It's that time of year and the young bunnies and veal are starting to ask for letters of recommendation for all sorts of things, especially for those seeking to go on to medical and graduate school, but wait, that is not all, even the youngest ones need letters for summer programs. So Eli has a slide he shows in his General Chemistry Lecture about now, and here it is.
|The letter you don't want|
I am writing on behalf of Steve Student. I understand that Steve is applying for entry to the Southern North Dakota Medical School at Hoople. Of the 164 students in the class he received the sixth highest grade. I can see this in my marking book. This is quite good. It was a really hard course
I remember talking with Steve a few times and he impressed me as a well mannered and well spoken young man. I think.
In any case, I am sure he will do well at your school and am happy to recommend him to you.
|The letter you do want|
I am writing on behalf of Steve Student. Steve has been working in my lab for about a year. He has taken on major responsibilities for development of our project and has demonstrated a remarkable capability to work equally well with abstract concepts as well as practical devices.
Steve is absolutely tops--I am sure there is no better applicant. I’ve worked with many students in my laboratory and Steve is by far the best. He is an excellent student, as evidenced by his grades and a very quick learner in the lab. He works independently, without prodding, but is not at all reluctant to seek assistance when needed. But, of course, just as in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, talent alone is insufficient, hard work and persistence are required as well and Steve is a very persistent and very hard worker.
By the way, I’m enclosing the final revision of the paper that Steve, you and I are publishing in Science next week.