Letters of reference follow a standard form and generally employ an all-seeing but distant professional voice. In other words, they are pretty dry. Years ago, after boring myself into a stupor writing the things, I decided I'd write a letter that while professional, had a voice. The sample letters that follow won each of the students a scholarship, or admission to a university, or a major award, such as a national office in an honor society. Similar letters either secured a colleague's teaching award, or sent them to ranks of the top contenders. Twice, a professor from the university committee involved in selecting scholarship winners, wrote me indicating my "lively" or "heartfelt" letter was the tipping point. I learned that if you’re bored writing a letter, the reader will be equally bored.
There are eight sample letters for scholarships, student awards as well as teacher awards. I've put them up in Word, compatibility mode; tinker with them all you'd like! Meant to be paired with my free Data Collection Sheet for Student Letters of Reference.
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