How to Write an LOR for MS

How to Write an LOR for MS

How to Write an LOR for MS
Sahil Dahal

Embarking on the journey of helping someone secure a spot in their dream Master's program is no small feat. As you gear up to pen down a Letter of Recommendation (LOR), it's essential to understand that this document is more than just a formality. It's a powerful tool that can influence the course of someone's academic future. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of creating an LOR that not only stands out but also amplifies the strengths and potential of the aspiring candidate.

Understanding the Purpose

Let's start at the beginning. Before you dive into the writing process, take a moment to grasp the purpose of the LOR. It's not just a routine task; it's your chance to vouch for someone's capabilities and contribute to their academic journey. Get acquainted with the unique requirements of the Master's program in question – what qualities are they looking for? This knowledge will be the compass guiding your recommendation.

Gathering Information

Every good story begins with solid groundwork, and the same applies to writing an LOR. Collect the raw materials – the candidate's resume or CV, academic transcripts, personal statement, and any other documents they provide. This treasure trove of information will be the cornerstone upon which you'll build a compelling case for the candidate.

Formatting the Letter

Now, let's talk aesthetics. Your LOR isn't just about content; presentation matters too. Format it like a professional business letter. Think of it as the packaging that enhances the value of your recommendation. Include all the necessary elements – your contact details, the date, the recipient's information, and a courteous salutation to set the tone.


Begin your LOR journey with a captivating introduction. Who are you, and how do you know the candidate? Set the stage by conveying the essence of your connection with the individual, and establish the timeline of your association.

Describing Your Relationship

With the stage set, let's dive into the backstory. Paint a vivid picture of your relationship with the candidate. Are you connected through academia, work, or some other avenue? Provide context that will help the reader understand the dynamics at play in your evaluation.

Highlighting Strengths and Achievements

Now, let's showcase the protagonist – the candidate. It's time to shine a spotlight on their strengths, skills, and achievements. Dive deep into the narrative, using specific examples to bring their academic prowess, research acumen, leadership qualities, and standout accomplishments to life.

Relevance to the Program

As any good storyteller knows, the plot must align with the overarching theme. In this case, it's all about why the candidate is tailor-made for the Master's program. Connect the dots between their skills, experiences, and the program's goals and requirements. Make it a seamless integration that leaves no room for doubt.

Discussing Work Ethic and Character

Every character in a story has defining traits, and so does the candidate. Share insights into their work ethic, dedication, and character. Sprinkle in anecdotes that showcase the depth of their personality, making the recommendation not just a list of achievements but a character study.

Addressing Weaknesses (If Appropriate)

In the narrative arc, there might be challenges that the character faces. Similarly, if there are any weaknesses or areas for improvement in the candidate, address them with tact. But don't forget to highlight the character development – any growth or improvement adds layers to the story.

Also Check: How to Write a LOR for MS?


As the plot reaches its climax, it's time to tie everything together. Summarize the narrative, expressing your unyielding confidence in the candidate's potential to not only thrive but excel in the Master's program. Leave the reader with a sense of anticipation and conviction.

Providing Contact Information

Every good author invites readers to delve deeper into the story. Similarly, offer your availability for additional information or any queries. Include your contact details as the open door to further exploration.


No masterpiece is complete without meticulous editing. Ensure your letter is a polished gem by scanning for grammatical errors and typos. A well-crafted document speaks volumes about your commitment to the recommendation.


In the grand finale, sign off with a flourish. If it's a hard copy, let your signature adorn the letter like an author's signature on the final page. For electronic submissions, a typed signature maintains the formality and professionalism.

Writing an LOR is not just a task; it's an opportunity to contribute to someone's success story. As you embark on this writing adventure, remember that your words have the power to shape futures. Craft them with care, and watch as the narrative unfolds, paving the way for the next chapter in the candidate's academic journey.

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Why is it crucial to tailor the Letter of Recommendation (LOR) to the specific requirements of the Master's program?

Tailoring the LOR ensures that the candidate's unique strengths and qualities align with what the Master's program is seeking. It enhances the relevance of the recommendation and increases the likelihood of the candidate standing out among applicants.

Should I include both strengths and weaknesses in the LOR, and how do I address weaknesses tactfully?

While it's essential to highlight strengths, addressing weaknesses can provide a more holistic view of the candidate. Tactfully discussing weaknesses by emphasizing growth or improvement showcases the candidate's resilience and ability to learn.

How can I make the Letter of Recommendation (LOR) more engaging and narrative-driven?

Infuse the LOR with storytelling elements. Paint a vivid picture of the candidate's journey by incorporating anecdotes, specific examples, and a narrative flow. This makes the recommendation more compelling and memorable.

What role does the Letter of Recommendation (LOR) play in the overall application process for a Master's program?

The LOR serves as a critical component of the application, offering insights into the candidate beyond grades and test scores. It provides a personal and professional endorsement, helping admission committees understand the candidate's potential for success in the program.

Is it necessary to provide contact information in the LOR, and what's the purpose behind it?

Yes, providing contact information is essential. It allows the reader to reach out for further clarification or information. Including your contact details demonstrates your willingness to support the candidate and adds credibility to your recommendation.

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