Next fill in the year published: The Power of Knowledge across Cultures:
Print Given the cautions provided in the previous sections against inflationary rhetoric and hyperbolic praise in letters, some attention to the role of criticism—or perceived criticism—is critical. One study from the field of psychology—where one must assume that honest assessment is held in high value—is instructive.
In the same study, a sample of psychologists who had recently read reference letters said that negative characteristics were infrequently described. Certainly, the face-to-face factor plays a strong hand in this dynamic. We also know that letter evaluators actually read with a great deal of sophistication and subtlety when trying to sniff out negative comments in contrast, praise is read rather simplistically, one could argue.
As an example, one study found that negative comments in letters could be grouped into five categories: With such possibilities open to broad reader interpretation, we have to assume that even a minor comment can be interpreted and remembered as definitive and potentially damaging, even in an otherwise positive letter.
Red Flags and Omissions Plenty of writers—intentionally or otherwise—wave red flags to their readers as they write letters. One study published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine tied the issue of veracity directly to authorship: One of the loudest ways some writers criticize, or seem to, is through omission.
Studies in the medical field in particular show that there is a finely tuned radar for what is not said in a letter. If one has a sense that the writer kept mum about important information, one assumes that something negative is lurking between the lines.
He found what many have described anecdotally—that British evaluators lend more credibility to a letter that is not inflated, and even includes at least one criticism. This is especially relevant when one knows that a British evaluator will be part of the process, as with the Marshall and Rhodes scholarships.
My hope and belief is that the criticism lent more credibility to my overall evaluation, and that the evaluators put it into the proper context. To criticize artfully and kindly when writing letters, consider these practices: See if the application materials call for criticism. Take this as a sign that careful critique is desirable, and even cite that statement as you give the critique.
Limit your criticism to one paragraph probably late in the letter rather than pepper it throughout, and be direct and affirmative as you offer it rather than ambiguous, avoiding comments that seem to be veiled criticisms.
Discuss your criticisms with the student, note the response you get, and indicate right in the letter that this discussion and response took place.
Openly tie your criticism to your sense of ethics as a letter writer as detailed in the next section. Define yourself as a holistic evaluator.What is PERRLA for APA?
The best paper formatting software available. PERRLA for APA is the easiest APA formatting software to learn and use - AND we support it like crazy ferrets if crazy ferrets were computer-savvy and really cared about your customer experience.
The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on both on the references page and in shortened form (up to four keywords from that title) in parenthetical citations throughout the text.
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The APA Writing Assistance page provides in-depth assistance with the principle writing style used in Business and Psychology, APA (American Psychological Association) style.
There are several style guides, but APA is the simplest to use. A citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. In-text references for online publications may differ from conventional parenthetical referencing.
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