How to write a recommendation letter for national honor society

Updated April 17, 2017

Writing a recommendation letter for an applicant to the National Honor Society helps them complete the application process. Recommendation letters are your chance to express your thoughts and feelings about the applicant. Most times, recommendation letters are mailed directly to the organisation and the applicant never sees them. Remember to explain and provide evidence for your thoughts, whether good or bad. If you feel uncomfortable writing a letter of recommendation for a student tell him or her immediately. Don't wait until the last moment when it's too late to find another recommendation.

Follow proper letter formatting. Use the application and the supplied letter form if one is available. Some National Honor Society groups provide these forms to make the evaluation process easier. Use company or school letterhead for a letter of recommendation. Put the full date on the left side, skip two lines and type the name and address of the recipient. Skip two more lines and place a proper greeting. Move down two more lines and start the letter of recommendation. Single-space sentences, but double-space paragraphs. Conclude the letter and skip two lines, writing a closing salutation such as, "sincerely." Skip four lines so you have room to sign your name and type your name.

Ask the student for achievements to include in the letter. Tell the student to provide you with a list of service or community projects they participated in, outlining their role in the project. Request a list of extra-curricular activities, academic achievements and descriptions of leadership roles. Find out if the student has a part-time or summer job. Create a rough outline of the recommendation letter. Ask the student any remaining questions to fill in the details.

Begin the recommendation letter. Use a proper greeting, such as "Dear Professor Smith" to begin the recommendation letter. State your purpose for writing the recommendation letter and your relationship to the applicant within the first few sentences. Make it known how long you have known the applicant within the first paragraph.

Create the body of your letter. Keep your recommendation letter to one page. Write two body paragraphs after the opening paragraphs. Divide the information you want to include. Try writing about service, leadership, community and work-related items in one paragraph. Group school, academic and extra-curricular together for another paragraph. Provide specific examples of how the student excelled, showed leadership qualities and was a role-model for other students.

State why you think the student would be a valuable member and close. Compose a final paragraph explaining why you believe this student would make an outstanding National Honor Society member. Give an example if possible. Provide your contact information should the committee have further questions or need to contact you. Close with a proper salutation.

Things You'll Need

  • computer with printer
  • list of student achievements
  • pen
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About the Author

Erica Green has been a freelance journalist since 2008. She has contributed to the Atlantic Publishing Company, Texas Sports, Confessions of a Homeowner and more. Green is currently pursuing a degree in Spanish, and she tutors English Language Learner students. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas and is a certified middle school teacher.