please help me evaluate if different skills are highlighted in these 3 different LoRs:
I am happy to recommend Mr. Name as a candidate for higher studies at your esteemed university. As a <Designation> in Department of Information Science and Engineering, I have known him since 2nd year of the program. Calibrating his performance, I will place him in top 5% among the students in the class. Name has many distinguishing elements in his character as an individual.
As a teacher, I taught subjects like object orientated programming (Oops), data mining, and system architecture and file structures to him. I was impressed by his strong data structure and algorithm building skills during lab sessions. It shows that he has firm commands on data structures and radiates profound technical knowledge.
Name handle and act reasonably in stress mixed circumstances. He does have sense of prioritising the works based on severity. I believe him having inbuilt tendency to use presence of mind. It would be noteworthy to narrate that during semester examination, but he was under stress due to family problem. He managed to overcome family issue without having its toll in his performance on his subject. The way he sort out things is appreciable and it also assures that he would take up the further study with seriousness. His actions sounded him a passionate student to achieve career in Information Technology field.
Individually, he is a jovial person having moderate temperament. Name has good soft skills and his interaction with teachers and classmates illustrated that he is capable of connecting to people. I am positive about his decision for master program and wish him best of luck.
Letter of Recommendation 2 [..]
Letter of Recommendation 3
I know Mr. full Name, as an under graduate student in Information Science and Engineering Department. I have handled the courses of Fundamentals of computing, both theory and lab session and was also his project guide during fourth year. His conduct and behaviour has been brilliant and he has open deportment to participate in the activities conducted in the college. He has an amicable disposition making him approachable and easy to communicate with. As he was my student, I can confidently state that he has maintained a good academic record throughout.
My observation as his teacher reveals that he is very attentive, sincere, regular and hard working student with a tremendous drive to fulfil his tasks which shows his interest and zeal towards the subject. He had always actively participated in classroom discussions. He is a keen observer and has the requisite aptitude to take up any difficult assignment in his field of study.
While working on final year project I found he considers minute details deliberately. The project was ... based on data mining. Needless to say, the project was huge success with great work done by Name and his teammates. His work depicted his coding zeal. As I perceive from those 10 months of the project work, it will be noteworthy to add that he has strong coding skill with cognitive analytical reasoning skill. I must mention that he is capable of executing the task single handed if required. He was in one of the few students to be awarded S grade (Outstanding performance) in final year project.
He has spontaneous power of communication that precludes any possibility of a communication gap and I can rate his communication skills as excellent, which he evidenced during project discussion by elaborating his ideas eloquently. In addition, he has a good hand at both written and spoken English and also has pleasing manners. He is sociable by nature and is liked by all staff members of the department and has an excellent character and conduct.
He was involved and excelled in various extra curriculum activities. He reflected his potential in taking leadership in conducting Competition1 Workshop organised by Center for cloud Computing & Big Data. He has also been successful in Competition2, a coding competition organised by our college.
He is lively, attentive and punctual. I would rate him in the top 10% among his peers. I can strongly recommend him without any reservation for admission to graduate studies in your institution and I'm sure he'll excel in your institution. I wish him good luck for his success.
Looking towards making my LoRs strong enough to be not rejected.
Pallaw, in letter 1, it is best if your teacher can relate an actual incident that made him believe that you profound knowledge of algorithim skills in order to support his claim that you have a firm command of the necessary programs that have created a solid background for you. Concentrate more on proving your skills and do not mention your family problem in this letter. Professors are not supposed to know so much about their students and if they do, they are not allowed to tell other people about it. That statement shows that you, not your professor wrote this letter and the reviewer will immediately realize that and disregard the content of your letter. Do not make any personal references in any of your letters if you wish for the reviewer to take the recommendations seriously.
The second letter is weak when it comes to delivering an example of how you deal with logical reasoning. This is the chance of the reviewer to understand how you work and view you through the eyes of other people. Therefore, the professors must make mention of specific accomplishments that you have made in class which will further support their claims regarding what makes you special as a student.
For the third letter, remove the portion that states "Needless to say...his teammates." Do not make assumptions for the reviewer. Just state the facts of the project and allow him to come to his own conclusion. Most specially since you did not give a step by step, detailed explanation of your work. The reviewer cannot just take someone else's word for it. He has to judge that for himself.
Adjusting the letters in the areas of concern should help to make the letters stronger and acceptable to the reviewer. Remember, you will not be considered for admission on the strength of these letters alone so nobody can say that you won't get rejected for admission just because your recommendation letters are good. The next student may have more skills, a better grade transcript, accomplishments, and recommendations than you. So strive to present your best and accept whatever decision arises from your hard work, be it acceptance or rejection. At least your tried.
Would it be worth to mention that I was discussing algorithm development with my math teachers, as the missing example of logical reasoning in second LoR?
Pallaw, you can mention that provided the discussion was in the form of a debate or research and there was an end result to the discussion that will highlight your skills and abilities in the field. You don't really have to mention that particular paragraph if there is no readily available information to support it. The letter you wrote is quite strong on its own and has merits presented that can be considered with the rest of your application. Since you have 2 other letters to present, one of the 3 can be only moderately strong. The other 2 will make up for any slack that the 2nd letter might create or gaps in experience that it presents.
The second letter can be reformatted to be more of a character reference for you rather than an academic or work related one. I say this because the later part of your letter talks about how you deal with people. Which is also a major factor that is considered with your application. So that letter can present that part of your personality instead.
As a professor of Information science and engineering department I am delighted to recommend ABC for masters program in your esteemed university. I know him since first semester. I have taught him fundamental of computing and computer graphics with OpenGL. My close association with students allows me to take this opportunity to unfold his attributes to you in and outside of the classroom.
I could recollect lucidly that ABC was one of few students who coded his first computer program in the first class of mine for the batch. They had no prerequisite knowledge of computer programming and its structure. Initially, I was uncertain and hesitating about his performance in future as he was learning coding first time. However, his keen interest and comprehension of the subject both theoretically and practically towards the semester end had taken me aback. His swiftness in perusal of the subject released my assumption and made me realize the fact that true zest towards education can break highest bound of prior unfamiliarity. I must highlight that hereafter he had have maintained good grades in all coding oriented subjects. It reveals his skills in several folds. It clearly tells that he is industrious and hardworking, and he is quick to grasp things given opportunities and resources and adaptable. It also indicates that he not only studies the subject but also leaves none stone upturned by working hard in and out of the classroom. He has mastered the proficiency at gaining quality education by utilising inquisitive and interrogative means.
Often during laboratory sessions we had opted for surprise tests and quizzes. Throughout ABC showed consistent staging. Semester end project "Face tracking system using OpenCV" was a curriculum part of Computer Graphics with OpenGL. He executed the projected from analysing till programming single handed. Though doing such laborious and research oriented project demands ample time and activities such collecting sample real time data, neutralising environmental effects, he attended the classes regularly. It strongly suggests that he is punctual, persistent and dedicated student as well as a person with accurate sense of time management and highly motivated. Technically the project was completed considering minute details and possibility. The algorithm designed by him has a success to failure ratio of 9:1 and was able to detect face in different real time impacts such as variations in lighting, poses, illumination and presence of noise. The project outcome implied that he is capable to peruse and implement his learning effectively and efficiently. It also signifies his potential to be a good researchers and promising student for higher studies.
It would be certainly sensible to add that ABC is candid and collaborating. He was mostly seen helping his friends in the task assigned and elaborating how to apply abstract concepts pragmatically. It was unusual to find him in his own desk during laboratory sessions. In addition, his interactions with his classmates and staff members tell his generous nature towards others. He has enriched soft skills including communication skill. He presents the idea in succinctly yet completely. Being an attentive listener, he was never found impulsive in his answers be it in classroom or laboratory or seminar hall.
I am glad to know that ABC has taken decision to pursue higher studies because his curiosity towards technology will barely keep him from learning and growing as a constant learner. I am certain that ABC has ability to become excellent graduate student and professional. He has potential to accept, bring and modify change in every aspect of life. I wish him best wishes.
Pallaw, the letter is already acceptable but requires the removal of some information due to irrelevance or to simply shorten the length of the letter to a more interesting length. In the third paragraph, please remove the reference to quizzes and tests. It does not inform the reader of any skills or abilities on your part even when read in connection with the second sentence. Therefore, it would be best to remove it from the essay in total. In the concluding paragraph, just have the professor say that you present your ideas clearly. Do no use big words that do not really fit in overall presentation of the essay. It is enough to say that you share your ideas clearly. Over emphasis with "succinctly" is not not necessary anymore Also, don't have the professor wish you the best with your application. The letter is not addressed to you so such sentiment is misplaced in the overall content.
Thanks for your points. But, I think wording can be improved to some extend. Can you please help me with that?
I do not believe that I should try to edit the wording of this recommendation letter because of its technical nature. I might make a mistake with my explanation, expression, or alter the meaning of something that the professor supposedly said about you. That would affect the original thought or emotion of what your professor wished to say.
If you want to tighten the focus of the essay and make this sound as professional as possible using the flow of thought of a professor from your country writing a recommendation letter in English, the best way you can do that is by editing certain paragraphs in the essay. You can start with the third paragraph in the essay. Start by removing the first sentence that says; "Often during laboratory sessions... " It doesn't really relate to the rest of the paragraph so you can remove that without affecting the overall message of that paragraph. Then, in paragraph 4, delete the part covering " would be certainly sensible ... laboratory or seminar hall. " For the final paragraph, just remove " I wish him best wishes.".
Those adjustments will make the essay sound more professional in a natural voice from your country. If I rewrite the letter, it will be too obvious that your professor did not write it because of the thought process involved in sentence and paragraph development based upon language origin and translation processes. It will lead to a question of the validity of your recommendation letter. So it would be best to keep the language in as original a state as possible.
I would suggest you to convince your teachers to prepare the letters on their own because universities can easily detect the similar diction use and wordings in your letters. So be it a short letter, make it genuine.