Writing a Letter of recommendation.

Essay by Keir December 2005

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The most important letters I can be asked to write are those on behalf of my graduating seniors. I feel that it would be helpful to many of the students who use cheathouse to have access to a model which I myself have created.

To whom it may concern,

Ms. Susan Forsythe has requested that I write her a letter of recommendation. As Head of the Humanities Department here at the Pyongyang World Youth Academy I have been approached by many students who request a recommendation letter which I believe is a matter that is not one to be offered lightly. I write one only when I am convinced that the candidate is right for the programme that s/he is applying for.

It has been a great source of satisfaction to have taught Susan Geography and History for the past three years. She has consistently shown herself to be the top of the class throughout.

Often I have found myself using her essays to demonstrate to the rest of the class what is expected of a great student, as was the case with her recent History Mid-Term exam where she obtained a staggering 93% where the second-highest managed an 80%.

As professor of history here at the DPRK, I have come across students who arrive with a sharp understanding and knowledge of modern European history, particularly the many who come to my class from the former Eastern bloc. However, it is a rare student who enjoys the ability to develop a multi-dimensional perspective on the course of history. Susan is such a student. It has been a great pleasure to see her develop such a deep conceptual understanding of a fact-based subject like history, especially as much of her ability derives from her own initiative; her continual striving to...