Rochelle Kaplan, legal counsel for National Association for Colleges & Employers, offers this advice to faculty who are considering writing letters of recommendation or who serve as a reference for students.

  1. Obtain written permission from the student.
  2. Discuss your recommendation with the student.
  3. Provide only information based upon firsthand knowledge.
  4. Avoid personal information about the student.
  5. Nothing is "off the record" or "confidential."
  6. Email is no different from any other form of written communication.
  7. Base personal opinions on fact; don't guess or speculate.
  8. Respond to the specific inquiry regarding the student's ability to do the job!
  9. Follow your institution's policies regarding recommendation letters.
  10. If you need to change or withdraw your statement, advise the student.

For more information, check these additional resources: