Writing a recommendation letter will become necessary when your students begins to table applications for Masters programmes in Universities around the world. It is certain that an academic teaching staff will surely write a recommendation letter for one of their students during the course of life, hence, it is essential to note certain important elements that should be contained in a recommendation letter; especially when it is a scholarship recommendation letter.
A scholarship recommendation letter entails you vouching that the candidate you are writing the letter on behalf of is qualified, and meets all criteria required of the scholarship. It also involves you vouching that the person has proper moral standing, and stating convincingly why the candidate should be picked over all other applicants. Looking at this, a scholarship recommendation letter is certainly not one to play over and you need to pay attention to every single little detail when carrying out this task.
5 important elements of a scholarship recommendation letter are:
- The Heading: This is the first part to your letter. It should contain your name, your reachable address and phone number, country and date. All these should appear in a normal letter writing format. Your full name is needed for accountability sake. Still based on the sake of vouching and accountability, your reachable address and phone number is also very essential to input; they may want to call you to get more information about the person you are recommending. It is important not to miss out any minor detail in the heading. There should also be a bold caption stating that it is a letter of recommendation.
- The Introduction: The introduction of any letter is extremely important. For a scholarship recommendation letter, this is where you introduce yourself and your relationship with the person you are recommending. Establishing the relationship you have with the person aids in understanding the level of intimacy between you both, as it is believed that no one would write a recommendation letter for someone that don’t know or do not have a bond with. Examples of such relationships are: student-lecturer relationship, co-worker relationship, religious leader-member relationship, etc. The introductory paragraph not only states the relationship between you writing the letter and the candidate you are recommending, but also introduces this said candidate and leave a little remark about the person.
- The Body: This can be seen as the bulk of the letter. The body is where you sell your candidate and it takes a lot of skills. Here, you state out all the academic qualifications, and other qualities that will speak well of your candidate. You also convincing go in detail on why the person needs the scholarship, and what qualifies the person for the scholarship. Apart from those, you also state the distinctive factor that makes the candidate stand out from other. Your conviction will goes a long way to make or mar the chances of the candidate being picked for the scholarship or not. Be intentional when writing!
- Summary: Apart from having an effective and efficient body of work, your conclusion also matters a lot. This sums up everything you’ve said about the candidate, and the extent to which you can vouch for them. One paragraph is enough for this.
- Punctuations and Proper Grammar: Imagine reading a letter that is filled with bad grammar… Your letter has to be void of any grammatical error, else your chances of the candidate being accepted is totally cancelled. Do not be in a rush to write the letter, take your time and also ensure to proofread after writing. The importance of proofreading cannot be overemphasized! Proper grammar and correct punctuations increases the acceptability chances of the candidate.