Below is the unanimous choice of the FSP Editorial Board for our favorite of the Letter of Reference Contest submissions. The letter, written by Wendy Panero, has some of the classic elements of the LoR genre: a strong recommendation that is not backed up by anything in particular in the text of the letter, which was written based on little information.
To Whom It Might Possibly Concern:
I hope you accept the letter even through it comes two weeks after your deadline.
I would like to give Susie Student my highest possible recommendation for Your Program. She told me yesterday she was planning to apply, and since she begged me and said she gave me a really good teaching review, I agreed to write the letter.
Susie took my class, Introductory Rock Appreciation, this quarter. She earned a C, but I gave her a B- when she told me that the only reason she did so badly on the final was that her grandma died. Susie is among the top half of the students I have encountered here in my two quarters teaching at Massive State University, so I really would have enjoyed seeing Susie’s full potential in this class. She was working as a dog sitter for much of the quarter, however, so that took her attention from rock appreciation. While clearly disappointed that the course addressed actual rocks rather than the music she expected when she enrolled in the class, she did attend class most days.
I know Susie Student is an excellent match for Your Program.
Super Junior Faculty Member
Department of Inferiority Studies
Massive State University
Middle of the Country, USA
more tomorrow.. and the next day..