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    Hello,

    As everyone should know, i need to referees to apply in some universities.
    I ask to my teachers (where a got A Grades) to write me some recommendation .
    The asked me to write it by myself and then they will read and sign it.
    But i have no idea about what to write, especially than i'm not good enough in english for that exercise.
    Any help?
    Sample?
    I wish to apply in York, Bath, Durham, Exeter and Edinburgh in master of Finance...if it helps...

    Thanks
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    They should really write it for you >_>

    They should include how you act as a student, how you act socially, how apt you are for the degree you're applying for, your predicted grades, how well you're doing in their subject etc.
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    They are a bit lazy in France
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    One teacher wrote me that, is that good enough ?


    Mr Jeremy TRICON is a very talented student with a rare and rich experience. As his economics professor last year, I saw many examples of his talent and was impressed by his diligence and work ethic.

    Jeremie has outstanding skills in expressing himself, always willing to participate in the class debates and to lead his team to properly work the assignments out. He consistently demonstrated an ability to rise to any challenge that he had to face and I am sure he will bring a lot in the class dynamics.

    Mr Tricon is applying for a programme at your university. He proved to have a very strong interest in studying in your institution. For those reasons, I would like to strongly recommend Jeremie Tricon for approval.

    Yours faithfully,
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    What exactly does he mean by 'rare and rich experience'?:confused:
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    In my school we have to do at lest 1 year of Internship. I did it in a private bank, as a Sales assistant in a Front office.
    That teacher was my mentor all around that internship. I guess that what she means
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    My question is more that if the letter is long enough, what could she add?
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    What a terrible reference; seriously, if I was in his position and knew I was only going to write a 100 word reference then I would not have bothered... In terms of what she could include most British universities actually provide guidelines so they know what to mention, and some of the 'sillier' universities ask to grade you in relation to your peers, e.g. Eliosa is in the top 5% for x, y and z, while some just ask for general pointers regarding your 'skills'.
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    Hey

    That soudns like at a German University:-) But I dont think this reference is good enough. Is has to be a lot longer, state your position in class, maybe a bit more about the background, definately more about the internship. Maybe you can google it and find some examples and then write it yourself and give it to him to sign it.
    http://jobsearch.about.com/od/refere...plegradref.htm
    http://www.mommysplace.net/writingyourownletter.html
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    I have to agree with evantej there: a lot of it seems terribly unspecific and the praise is general to the point of meaninglessness. He's referring to your 'talent', 'experience' and 'skills', of which he has supposedly seen so much evidence, and 'challenges' to which you've risen, but he never bothers to mention what those actually are. All he really says about you is that you're really good at 'expressing yourself' (which, without saying anything about the actual quality of your ideas, means little more than 'he can talk') and that's you're very cooperative in class (which is nice, but again, without any suggestion that you're actually making a lot of valuable contributions doesn't mean much). The bit about your 'very strong interest' is pretty meaningless. As a referee, he's supposed to comment on your suitability for the specific course you're applying for, not to state that you're keen to go there - universities will kind of take that as a given, after all, why would you have bothered to apply there if you weren't interested in going there?

    Sorry if this sounds a little harsh; I'm sure your referee means well, but with the reference as it currently stands he probably won't be doing you any favours. I'd strongly suggest that you have a look at guides to application forms for instructions to referees, and pass them on to your referees to make sure they get a clearer idea of what is required of them before they send off your references.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    I have to agree with evantej there: a lot of it seems terribly unspecific and the praise is general to the point of meaninglessness.
    I agree - on the other hand, it may be difficult to find three (I assume you need three) referees who are all very familiar with all of your coursework and your situation in general, as many professors only teach you in one class and can only comment on your performance in that very course.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be a good option to have two general course-related referees who say something good about the student's performance in one, specific class (and, if possible, something on their character), and then ask one referee, for example the head of department, write a longer, more detailed reference where the student's general performance (and character) is discussed at length?
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    (Original post by balancecatcher)
    I agree - on the other hand, it may be difficult to find three (I assume you need three) referees who are all very familiar with all of your coursework and your situation in general, as many professors only teach you in one class and can only comment on your performance in that very course.
    Usually it's just two. Oxford is an exception.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be a good option to have two general course-related referees who say something good about the student's performance in one, specific class (and, if possible, something on their character), and then ask one referee, for example the head of department, write a longer, more detailed reference where the student's general performance (and character) is discussed at length?
    Fair enough, but I got the impression that this was the main referee, i.e. the one who should know the OP best and be most able to comment on his work. Yet for some reason he doesn't. He says stuff like 'I saw many examples of his talent' without saying what that talent is actually supposed to be. Insightful arguments? Great understanding of economic theory? Daring new theories? It's impossible to tell, really.:dontknow: The same goes for 'consistently demonstrated an ability to rise to any challenge that he had to face' - what challenges? Did he single-handedly prepare a presentation on a particularly complex topic? Did he go to extreme lengths for a research project? Did he win an Olympic gold medal two weeks before sitting an important exam? Was he the first person ever to complete his course in two years instead of three?
    I mean, if you talk about someone as being exceptionally talented without specifying what you mean by that, then the word 'talented' by itself is neither here nor there, because it isn't being backed up by anything. If the referee doesn't know the OP well enough to comment, then fair enough, but to me the reference reads as though he actually does know him well enough, but for some obscure reason he has chosen to withhold that knowledge from the people he's addressing the reference to.
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    Usually it's just two. Oxford is an exception.
    Haha, I have no idea why I thought I was posting in the Oxford thread, nor do I know how I missed the OP's list of universities - very sloppy reading, sorry about that.

    Fair enough, but I got the impression that this was the main referee, i.e. the one who should know the OP best and be most able to comment on his work.
    I just felt that the OP approached the thing in a less than ideal manner, seeing as he wrote "I ask to my teachers (where a got A Grades)". You are quite right that the reference is far too vague, in any case if it is supposed to be one out of three equally nondescript ones. Instead, as I said, he needs at least one reference that has a bigger impact, such as a head of department, or someone who would be expected to know far, far more about the applicant than a professor who has taught him in one, single course.

    Furthermore, I strongly doubt that all letters of reference written on the behalf of ultimately successful applicants consist of 100+ words of detailed 'won an Olympic medal', 'is the most exceptional student ever' hyperbole.
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    (Original post by balancecatcher)
    I just felt that the OP approached the thing in a less than ideal manner, seeing as he wrote "I ask to my teachers (where a got A Grades)".
    That isn't terribly uncommon, though, is it? I'd have thought a lot of people would choose their referees on the basis of how well they did in their modules.
    You are quite right that the reference is far too vague, in any case if it is supposed to be one out of three equally nondescript ones. Instead, as I said, he needs at least one reference that has a bigger impact, such as a head of department, or someone who would be expected to know far, far more about the applicant than a professor who has taught him in one, single course.
    Yes, ideally he should have that too, but that's a separate issue, I think. My point was just that the referee professes to know something about him but then doesn't actually go on to say it.
    Furthermore, I strongly doubt that all letters of reference written on the behalf of ultimately successful applicants consist of 100+ words of detailed 'won an Olympic medal', 'is the most exceptional student ever' hyperbole.
    That isn't really what I meant - and I realise the Olympic medal was a rubbish example to use.:p: Anyway, I don't think a good reference necessarily has to be wordy and gushing, but I still believe that a good reference should provide *some* evidence for the claims it makes. I.e. if it says the student in question is 'the most exceptional student ever', that claim then needs to be followed by some brief explanation of what it is that makes him so exceptional.
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    ]That isn't terribly uncommon, though, is it? I'd have thought a lot of people would choose their referees on the basis of how well they did in their modules.
    You make an excellent point. However, what I tried to emphasize is that very few module/single course teachers KNOW ENOUGH about the student in question in order to supply a good 'main' reference. This is why I recommend that at least one referee should be the head of department (or something similar, just as long as it is a person with a knowledge of how the student has performed in ALL his/her modules, what he/she is like as an individual, why he/she is suited for the course in question, and so on).

    My point was just that the referee professes to know something about him but then doesn't actually go on to say it.
    I fully agree. To me it feels like the typical 'my formal English isn't good enough for me to get my point across', or even worse, the old 'I was asked to write a reference, and I don't quite know how to say no, so I'll just write something entirely non-specific and hopefully they will realize that I'm not that supportive of this student after all'.

    That isn't really what I meant - and I realise the Olympic medal was a rubbish example to use.:p: Anyway, I don't think a good reference necessarily has to be wordy and gushing, but I still believe that a good reference should provide *some* evidence for the claims it makes. I.e. if it says the student in question is 'the most exceptional student ever', that claim then needs to be followed by some brief explanation of what it is that makes him so exceptional.
    Haha, I know, I know... I just wanted to stress that students should not feel discouraged by the whole referee situation. May people seem to be reluctant to apply because they do not believe they will find enough people (particularly in the case of the three letters of recommendation) who will be able to say enough positive things about them. In my experience (and from what I have learned on the forum) it is usually enough with one detailed, more personal reference, and one (or two) more course-specific recommendations. You can't exactly expect the module/course teachers to know about your Olympic medal (:p:) or to be able to comment on anything other than your performance in class, and, based on this, your potential for graduate study.
 
 
 

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