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Recommendation Letter Essay

In my opinion, I have never before written a recommendation letter where the candidate and the opportunity were such a perfect fit. I have known Janet Lerner for two years now, since she took my introductory course in dinosaurs during her sophomore year. In my long teaching career, I have never met an undergraduate student with such a genuine and focused interest in paleontology, and such a clear aptitude for it. I will demonstrate this by speaking to Janet’s ability as a communicator, her specific interest in dinosaur paleontology, and her maturity and integrity. Janet informs me that you are seeking a skilled communicator to give tours of your animatronic displays.

Even during her sophomore year, Janet was a skilled communicator on the subject of dinosaur paleontology. In my class, for which she received an A, Janet wrote two compositions: one on the roots of the discovery and the characteristics of Deinonychus; one evaluating the defensive capabilities of Euoplocephalus. Janet proved herself not only exceptionally articulate and schooled on the subject at hand, but she also showed herself capable of wielding an argument—moving from premise to conclusion based on relevant evidence.

Janet also did all this with style and flair. I cite excerpts from her papers: “Previously seen as cold-blooded, pea-brained lizards . . .” and “The toe muscles acted as a spring mechanism to flick the claw around towards the back of the foot.” For me, such articulations underscore both Janet’s authentic fascination with dinosaurs and her ability to communicate that excitement and knowledge to others.

As an academic advisor to the dormitory where Janet lives, I frequently witness her interactions with others and know first-hand of her community service. Last year, Janet was the elected vice-president in the dormitory, and in this role she was responsible for numerous functions, including faculty/student lunches and a recruiting phoneathon. Janet is well-respected in the dormitory—a popular figure known for her honesty, calm, and kindness. I have seen her handle delicate situations with discretion, and she handles herself in all situations with poise.

Finally, Janet has strong convictions tempered by good judgment and reason; she has firm spiritual roots and an active, diverse, social life; she is loyal, committed, and clear-sighted. It is a rare treat to encounter a student as impressive as Janet Lerner, and if you give her the opportunity I am sure you will find her equally impressive. Please do give her your most thoughtful consideration.


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