how to write a character reference / recommendation letter

This is a discussion thread · 8 replies
Please help me. I've never been asked to write a character reference until now. My niece is in trouble. An x-friend of her's allowed her to use her credit card and then reported it stolen. My niece is being charge fraudelant use of a credit card and identity theft. She has a good defense but with this she violated her probation. I need help with helping her. She is such a spirited filled young lady who has come so far. this was to be her last year on probation but due to this ...well we don't know.
New Member01
Hello, and welcome to English Forums. I searched quickly for matters that concern court appearances in the state of Massachusetts; however, the site referenced here is fairly general.
http://www.businessballs.com/referencesletterssamples.htm
The following information is a quick grab from the web site, OK?
“Certain situations require character reference letters of a more personal nature, such as character testimonials or references relating to court proceedings, or for a position in non-business organisations such as councils, trusts, clubs, or societies. In these cases follow the same principles: do not defame a person in writing or verbally when providing a reference; state only positives or nothing at all. If you need a personal or character reference always ask the writer if it would help to provide them with a draft. Writing reference letters is time-consuming and difficult for many people - offering to provide a draft may sound cheeky, but it is often necessary and much appreciated by the reference giver (incidentally called the 'referee'). Be aware that offering to provide a written character reference relating to a person's court proceedings may lead to your being asked to appear in court as a character witness - so be sure that whatever you write you'd be comfortable stating it in a court of law.
example and template for personal or character reference letter
Date
To whom it may concern
I confirm that I have known (name) for (number) years. (State relationship - social, business, working together in some other capacity, club, activity, project, etc.) At all times I have found (name/him/her) to be (state characteristics - eg, dependable, reliable, hard-working, conscientious, honest, peace-loving, courteous, etc - to be as helpful as possible think about what the reader will most prefer to see, in terms of satisfying concerns, or seeing evidence of relevant required skills or characteristics). I'm happy to provide further information if required (optional). Yours faithfully, etc.”
Full Member252
Anonymous:
just tell them truth !
Anonymous:
faye I also need help...i have been asked as a JP to give a character reference for the son of a dear dear friend of mine....i have no idea what to write
Hi,

Approach it by thinking what questions you would have about a young man you don't know.

eg Is he honest? Trustworthy? Reliable? Hard-working? Involved in his community?

How long have you known him?

Best wishes, Clive
Veteran Member67,736
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Anonymous:
It is actually fairly simple. Start by saying to whom it may concern, then go into a little detail about who you are and what you do. Next how long you've known whomever you are supporting, then go into how they have grown since you've known them, maybe some of their accomplishment, goals, successes. Give some facts, supporting facts about her future and past. don't try to make her look like an angel but at the same time try to make the judge or whoever is reading see a little into the life and background of your niece....That's pretty much it, have an more questions feel free to e-mail me at Email Removed">Email Removed I myself had a little trouble when I was in the Marine Corps so if I can be of any further assistance just let me know
Anonymous:
Hello and thank you for the information here. I had only one question, does the person writting a charcter referece write it in his/her own writting or type it and sign the bottom. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You
Anonymous:
i am looking for the same answer. The way i see it is writing by hand makes it look more personal, where as typing the reference would look more formal. I suppose its the content of whats written not the quality that they are looking for. I have to write a reference for my fiance, i still cant decide whats better, so if you have found the real answer i would really appreciate knowing myself. sorry i have not been that helpful just trying to put my spin on things as i see them.
Anonymous:
Hello:
My friend has asked me to write a character letter for her to become a foster parent. Although I know her to be a hard co-worker I don't really care for the way she treats children. She is just a little harsh with kids at times but overall a good person. How do I write a letter but keep it simple?
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