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Before I start critiquing the LORs I would like to thank the students for having agreed to

share their LORs. When I critiqued these LORs I mostly did so on general aspects and
not from grammatical standpoint.

An ideal LOR should have the following attributes a) should be written by a prof. with
strong publication record, b) ideally it would be good if the prof. can judge research
capabilities of the student, c) should be well balanced, not necessarily talk about the good
things about the student but shortcomings too and how the student has overcome such
shortcomings and d) specific examples would be very useful and make the LOR stronger.

Letter 1.

General critique: 1. Very short. 2. Immediately comes off as a LOR written by the
student. 3. Other comments below.

It is a pleasure to write a letter of recommendation for Mr. Abhishek Samanta. I
have known Abhishek since 2004. I have instructed him in Computer Oriented Numerical
Methods. During the course of his studies, he came across as a sincere and hardworking
student. This was evident by the effort that he put into his work assignments.
I noticed that he has an inquisitive bent of mind from the queries he raised during
lecture sessions. This trait of him, coupled with good analytical skills, also helped him
achieve good results in his work assignments. He has always participated in class
activities with zeal and has always been forthcoming with answers to questions raised by
me during the lecture sessions.
His final year project (Wireless Sensor Network) was under my guidance. While
discussing the concepts of his project work he has been very impressive. He has shown
excellent capability to understand technical papers, implement those ideas and work
indefatigably on the modules undertaken thus far.
He has a thirst for knowledge and Im sure that he will continue his quest with
undying vigor. I wish him the best in his efforts at acquiring a Doctoral Degree and I
strongly recommend him for graduate studies and deserving financial assistance .
Letter 2.
General critiques: 1. Better written than the former letter. 2. More in comments.

To whom it may concern

It gives me immense pleasure in recommending Arijit Banerjee for the graduate
program at your University. I have known Arijit for 4 years ( 2003-2007) in my capacity
Comment [R1]: The prof usually should start
with a brief description about himself/herself.
Comment [R2]: So did the student do well in that
Comment [R3]: Ideally, the prof should provide
specific examples which should tell the reader that
the student had a lasting impression in the teachers
mind. Off course not all students can do that but
again, I said ideally..
Comment [R4]: You would expect your project
advisor to make a discussion on the project work
rather than loosely speak about it!!!
as a professor at the department of computer science at Jadavpur University and been his
teacher in a course on Numerical Methods and his supervisor in three laboratory
project works on Programming Languages, Electronics Lab and Design Lab I.

Arijit came to our University after completing high school from a very highly
reputed institution of our country and with excellent academic records. He did justice to
his academic background by performing exceedingly well throughout the four years of
undergraduate study and secured 3
rank in a class of 60 students. He has a good in-
depth understanding of Computer Science fundamentals and been one of the most
enthusiastic students when it came to learning new things and apply them practically. He
was always very eager to know about the latest development in his field of study.
He was very motivated and energetic about his project works and put in a lot of
effort in their implementation. He liked to experiment with the technologies and applied a
lot of research and insight to make his work perfect. His passion and dedication to the
work motivated his teammates too and as a supervisor I can testify that he has done some
commendable and praiseworthy research projects.
Arijit has always been a jovial person who has high regards for the elderly ones
and is loved by all because of his nature. He was also the class representative of his batch
and being the HOD for two years I had close interactions with him which reminds me of
his great communication and inter-personal skills. He is fluent in both oral and spoken
According to me, Arijits depth of knowledge in Computer Science, his
enthusiasm to know the unknown, self-initiative nature, sense of responsibility and
perseverance make him a ideal candidate for any high level research program. He has all
the ingredients to become a successful researcher. I recommend him strongly for
admission in your department for graduate study with full financial support.

(Mita Nasipuri)
Yours sincerely,
Mita Nasipuri
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Jadavpur University.

Letter 3.

General critique: This letter is almost similar to letter # 1 and has similar

Letter of Recommendation

Comment [R5]: Good to choose someone who
knows the student so well. Again like in letter 1,
there should be 1 or 2 standout/specific examples.
Comment [R6]: This is a good way to start the
Comment [R7]: New para should not start with
Comment [R8]: Specific examples may help a
Comment [R9]: Nicely written.
Comment [R10]: It is a good thing to talk about
the general personality traits as well.
Comment [R11]: Not necessary to mention
It is a great pleasure to recommend Dhrubajyoti Saha for graduate studies. He is
known to me since 2004 as an Undergraduate student in Department of Computer
Science & Engineering. I taught him Computer Oriented Numerical Methods and guided
him in Programming Practice II Laboratory (related to the corresponding theory paper
Numerical Methods), which I conducted. It is then that I have had a chance to observe
him closely.
During his final year project, under my guidance, on Middleware for Wireless
Sensor Networks, he has shown great proficiency in understanding and implementing
technical papers, as well as coming up with new ideas. This has convinced me that he is
very genuine in pursuit of his academic excellence.
Dhrubajyoti exhibits a high degree of initiative in continuously striving to update
his knowledge. He tries to ensure that his concepts on various topics to be very clear and
therefore, he is an active participant in classroom. He is regular in completing his
programming assignments, and his assignments are among the best in the class. Besides
doing so well in academics, Dhrubajyoti has been involved in various co-curricular
activities. Dhrubajyoti is capable of coping with a lot of hard work, which is essential for
higher academic attainments, and this, along with his superior intellectual ability, makes
him an ideal candidate for doctoral studies. He is a pleasant and well-mannered
individual with high moral and social values.
I wish him success in his future endeavours and strongly recommend him for admission
in your university.

Yours truly,

Mita Nasipuri
Computer Science and Engineering Dept.
Jadavpur University.

Letter 4.

General critique: 1. This is a non-research related LOR since the advisor was not in
a position to guide the student in a project. In such a case it makes more sense to
take a LOR from a prof who has taught several courses not just two. 2. Further, it
would be nice if the prof could quantitatively justify the performance of the students
in all the classes.

Letter of Recommendation

It gives me pleasure in writing a letter of reference for my student Ms. Neha Sherpa. I
have taught her Computer Orientation Numerical Methods and guided her in
Programming Practice II Laboratory (related to the corresponding theory paper
Comment [R12]: Very generic statement. More
specific statements about the student would help!
Comment [R13]: Actually perseverance is more
essential than hard work but that is in my opinion.
Numerical Methods), which I conducted. It is then that I have had a chance to observe her
performance closely.
During this interaction, I have observed that her work is very disciplined and meritorious.
She is a capable and meticulous student, with keen interest in collecting information in
relevant fields and latest development in technologies and specifically towards the field
of Computer Science. She makes sure that she fully understands the basics and applies
these concepts to more challenging problems. She has approached me in addition to the
classroom sessions to clear her doubts, which only proves her interest and eagerness to
assimilate knowledge and towards her subject. She is a good learner and can grasp new
topics readily. I am confident that she will be a promising and competitive student
accomplishing any responsibility she undertakes.
She is an amicable individual who gets along equally well with her faculty and fellow
Along with her intellectual abilities she has excellent communication skills. I found her to
be proficient in English being able to convey her ideas lucidly and with great ease. Her
courteous and lively nature makes it a pleasure to interact with her.
I am sure she will do extremely well in graduate study and in my opinion she will prove
to be a good research assistant. Based on her strong undergraduate preparation and
considering her flair for research along with her effective communication skills, I
recommend her for graduate program at your esteemed university with maximum
financial aid.

Mita Nasipuri

Letter 5.

General critique: 1. This letter is better than letter 1 and 3 because it talks about the
students achievements in glorious terms. 2. However, specific examples are again
lacking. 3. It would also be nice if the prof could have judged the students research

Dr. Mita Nasipuri
Professor , Dept. of CSE
Jadavpur University

To Whom It May Concern:

I gladly recommend Debarshi Roy for the Graduate Program in Computer Science at
your university. He is truly an outstanding student and has immense potential for research

I have known him as an undergraduate student of Computer Science & Engineering
course for the 4 years of his study in our institution. He has since then maintained a
steady contact with me. He has proved himself as a student with a perfect blend of
subject knowledge, hard work and discipline. His ability to utilize his unique and
independent thoughts in complex problem solving speaks for his intellectual brilliance
Comment [R14]: This is a good specific
example. Not great but ok-ishly good example.
Comment [R15]: I dont think there are
convincing arguments in this LOR for the prof to
reach this conclusion.
and creativity. His thirst for pure knowledge beyond the syllabus is one of the most
remarkable qualities that make him one of the best students seen in my career so far. He
gives vent to resourceful and witty ideas in the classes which truly depict his intuitive

He was my student for the course Computer Oriented Numerical Methods and
laboratory courses Programming Practice II and Design I. He has secured high
grades in all the courses under my supervision. He has consistently performed well and
ranked among the best students in the class. I have always been impressed with his
attentiveness in class. In the laboratory, too his enthusiastic approach towards solving
assignment problems deserves praise. He has always produced the finest work within

I appreciate his motivation for research and pursuing a PhD after 2 years of industrial
experience as a developer at Adobe Systems India. According to me, he has chosen an
appropriate career goal, because with his diligence and intelligence, he can definitely
contribute to the subject of his choice.

It is only by attending a graduate study program at a reputed institution that Debarshi can
accomplish his career goals. Therefore, I would strongly recommend your university to
grant him admission to the program, and thereby do justice to his immense academic


Mita Nasipuri

LORs critiqued by Suvajyoti Guha