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How to write an LOR: Tips, Format, Sample

Writing a strong Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for university applications is essential to present the applicant’s qualities, achievements, and suitability for the program.

Here are some tips, a recommended format, and a sample LOR to guide you.

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Why writing LOR for university applications is important?

Composing a recommendation letter is essential for a college application since it gives admissions committees important information about the potential, skills, and character of an applicant.ย 

These letters provide a more comprehensive view than test results and transcripts and are usually provided by instructors, mentors, or supervisors who have a close working relationship with the candidate.

They can aid admissions officers in making defensible selections by showcasing a student’s accomplishments in the classroom, leadership potential, work ethic, and personal attributes.ย 

Robust recommendation letters are a crucial part of the application process since they not only confirm an applicant’s qualifications but also set them apart from the competition by demonstrating their capacity to have a positive impact on the university community.

Writing an Effective LOR for a University Application

Here are tips for writing an effective LOR for university applications:ย 

1. Understand the Purpose:

Know the specific requirements and expectations of the university or program for which the LOR is intended.

2. Choose the Right Recommender:ย 

Select someone who knows you well and can provide concrete examples of your skills, character, and accomplishments.

3. Follow the University Guidelines:ย 

Adhere to the university’s guidelines and requirements for LORs, including format, length, and submission method.

4. Personalize the LOR:ย 

Customize the content to reflect the applicant’s unique qualities and experiences that make them a strong candidate for the program.

5. Highlight Relevant Qualities:ย 

Focus on traits, skills, and achievements that are directly relevant to the program or field of study.

6. Use Specific Examples:ย 

Include specific instances and examples that illustrate the applicant’s qualities and accomplishments.

7. Be Positive and Honest:ย 

Highlight the applicant’s strengths while maintaining honesty and credibility.

8. Proofread and Edit:ย 

Ensure that the LOR is well-written, error-free, and concise.


  • Begin with a formal salutation, addressing the admissions committee or the recipient.


  • In the opening paragraph, introduce yourself as the recommender and your relationship with the applicant.
  • Mention the length of time you have known the applicant.

Body Paragraphs:

  • Use 2-3 body paragraphs to provide specific examples of the applicant’s skills, character, and achievements.
  • Address qualities relevant to the program, such as academic abilities, research skills, leadership, teamwork, and dedication.


  • In the concluding paragraph, summarize the applicant’s suitability for the program and express your confidence in their success.


  • Sign off the letter with a formal closing (e.g., “Sincerely” or “Yours faithfully”) and your name.

Contact Information:

  • Include your contact information, including your professional title and email address, in case the admissions committee has further questions.

Sample Letter of Recommendationย 

[University Admissions Committee]

[University Name]

[University Address]

[City, State, Zip Code]

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to highly recommend [Applicant’s Full Name] for admission to your [Specific Program Name] program. I have had the privilege of knowing [Applicant’s First Name] for [X years/months] as [Your Relationship, e.g., “their professor,” “their research supervisor,” “their employer,” etc.], and during this time, I have been consistently impressed by [his/her] exceptional qualities and achievements.

In the course of [his/her] academic journey, [Applicant’s First Name] has demonstrated unwavering dedication and a thirst for knowledge that is truly commendable. [He/She] consistently ranked among the top % of students in [his/her] class and actively engaged in [specific academic activities, e.g., “research projects,” “seminars,” “internships”] that showcased [his/her] strong analytical and problem-solving skills. [Provide specific examples or experiences that highlight academic excellence and relevant achievements.]

Furthermore, [Applicant’s First Name] has exhibited remarkable leadership qualities during [his/her] tenure as [leadership position] of the [Student Organization/Company Name]. [He/She] played an integral role in [specific accomplishments, e.g., “organizing fundraising events,” “leading a successful project,” “mentoring junior members”] and consistently demonstrated effective communication and team collaboration.

In addition to [his/her] academic and leadership prowess, [Applicant’s First Name] has consistently shown [his/her] compassion and willingness to help others. [Provide specific examples of community involvement, volunteer work, or other relevant activities.]

I am confident that [Applicant’s First Name] will continue to excel and make significant contributions in [his/her] chosen field of [Field of Study] at [University Name]. [He/She] possesses the qualities, skills, and passion that make [him/her] a standout candidate for your program. [Your closing statement expressing confidence in the applicant’s success.]

Should you have any further questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Email Address].


Your Full Name

Your Title/Position

Your Organization/Institution

Your Contact Number

Please note that this is a generic sample LOR. It should be tailored to the specific qualifications and experiences of the applicant and the requirements of the university or program to which it is being submitted.

If you are an aspirant looking to study at your dream university, book an appointment with AdmitX today and start your applications early to avail yourself of all the benefits.

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