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  • How to Write Recommendations in Research | Examples & Tips

How to Write Recommendations in Research | Examples & Tips

Published on September 15, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.

Recommendations in research are a crucial component of your discussion section and the conclusion of your thesis , dissertation , or research paper .

As you conduct your research and analyze the data you collected , perhaps there are ideas or results that don’t quite fit the scope of your research topic. Or, maybe your results suggest that there are further implications of your results or the causal relationships between previously-studied variables than covered in extant research.

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Table of contents

What should recommendations look like, building your research recommendation, how should your recommendations be written, recommendation in research example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about recommendations.

Recommendations for future research should be:

  • Concrete and specific
  • Supported with a clear rationale
  • Directly connected to your research

Overall, strive to highlight ways other researchers can reproduce or replicate your results to draw further conclusions, and suggest different directions that future research can take, if applicable.

Relatedly, when making these recommendations, avoid:

  • Undermining your own work, but rather offer suggestions on how future studies can build upon it
  • Suggesting recommendations actually needed to complete your argument, but rather ensure that your research stands alone on its own merits
  • Using recommendations as a place for self-criticism, but rather as a natural extension point for your work

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There are many different ways to frame recommendations, but the easiest is perhaps to follow the formula of research question   conclusion  recommendation. Here’s an example.

Conclusion An important condition for controlling many social skills is mastering language. If children have a better command of language, they can express themselves better and are better able to understand their peers. Opportunities to practice social skills are thus dependent on the development of language skills.

As a rule of thumb, try to limit yourself to only the most relevant future recommendations: ones that stem directly from your work. While you can have multiple recommendations for each research conclusion, it is also acceptable to have one recommendation that is connected to more than one conclusion.

These recommendations should be targeted at your audience, specifically toward peers or colleagues in your field that work on similar subjects to your paper or dissertation topic . They can flow directly from any limitations you found while conducting your work, offering concrete and actionable possibilities for how future research can build on anything that your own work was unable to address at the time of your writing.

See below for a full research recommendation example that you can use as a template to write your own.

Recommendation in research example

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While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

  • A restatement of your research question
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or results
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

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The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write a Recommendation Essay

Sample Letter of Recommendation For a Friend

Sample Letter of Recommendation For a Friend

Writing an essay or letter of recommendation is a significant responsibility. Your support can help a student gain access to important opportunities. However, recommending an applicant who does not merit that support takes the opportunity away from others, damages your credibility and potentially gives the student false confidence in her abilities. Consider helping the applicant find a more appropriate reference if you are not confident in her ability or you don't know her well enough to write an honest appraisal.

Meet with the person who needs the letter of recommendation. Determine what he is applying for, graduate school, a job, or a fellowship, and what qualifications are required for the position he seeks. Consider his skills relative to his desired position in determining your level of support.

Structure the letter like an essay. This helps you effectively organize your thoughts. Your "thesis" is why the applicant is a strong candidate, the body consists of several supporting examples and your conclusion clearly states your recommendation. It also communicates the student's strengths in the style and format expected by most readers.

Include information about how long you've known the applicant, and in what context, in the introduction. Identify yourself as a personal reference writing a character reference, if your experience with her does not directly relate to the position she seeks. For example, if you are her boss, you can speak to her trustworthiness and responsibility, but not her ability as a chemist. Consider yourself an academic reference giving a scholarly recommendation if you have had her in several relevant classes or labs.

Write two to three paragraphs explaining the applicant's strengths. Focus on qualities that demonstrate his distinctiveness and match the requirements of the program or job. Back your claims up with specific examples, such as a high level of creativity in the clinic you supervised, for a student applying to a language degree program. Each paragraph should consist of a different example.

Conclude with a clear statement of your recommendation. Most institutions expect it to follow a predictable format. That is: "strongly recommend" when you are very confident in the applicant's ability; "recommend" when you are reasonably confident; "recommend with reservations" means you have some specific concerns; and "do not recommend." Discuss the need to write "recommend with reservations" or "do not recommend" with the applicant prior to writing the letter, if that is your position. "Recommend with reservations" may be reasonable with further explanation, such as frequent illnesses, but you should discuss it prior to submission.

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Meredyth Glass has been writing for educational institutions since 1995. She contributes to eHow in the areas of parenting, child development, language and social skill development and the importance of play. She holds a Master of Science in speech, language pathology from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from California State University, Northridge.

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Research Recommendations – Guiding policy-makers for evidence-based decision making

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Research recommendations play a crucial role in guiding scholars and researchers toward fruitful avenues of exploration. In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and an ever-expanding knowledge base, refining the process of generating research recommendations becomes imperative.

But, what is a research recommendation?

Research recommendations are suggestions or advice provided to researchers to guide their study on a specific topic . They are typically given by experts in the field. Research recommendations are more action-oriented and provide specific guidance for decision-makers, unlike implications that are broader and focus on the broader significance and consequences of the research findings. However, both are crucial components of a research study.

Difference Between Research Recommendations and Implication

Although research recommendations and implications are distinct components of a research study, they are closely related. The differences between them are as follows:

Difference between research recommendation and implication

Types of Research Recommendations

Recommendations in research can take various forms, which are as follows:

Article Recommendations Suggests specific research articles, papers, or publications
Topic Recommendations Guides researchers toward specific research topics or areas
Methodology Recommendations Offers advice on research methodologies, statistical techniques, or experimental designs
Collaboration Recommendations Connects researchers with others who share similar interests or expertise

These recommendations aim to assist researchers in navigating the vast landscape of academic knowledge.

Let us dive deeper to know about its key components and the steps to write an impactful research recommendation.

Key Components of Research Recommendations

The key components of research recommendations include defining the research question or objective, specifying research methods, outlining data collection and analysis processes, presenting results and conclusions, addressing limitations, and suggesting areas for future research. Here are some characteristics of research recommendations:

Characteristics of research recommendation

Research recommendations offer various advantages and play a crucial role in ensuring that research findings contribute to positive outcomes in various fields. However, they also have few limitations which highlights the significance of a well-crafted research recommendation in offering the promised advantages.

Advantages and limitations of a research recommendation

The importance of research recommendations ranges in various fields, influencing policy-making, program development, product development, marketing strategies, medical practice, and scientific research. Their purpose is to transfer knowledge from researchers to practitioners, policymakers, or stakeholders, facilitating informed decision-making and improving outcomes in different domains.

How to Write Research Recommendations?

Research recommendations can be generated through various means, including algorithmic approaches, expert opinions, or collaborative filtering techniques. Here is a step-wise guide to build your understanding on the development of research recommendations.

1. Understand the Research Question:

Understand the research question and objectives before writing recommendations. Also, ensure that your recommendations are relevant and directly address the goals of the study.

2. Review Existing Literature:

Familiarize yourself with relevant existing literature to help you identify gaps , and offer informed recommendations that contribute to the existing body of research.

3. Consider Research Methods:

Evaluate the appropriateness of different research methods in addressing the research question. Also, consider the nature of the data, the study design, and the specific objectives.

4. Identify Data Collection Techniques:

Gather dataset from diverse authentic sources. Include information such as keywords, abstracts, authors, publication dates, and citation metrics to provide a rich foundation for analysis.

5. Propose Data Analysis Methods:

Suggest appropriate data analysis methods based on the type of data collected. Consider whether statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, or a mixed-methods approach is most suitable.

6. Consider Limitations and Ethical Considerations:

Acknowledge any limitations and potential ethical considerations of the study. Furthermore, address these limitations or mitigate ethical concerns to ensure responsible research.

7. Justify Recommendations:

Explain how your recommendation contributes to addressing the research question or objective. Provide a strong rationale to help researchers understand the importance of following your suggestions.

8. Summarize Recommendations:

Provide a concise summary at the end of the report to emphasize how following these recommendations will contribute to the overall success of the research project.

By following these steps, you can create research recommendations that are actionable and contribute meaningfully to the success of the research project.

Download now to unlock some tips to improve your journey of writing research recommendations.

Example of a Research Recommendation

Here is an example of a research recommendation based on a hypothetical research to improve your understanding.

Research Recommendation: Enhancing Student Learning through Integrated Learning Platforms

Background:

The research study investigated the impact of an integrated learning platform on student learning outcomes in high school mathematics classes. The findings revealed a statistically significant improvement in student performance and engagement when compared to traditional teaching methods.

Recommendation:

In light of the research findings, it is recommended that educational institutions consider adopting and integrating the identified learning platform into their mathematics curriculum. The following specific recommendations are provided:

  • Implementation of the Integrated Learning Platform:

Schools are encouraged to adopt the integrated learning platform in mathematics classrooms, ensuring proper training for teachers on its effective utilization.

  • Professional Development for Educators:

Develop and implement professional programs to train educators in the effective use of the integrated learning platform to address any challenges teachers may face during the transition.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation:

Establish a monitoring and evaluation system to track the impact of the integrated learning platform on student performance over time.

  • Resource Allocation:

Allocate sufficient resources, both financial and technical, to support the widespread implementation of the integrated learning platform.

By implementing these recommendations, educational institutions can harness the potential of the integrated learning platform and enhance student learning experiences and academic achievements in mathematics.

This example covers the components of a research recommendation, providing specific actions based on the research findings, identifying the target audience, and outlining practical steps for implementation.

Using AI in Research Recommendation Writing

Enhancing research recommendations is an ongoing endeavor that requires the integration of cutting-edge technologies, collaborative efforts, and ethical considerations. By embracing data-driven approaches and leveraging advanced technologies, the research community can create more effective and personalized recommendation systems. However, it is accompanied by several limitations. Therefore, it is essential to approach the use of AI in research with a critical mindset, and complement its capabilities with human expertise and judgment.

Here are some limitations of integrating AI in writing research recommendation and some ways on how to counter them.

1. Data Bias

AI systems rely heavily on data for training. If the training data is biased or incomplete, the AI model may produce biased results or recommendations.

How to tackle: Audit regularly the model’s performance to identify any discrepancies and adjust the training data and algorithms accordingly.

2. Lack of Understanding of Context:

AI models may struggle to understand the nuanced context of a particular research problem. They may misinterpret information, leading to inaccurate recommendations.

How to tackle: Use AI to characterize research articles and topics. Employ them to extract features like keywords, authorship patterns and content-based details.

3. Ethical Considerations:

AI models might stereotype certain concepts or generate recommendations that could have negative consequences for certain individuals or groups.

How to tackle: Incorporate user feedback mechanisms to reduce redundancies. Establish an ethics review process for AI models in research recommendation writing.

4. Lack of Creativity and Intuition:

AI may struggle with tasks that require a deep understanding of the underlying principles or the ability to think outside the box.

How to tackle: Hybrid approaches can be employed by integrating AI in data analysis and identifying patterns for accelerating the data interpretation process.

5. Interpretability:

Many AI models, especially complex deep learning models, lack transparency on how the model arrived at a particular recommendation.

How to tackle: Implement models like decision trees or linear models. Provide clear explanation of the model architecture, training process, and decision-making criteria.

6. Dynamic Nature of Research:

Research fields are dynamic, and new information is constantly emerging. AI models may struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape and may not be able to adapt to new developments.

How to tackle: Establish a feedback loop for continuous improvement. Regularly update the recommendation system based on user feedback and emerging research trends.

The integration of AI in research recommendation writing holds great promise for advancing knowledge and streamlining the research process. However, navigating these concerns is pivotal in ensuring the responsible deployment of these technologies. Researchers need to understand the use of responsible use of AI in research and must be aware of the ethical considerations.

Exploring research recommendations plays a critical role in shaping the trajectory of scientific inquiry. It serves as a compass, guiding researchers toward more robust methodologies, collaborative endeavors, and innovative approaches. Embracing these suggestions not only enhances the quality of individual studies but also contributes to the collective advancement of human understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of recommendations in research is to provide practical and actionable suggestions based on the study's findings, guiding future actions, policies, or interventions in a specific field or context. Recommendations bridges the gap between research outcomes and their real-world application.

To make a research recommendation, analyze your findings, identify key insights, and propose specific, evidence-based actions. Include the relevance of the recommendations to the study's objectives and provide practical steps for implementation.

Begin a recommendation by succinctly summarizing the key findings of the research. Clearly state the purpose of the recommendation and its intended impact. Use a direct and actionable language to convey the suggested course of action.

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Tips for Writing a Genuine and Powerful College Recommendation Letter

Your words can make a big difference.

Tips for Writing a College Recommendation Letter

College admissions season is upon us. With the ever-increasing competition among college applicants, writing an effective and sincere college recommendation letter is one way high school teachers can help students stand out among the competition. Every year, I write recommendations for a dozen or so students, often to the most prestigious universities in the nation. Here are a few things I have learned along the way:

Make sure you know the student well enough to recommend them

It’s OK to ask a student to provide you with a list of accomplishments and extracurricular activities. In fact, many teachers require students to provide a quick resume before they draft the letter! You can use these details to complement more personal narratives. However, if you find that you don’t really have personal details to add, you may want to consider whether you are the right person to write that student’s recommendation.

If I feel that I don’t know a student well enough or don’t feel comfortable recommending them for some other reason, I just politely decline the request. I usually tell these students to ask a teacher who knows them better.

Open with a formal salutation

College recommendation letter opening

Your letter is a business letter and requires a business letter format. If possible, address the letter to the specific college or scholarship board it is for, but To Whom It May Concern and Dear Admissions Representative are both acceptable salutations if your letter is going to be used for multiple applications. Use a colon instead of a comma. When mailing a letter, make sure to print it on your school letterhead.

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Paragraph 1: Introduce the student

College recommendation letter sample paragraph one

Try opening your letter with something the person tasked with screening hundreds (possibly thousands) of recommendation letters will remember. I like to start with an amusing or poignant story that illustrates who the student is and how others perceive them.

Make sure to use the student’s full name for the first reference and then just the first name after that. My favorite strategy is to end the paragraph with a single sentence that highlights the student’s strongest characteristics, in my opinion. You’ll also want to let the college know the context of your relationship: how you know the student and how long you’ve known them.

Paragraphs 2 and 3: Write more about character, less about achievements

College recommendation letter sample paragraph two and three

In the body of the letter, focus on who the student is rather than what the student has done . Between test scores, transcripts, and the dozens of questions on the application, admissions representatives have plenty of information about the applicant’s academic and extracurricular experiences.

What college reps want to know is how the student will fit into their environment. Give specific examples of how the student achieved—did they overcome obstacles or tackle any challenges to reach their goals? I usually write two short paragraphs for the body. Sometimes the first relates character to academics, and the next relates character to extracurricular activities. Other times, I use the student’s characteristics as the main focal points. Colleges are looking for how the student goes above and beyond the normal school experience.

Paragraph 4: Conclude with a direct recommendation

College recommendation letter sample paragraph four

Conclude with a sincere statement of recommendation for the student to the college of their choice. When sending the recommendation to a single college, use the college’s name or mascot in your recommendation. If you have knowledge of the specific college, state why you think you believe the student is a good match.

For a recommendation that will be used for multiple applications, such as the Common App, leave out specific references.

Tip: I return to using the student’s full name in my final reference to them in the letter.

Wrap it up with an appropriate closing

College recommendation letter sample closing

My last statement encourages the college to contact me with any further questions. I close with B est regards , currently my favorite valediction; it is professional and simple. I also include my title and school after my typed name.

Keep your college recommendation letter under one page long—and proofread it!

The sweet spot for admissions letter length is between two-thirds and one full, single-spaced page, using Times New Roman 12-point font for printed letters or Arial 11-point font for electronically submitted letters. If your letter is too short, you risk appearing less than impressed with the applicant; if it is too long, you risk seeming insincere or boring.

Finally, remember that you are writing a recommendation to an academic institution. Your reputation and credibility as an educator rest with your letter. While proofreading, check for active voice, proper grammar, and a formal yet warm tone. ( Consider using Grammarly! ) If you are unsure of the content or conventions you’ve used in your letter, ask another teacher who knows the student to read your letter and provide additional insight.

Good luck to you and your students this college admissions season! May the pride you have for your students resonate in your recommendation letters for them, and may they get into their reach college.

Want to see some great college recommendation letter examples? Check out these letters written by real teachers .

Plus, check out our free college admissions timeline poster..

Help your students get into the college of their dreams with these tips for writing a good college recommendation letter!

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How to Write an Academic Essay with References and Citations

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Written by  Scribendi

If you're wondering how to write an academic essay with references, look no further. In this article, we'll discuss how to use in-text citations and references, including how to cite a website, how to cite a book, and how to cite a Tweet, according to various style guides.

How to Cite a Website

You might need to cite sources when writing a paper that references other sources. For example, when writing an essay, you may use information from other works, such as books, articles, or websites. You must then inform readers where this information came from. Failure to do so, even accidentally, is plagiarism—passing off another person's work as your own.

You can avoid plagiarism and show readers where to find information by using citations and references. 

Citations tell readers where a piece of information came from. They take the form of footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical elements, depending on your style guide. In-text citations are usually placed at the end of a sentence containing the relevant information. 

A reference list , bibliography, or works cited list at the end of a text provides additional details about these cited sources. This list includes enough publication information allowing readers to look up these sources themselves.

Referencing is important for more than simply avoiding plagiarism. Referring to a trustworthy source shows that the information is reliable. Referring to reliable information can also support your major points and back up your argument. 

Learning how to write an academic essay with references and how to use in-text citations will allow you to cite authors who have made similar arguments. This helps show that your argument is objective and not entirely based on personal biases.

How Do You Determine Which Style Guide to Use?

How to Write an Academic Essay with References

Often, a professor will assign a style guide. The purpose of a style guide is to provide writers with formatting instructions. If your professor has not assigned a style guide, they should still be able to recommend one. 

If you are entirely free to choose, pick one that aligns with your field (for example, APA is frequently used for scientific writing). 

Some of the most common style guides are as follows:

AP style for journalism

Chicago style for publishing

APA style for scholarly writing (commonly used in scientific fields)

MLA style for scholarly citations (commonly used in English literature fields)

Some journals have their own style guides, so if you plan to publish, check which guide your target journal uses. You can do this by locating your target journal's website and searching for author guidelines.

How Do You Pick Your Sources?

When learning how to write an academic essay with references, you must identify reliable sources that support your argument. 

As you read, think critically and evaluate sources for:

Objectivity

Keep detailed notes on the sources so that you can easily find them again, if needed.

Tip: Record these notes in the format of your style guide—your reference list will then be ready to go.

How to Use In-Text Citations in MLA

An in-text citation in MLA includes the author's last name and the relevant page number: 

(Author 123)

How to Cite a Website in MLA

How to Cite a Website in MLA

Here's how to cite a website in MLA:

Author's last name, First name. "Title of page."

Website. Website Publisher, date. Web. Date

retrieved. <URL>

With information from a real website, this looks like:

Morris, Nancy. "How to Cite a Tweet in APA,

Chicago, and MLA." Scribendi. Scribendi

Inc., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2021.

<https://www.scribendi.com/academy/articles/how_to_cite_a_website.en.html>

How Do You Cite a Tweet in MLA ?

MLA uses the full text of a short Tweet (under 140 characters) as its title. Longer Tweets can be shortened using ellipses. 

MLA Tweet references should be formatted as follows:

@twitterhandle (Author Name). "Text of Tweet." Twitter, Date Month, Year, time of

publication, URL.

With information from an actual Tweet, this looks like:

@neiltyson (Neil deGrasse Tyson). "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an

argument that they didn't use reason to get into." Twitter, 29 Sept. 2020, 10:15 p.m.,

https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/1311127369785192449 .

How to Cite a Book in MLA

Here's how to cite a book in MLA:

Author's last name, First name. Book Title. Publisher, Year.

With publication information from a real book, this looks like:

Montgomery, L.M. Rainbow Valley. Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1919.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Book in MLA

Author's last name, First name. "Title of Chapter." Book Title , edited by Editor Name,

Publisher, Year, pp. page range.

With publication information from an actual book, this looks like:

Ezell, Margaret J.M. "The Social Author: Manuscript Culture, Writers, and Readers." The

Broadview Reader in Book History , edited by Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, Broadview

Press, 2015,pp. 375–394.

How to  Cite a Paraphrase in MLA

You can cite a paraphrase in MLA exactly the same way as you would cite a direct quotation. 

Make sure to include the author's name (either in the text or in the parenthetical citation) and the relevant page number.

How to Use In-Text Citations in APA

In APA, in-text citations include the author's last name and the year of publication; a page number is included only if a direct quotation is used: 

(Author, 2021, p. 123)

How to Cite a Website in APA

Here's how to cite a website in APA:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year, Month. date of publication). Title of page. https://URL

Morris, N. (n.d.). How to cite a Tweet in APA, Chicago, and MLA. 

https://www.scribendi.com/academy/articles/how_to_cite_a_website.en.html       

Tip: Learn more about how to write an academic essay with  references to websites .

How Do You  Cite a Tweet in APA ?

APA refers to Tweets using their first 20 words. 

Tweet references should be formatted as follows:

Author, A. A. [@twitterhandle). (Year, Month. date of publication). First 20 words of the

Tweet. [Tweet] Twitter. URL

When we input information from a real Tweet, this looks like:

deGrasse Tyson, N. [@neiltyson]. (2020, Sept. 29). You can't use reason to convince anyone

out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into. [Tweet] Twitter.

https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/1311127369785192449

How to Cite a Book in APA

How to Cite a Book in APA

Here's how to cite a book in APA:   

Author, A. A. (Year). Book title. Publisher.

For a real book, this looks like:

Montgomery, L. M. (1919). Rainbow valley.

Frederick A. Stokes Company.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Book in APA

Author, A. A. (Year). Chapter title. In Editor Name (Ed.), Book Title (pp. page range).

With information from a real book, this looks like:

Ezell, M. J. M. (2014). The social author: Manuscript culture, writers, and readers. In

Michelle Levy and Tom Mole (Eds.), The Broadview Reader in Book History (pp. 375–

394). Broadview Press.

Knowing how to cite a book and how to cite a chapter in a book correctly will take you a long way in creating an effective reference list.

How to Cite a Paraphrase

How to Cite a Paraphrase in APA

You can cite a paraphrase in APA the same way as you would cite a direct quotation, including the author's name and year of publication. 

In APA, you may also choose to pinpoint the page from which the information is taken.

Referencing is an essential part of academic integrity. Learning how to write an academic essay with references and how to use in-text citations shows readers that you did your research and helps them locate your sources.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 9 sample excellent recommendation letters for your job.

Letters of Recommendation

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Anyone who's applied for a job knows how important recommendation letters can be to getting hired. While you've probably asked for a reference letter in the past, you may be less familiar with writing one. If someone asks you for a reference, how can you produce a great letter that will help your employee, colleague, or friend get hired?

To help you through the writing process, we're providing nine samples of effective letters of recommendation (scroll down to skip to the samples!). By reading through these examples, you'll gain a clear understanding of how to structure your own letters.

Before getting to the free recommendation letter samples, let's briefly review the role that reference letters play in the hiring process. Why are they important, and what makes some stand out over others?

Why Are Recommendation Letters Important?

Many employers request recommendation letters to help them decide who to hire or internally promote. Throughout the hiring process, the applicant strives to present herself in the best light. Beyond the interview and resume, hiring managers look to recommendation letters to confirm the candidate's qualifications and to gain insight from an outside party.

The hiring manager wants to know what experiences the candidate will bring to the new role, how she'll contribute to the company or organization, and how she'll behave in the day-to-day. Recommendation letters can point to a candidate's future performance by talking about her past achievements.

Reference letters can also shed light on what it's like to manage, work with, or, in the case of a character reference, be friends with the person under consideration. They complement the candidate's story and suggest what she'll bring to the table in her next job.

If you get asked to write a letter for someone, it's safe to assume you want to do a good job. Helping someone get hired is not just a satisfying good deed, but it's also good professional karma! So how can you turn those good intentions into a stand-out employee letter of recommendation?

Each letter will, of course, be different, but good letters share certain key features. Read on to learn about three important characteristics of strong reference letters.

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Your recommendation letter's not the time to be cagey about your identity! The hiring manager wants to know who you are and why you're qualified to recommend the applicant.

What Makes a Recommendation Letter Stand Out? 3 Key Features

Strong letters give positive descriptions of a candidate's skills in a concise and powerful way. Beyond using language that's clear and error-free, what elements should your recommendation letter include to be effective?

As you write your letter, make sure it does the following:

#1: Explains Why You're Qualified to Recommend the Candidate

In order to hold weight, a recommendation letter should come from a reputable source. If an employer wants a professional reference, then the writer of that letter probably worked with the candidate in a supervisory capacity. Some employers will also be interested in letters from a colleague or, occasionally, a friend, neighbor, or family member. Most letters, though, will be written by a supervisor, manager, or boss of some sort.

In the first paragraph, you should explain who you are and how you know the candidate. How long did you work with her and in what capacity? By explaining your relationship, you show that you're qualified to give an honest assessment.

If someone who feels like a relative stranger asks you to write a letter, you might consider declining or recommending someone else to write it. If you didn't get to know the candidate's work performance or only did so in a way completely unrelated to the new position, then you might not be able to provide a helpful letter of recommendation from employer to employee.

The best letters are written by people who can speak to the candidate's skills and accomplishments. Make sure to state clearly in the beginning of your letter who you are and why your opinion matters.

#2: Customized to the New Position

While you should speak to the candidate's accomplishments in her past role, you should also show why she'd make a good fit in the next one. Even if the candidate's making a career change, you can explain why she'll be able to do well in the new industry.

Here's where open communication with the applicant is important. She should share the job description so you have a clear understanding of the position's requirements. As the writer, you're not expected to do much research on the new job. The candidate should provide you with everything you need to know to customize your letter.

By drawing on this information, you can express confidence that the candidate will succeed in the new role. Then when the hiring manager reads your letter, she'll feel reassured that the candidate would make a good fit.

#3: Uses Specific Examples and Anecdotes

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your letter should provide specific examples about the candidate. Don't just list adjectives like, "friendly, intelligent, and hard-working"; instead, present circumstances in which the candidate demonstrated those qualities. To borrow a favorite phrase of English teachers, "show, don't just tell."

Not only will examples point to the value the candidate brought to your organization or company, but they'll also paint a picture of how she works in day-to-day operations. Using two to three specific anecdotes in your letter will boost its level of persuasiveness. It will also sidestep a common rec letter trap: becoming a generic list of cliches.

Just as you should only write a recommendation letter if you feel qualified to assess the candidate, you should also only write it if you can provide a great one. While you don't want to go over the top and sound insincere, your letter should be a strongly positive endorsement.

Sample Recommendation Letters

As you read through the nine free job recommendation letters below, notice how they all share the three key features described above, even though they differ in terms of their source and target audience. Below are nine sample recommendation letters, each followed by an analysis of what it does well!

  • Sample Recommendation Letter 1: Written by a Direct Manager for a Full-Time Employee
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 2: Written by a Principal for a Teacher
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 3: Written by a Direct Manager for a Part-Time Employee
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 4: Written by a Manager for a Remote Worker
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 5: Written by a Supervisor for an Internal Promotion
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 6: Written by a Supervisor for a Student Intern
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 7: Written by a Coworker
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 8: Written by a Professor for a Former Student
  • Sample Recommendation Letter 9: Written by a Friend as a Character Reference

After checking out the above samples of recommendation letters, read on for some final thoughts on how to write an excellent letter of recommendation for an employee, coworker, or friend.

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Now that you've got all the building blocks, you can put them together into a powerful letter of recommendation!

Writing Strong Letters of Recommendation: Final Thoughts

While the above samples of recommendation letters will help guide you through the letter writing process, they can't look exactly like your final product. Writing a letter is a significant undertaking, as it requires you to customize your words to the candidate and make your letter unique. Even though the specifics will vary, strong letters of recommendation do have certain features in common. Each letter should...

Use an Official Format

The sample letters show the proper format for a recommendation letter. They have the employer's name, position, company, and company's address at the top. To give one example, here's the header for recommendation letter sample #1:

Ms. Greta Johanssen Sales Manager Streambase Corp. 66 Western Boulevard Santa Fe, New Mexico 87500

You should also use official letterhead that has your name and contact information across the top, in whatever way you've chosen to present it. Each letter is addressed to a specific person, a greeting that's more personal than, "Dear Hiring Manager." Typically, paragraphs are single-spaced with a double space in between each one.

Finally, every letter concludes with an invitation to contact the writer for any further information. Then the writer may include her position, company, phone number, and email below her name.

Start with a Strong Opener

The strongest letters start out with an immediate statement of support. They might say, "It's my honor," "It's my pleasure," or "I'm very pleased to provide this letter of recommendation for Joe." Stating the obvious with a sentence like, "I'm writing to recommend Joe," looks weak beside a more enthusiastic opener.

In the first paragraph, explain who you are and why you're qualified to recommend the candidate. Write a line or two of praise about her professional and personal strengths, perhaps with a summary of the main points you'll present in the rest of the letter.

Include Two to Three Specific Examples

As mentioned above, strong letters typically include two to three body paragraphs with specific anecdotes about the candidate. They don't just describe the applicant's great qualities and accomplishments; they give examples and prove to her prospective employer that she's made achievements in the past that predict future success.

You might talk about a project or responsibility of the applicant or the value she's brought to your company. Consider relevant qualities like flexibility, initiative, leadership, growth, collaboration, interpersonal skills, and/or ability to perform within a certain environment or culture.

To Sum Up...

Depending on your relationship with the candidate, you might focus more on her work performance or personal character in your recommendation letter. An employer will focus more heavily on professional skills while a coworker may add personal qualities.

A friend or neighbor providing a character reference would produce the most personal letter. It falls upon the candidate to choose her recommenders wisely and to share any relevant information about the prospective position to help them write the best letter they can.

As long as you incorporate the key features discussed above and take the time to make your letter positive and specific, you'll provide a strong recommendation letter that will help your employee, colleague, or friend get hired. And who knows—perhaps in a year or two, she'll be writing a recommendation letter for you!

What's Next?

Are you tasked with writing a recommendation letter for a student applying to college? If so, check out these samples of recommendation letters from teachers and counselors, along with additional writing tips and a thorough recommendation letter template!

  • 4 Amazing Samples of Recommendation Letters from Teachers Should You Move to a State with No Income Taxes
  • 3 Examples of Excellent Recommendation Letters from Counselors
  • Complete Guide: Writing a Strong Letter of Recommendation
  • Unsecured Credit Cards for Those with Bad Credit
  • A Great College Recommendation Letter Template

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.

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How to write recommendations in a research paper

Many students put in a lot of effort and write a good report however they are not able to give proper recommendations. Recommendations in the research paper should be included in your research. As a researcher, you display a deep understanding of the topic of research. Therefore you should be able to give recommendations. Here are a few tips that will help you to give appropriate recommendations. 

Recommendations in the research paper should be the objective of the research. Therefore at least one of your objectives of the paper is to provide recommendations to the parties associated or the parties that will benefit from your research. For example, to encourage higher employee engagement HR department should make strategies that invest in the well-being of employees. Additionally, the HR department should also collect regular feedback through online surveys.

Recommendations in the research paper should come from your review and analysis For example It was observed that coaches interviewed were associated with the club were working with the club from the past 2-3 years only. This shows that the attrition rate of coaches is high and therefore clubs should work on reducing the turnover of coaches.

Recommendations in the research paper should also come from the data you have analysed. For example, the research found that people over 65 years of age are at greater risk of social isolation. Therefore, it is recommended that policies that are made for combating social isolation should target this specific group.

Recommendations in the research paper should also come from observation. For example, it is observed that Lenovo’s income is stable and gross revenue has displayed a negative turn. Therefore the company should analyse its marketing and branding strategy.

Recommendations in the research paper should be written in the order of priority. The most important recommendations for decision-makers should come first. However, if the recommendations are of equal importance then it should come in the sequence in which the topic is approached in the research. 

Recommendations in a research paper if associated with different categories then you should categorize them. For example, you have separate recommendations for policymakers, educators, and administrators then you can categorize the recommendations. 

Recommendations in the research paper should come purely from your research. For example, you have written research on the impact on HR strategies on motivation. However, nowhere you have discussed Reward and recognition. Then you should not give recommendations for using rewards and recognition measures to boost employee motivation.

The use of bullet points offers better clarity rather than using long paragraphs. For example this paragraph “ It is recommended  that Britannia Biscuit should launch and promote sugar-free options apart from the existing product range. Promotion efforts should be directed at creating a fresh and healthy image. A campaign that conveys a sense of health and vitality to the consumer while enjoying biscuit  is recommended” can be written as:

  • The company should launch and promote sugar-free options
  • The company should work towards creating s fresh and healthy image
  • The company should run a campaign to convey its healthy image

The inclusion of an action plan along with recommendation adds more weightage to your recommendation. Recommendations should be clear and conscience and written using actionable words. Recommendations should display a solution-oriented approach and in some cases should highlight the scope for further research. 

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  • How to Write Recommendations in Research | Examples & Tips

How to Write Recommendations in Research | Examples & Tips

Published on 15 September 2022 by Tegan George .

Recommendations in research are a crucial component of your discussion section and the conclusion of your thesis , dissertation , or research paper .

As you conduct your research and analyse the data you collected , perhaps there are ideas or results that don’t quite fit the scope of your research topic . Or, maybe your results suggest that there are further implications of your results or the causal relationships between previously-studied variables than covered in extant research.

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Table of contents

What should recommendations look like, building your research recommendation, how should your recommendations be written, recommendation in research example, frequently asked questions about recommendations.

Recommendations for future research should be:

  • Concrete and specific
  • Supported with a clear rationale
  • Directly connected to your research

Overall, strive to highlight ways other researchers can reproduce or replicate your results to draw further conclusions, and suggest different directions that future research can take, if applicable.

Relatedly, when making these recommendations, avoid:

  • Undermining your own work, but rather offer suggestions on how future studies can build upon it
  • Suggesting recommendations actually needed to complete your argument, but rather ensure that your research stands alone on its own merits
  • Using recommendations as a place for self-criticism, but rather as a natural extension point for your work

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There are many different ways to frame recommendations, but the easiest is perhaps to follow the formula of research question   conclusion  recommendation. Here’s an example.

Conclusion An important condition for controlling many social skills is mastering language. If children have a better command of language, they can express themselves better and are better able to understand their peers. Opportunities to practice social skills are thus dependent on the development of language skills.

As a rule of thumb, try to limit yourself to only the most relevant future recommendations: ones that stem directly from your work. While you can have multiple recommendations for each research conclusion, it is also acceptable to have one recommendation that is connected to more than one conclusion.

These recommendations should be targeted at your audience, specifically toward peers or colleagues in your field that work on similar topics to yours. They can flow directly from any limitations you found while conducting your work, offering concrete and actionable possibilities for how future research can build on anything that your own work was unable to address at the time of your writing.

See below for a full research recommendation example that you can use as a template to write your own.

The current study can be interpreted as a first step in the research on COPD speech characteristics. However, the results of this study should be treated with caution due to the small sample size and the lack of details regarding the participants’ characteristics.

Future research could further examine the differences in speech characteristics between exacerbated COPD patients, stable COPD patients, and healthy controls. It could also contribute to a deeper understanding of the acoustic measurements suitable for e-health measurements.

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While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

  • A restatement of your research question
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or results
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

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George, T. (2022, September 15). How to Write Recommendations in Research | Examples & Tips. Scribbr. Retrieved 1 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/research-recommendations/

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How to Write Citation? | A Practical Guide for Citation and References

how to start recommendation essay

How to Write References Quickly and Accurately? | A Practical Guide

how to start recommendation essay

Writing research recommendations involves suggesting future research directions or actions that can be taken based on the findings of a research study. The most crucial element of the analysis process, recommendations, is where you provide specific suggestions for interventions or solutions to the problems and limitations found throughout the assessment.

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The following guideline will help you explore how to write recommendations : 

What are the Recommendations?

Research recommendations are suggestions for future research based on the findings of a research study. The researcher may make these recommendations, or they may be requested by the publisher, funding agency, or other stakeholders who have an interest in the research. The purpose of research recommendations is to identify areas where further investigation is needed and to provide direction for future research in the field.

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The recommendation section, whether it is included in the discussion section or conclusion, should involve the following:

  • The research questions that the recommendation addresses.
  • A concise summary of the findings from the research.
  • The implications of the findings for practice.
  • The strengths and limitations of the research.
  • How do the findings relate to other research in the field?
  • Recommendations for further research.

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What kind of recommendations are appropriate.

The appropriateness of recommendations depends on the research study and the research field. Generally, research recommendations should be based on the findings of the study and should address research gaps or limitations. Here are some types of recommendations that may be appropriate:

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1- Further Investigations

Suggest further investigations into specific research questions or hypotheses. This can include exploring new variables, testing different methods, or using different samples.

2- Development of New Research Methods or Techniques

Propose new research methods or techniques that can be used to address research questions or improve the quality of research.

3- Replication of the Study

Recommend replication of the study with larger or more diverse samples to increase the generalizability of the findings.

4- Extension of the Study

Suggest extending the study to different populations or contexts to explore the generalizability of the findings.

5- Collaboration with Other Researchers

Recommend collaboration with other researchers or research teams to leverage expertise and resources.

6- Integration of the Study Findings into Policy or Practice

Suggest ways in which the study findings can be used to inform policy or practice in the relevant field.

7- Addressing Limitations or Gaps in the Current Research Literature

Propose ways the study findings can address limitations or gaps in the current research literature.

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Structuring of Recommendations

When learning how to write recommendations, start with structuring the recommendations section.

1- Summarize your Research Findings

Before making any recommendations, briefly summarise your study's key findings. This will provide context for your recommendations and ensure that they are relevant to the research topic.

2- Identify Research Gaps

Based on your research findings, identify gaps in the literature or areas requiring further investigation. Consider the limitations of your study and the potential implications of your findings.

3- Prioritize Recommendations

Determine the most important recommendations based on their potential impact and feasibility. You may want to organize your recommendations into short-term and long-term goals.

4- Provide Clear and Specific Recommendations

Your recommendations should be concise and specific. Avoid vague or general statements and provide actionable steps that can be taken to address the research gaps you have identified.

5- Justify Your Recommendations

Provide a rationale for each of your recommendations, explaining why they are necessary and how they will contribute to the overall research field.

6- Consider Potential Challenges

Be sure to consider potential challenges or limitations that may arise in implementing your recommendations. Provide suggestions for overcoming these challenges where possible.

7- Conclude with a Summary

End your recommendations with a brief summary of your main points. This will help reinforce the importance of your recommendations and ensure they are clearly understood.

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Remember to tailor your recommendations to your specific research study and field of study. Keep in mind that your recommendations should be based on evidence and have practical applications for researchers, practitioners, or policymakers.

Building Concrete Research Recommendations

  • The research process should be systematic and logical.
  • Conduct the research in an objective and unbiased manner.
  • The research findings should be reproducible.
  • The research recommendations should be made with a concrete plan in mind.
  • The research recommendations should be based on a solid foundation of evidence.
  • The research recommendations should be clear and concise.
  • The research recommendations should be achievable and realistic.
  • The research recommendations should be made to further the research project's goals.
  • They should be made to improve the quality of the research project.
  • The research recommendations should make the research project more efficient.
  • The recommendations should make the research project more effective.
  • The research recommendations must aid in making the research project more successful.

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What is the Smart Strategy for Writing Research Recommendations?

In academic writing, there are generally three types of Recommendations:

  • Obligations

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Recommendations can be further characterized as "SMART" or "non-SMART." A SMART Recommendation is one that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. The following sections will provide more information on each of these characteristics.

  • A Recommendation is " Specific " if it clearly spells out what actions need to take place, who needs to take those actions, and when they need to occur.
  • A Recommendation is " Measurable " if specified indicators can be used to gauge whether it has successfully achieved its objectives.
  • A Recommendation is " Actionable " if the necessary steps required to implement the recommendation are spelt out and achievable.
  • A Recommendation is " Realistic " if it is achievable given the available resources (e.g., time, money, human resources).
  • Finally, a Recommendation is " Time - bound " if there is a specified timeframe within which the recommendation should be achieved.

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What are the Dos and Don'ts of Research Recommendations? 

1- be specific.

Provide clear and specific recommendations that are relevant to the research study and the field of study. Use precise language and avoid vague or general statements.

2- Support Your Recommendations with Evidence

Base your recommendations on the research study's findings and other relevant literature. Provide evidence to support your recommendations and explain why they are necessary.

Identify and prioritise the most important recommendations based on their potential impact and feasibility.

4- Consider Practical Applications

Ensure that your recommendations have practical applications for researchers, practitioners, or policymakers. Think about how your recommendations can be implemented in practice and how they can contribute to the field.

5- Be Concise

Keep your recommendations concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or explanations.

6- Provide a Rationale

Explain the rationale for each of your recommendations and how they will contribute to the overall research field.

1- Make Unsupported Claims

Avoid making claims that are not supported by evidence. Make sure that your recommendations are based on the research study's findings and other relevant literature.

2- Overgeneralize

Avoid overgeneralizing your recommendations. Make sure that your recommendations are specific to the research study and field.

3- Ignore Potential Challenges

Consider potential challenges or limitations that may arise in implementing your recommendations. Provide suggestions for overcoming these challenges where possible.

4- Disregard Practical Considerations

Ensure that your recommendations are practical and feasible. Consider the resources and constraints of the research field and how your recommendations can be implemented in practice.

5- Be Too Prescriptive

Avoid being too prescriptive in your recommendations. Provide guidance and direction, but allow room for interpretation and adaptation.

By following these dos and don'ts, you can ensure that your research recommendations are well-supported, relevant, and practical and will make a meaningful contribution to the research field.

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It is frequently the case that further research is needed to facilitate the advancement of a study. In your research plans, you can analyze potential study methodologies and the points regarding a subject that might be covered in such research.

The recommendations you include in your paper could be crucial to your research. Make sure your essay has clear recommendations that are simple to implement, can be used effectively, and are not unduly complex or challenging in any other manner. If you need further help writing recommendations, contact us via email or web chat.

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Research Recommendations – Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Research Recommendations

Research Recommendations

Definition:

Research recommendations refer to suggestions or advice given to someone who is looking to conduct research on a specific topic or area. These recommendations may include suggestions for research methods, data collection techniques, sources of information, and other factors that can help to ensure that the research is conducted in a rigorous and effective manner. Research recommendations may be provided by experts in the field, such as professors, researchers, or consultants, and are intended to help guide the researcher towards the most appropriate and effective approach to their research project.

Parts of Research Recommendations

Research recommendations can vary depending on the specific project or area of research, but typically they will include some or all of the following parts:

  • Research question or objective : This is the overarching goal or purpose of the research project.
  • Research methods : This includes the specific techniques and strategies that will be used to collect and analyze data. The methods will depend on the research question and the type of data being collected.
  • Data collection: This refers to the process of gathering information or data that will be used to answer the research question. This can involve a range of different methods, including surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments.
  • Data analysis : This involves the process of examining and interpreting the data that has been collected. This can involve statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, or a combination of both.
  • Results and conclusions: This section summarizes the findings of the research and presents any conclusions or recommendations based on those findings.
  • Limitations and future research: This section discusses any limitations of the study and suggests areas for future research that could build on the findings of the current project.

How to Write Research Recommendations

Writing research recommendations involves providing specific suggestions or advice to a researcher on how to conduct their study. Here are some steps to consider when writing research recommendations:

  • Understand the research question: Before writing research recommendations, it is important to have a clear understanding of the research question and the objectives of the study. This will help to ensure that the recommendations are relevant and appropriate.
  • Consider the research methods: Consider the most appropriate research methods that could be used to collect and analyze data that will address the research question. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods and how they might apply to the specific research question.
  • Provide specific recommendations: Provide specific and actionable recommendations that the researcher can implement in their study. This can include recommendations related to sample size, data collection techniques, research instruments, data analysis methods, or other relevant factors.
  • Justify recommendations : Justify why each recommendation is being made and how it will help to address the research question or objective. It is important to provide a clear rationale for each recommendation to help the researcher understand why it is important.
  • Consider limitations and ethical considerations : Consider any limitations or potential ethical considerations that may arise in conducting the research. Provide recommendations for addressing these issues or mitigating their impact.
  • Summarize recommendations: Provide a summary of the recommendations at the end of the report or document, highlighting the most important points and emphasizing how the recommendations will contribute to the overall success of the research project.

Example of Research Recommendations

Example of Research Recommendations sample for students:

  • Further investigate the effects of X on Y by conducting a larger-scale randomized controlled trial with a diverse population.
  • Explore the relationship between A and B by conducting qualitative interviews with individuals who have experience with both.
  • Investigate the long-term effects of intervention C by conducting a follow-up study with participants one year after completion.
  • Examine the effectiveness of intervention D in a real-world setting by conducting a field study in a naturalistic environment.
  • Compare and contrast the results of this study with those of previous research on the same topic to identify any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the findings.
  • Expand upon the limitations of this study by addressing potential confounding variables and conducting further analyses to control for them.
  • Investigate the relationship between E and F by conducting a meta-analysis of existing literature on the topic.
  • Explore the potential moderating effects of variable G on the relationship between H and I by conducting subgroup analyses.
  • Identify potential areas for future research based on the gaps in current literature and the findings of this study.
  • Conduct a replication study to validate the results of this study and further establish the generalizability of the findings.

Applications of Research Recommendations

Research recommendations are important as they provide guidance on how to improve or solve a problem. The applications of research recommendations are numerous and can be used in various fields. Some of the applications of research recommendations include:

  • Policy-making: Research recommendations can be used to develop policies that address specific issues. For example, recommendations from research on climate change can be used to develop policies that reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability.
  • Program development: Research recommendations can guide the development of programs that address specific issues. For example, recommendations from research on education can be used to develop programs that improve student achievement.
  • Product development : Research recommendations can guide the development of products that meet specific needs. For example, recommendations from research on consumer behavior can be used to develop products that appeal to consumers.
  • Marketing strategies: Research recommendations can be used to develop effective marketing strategies. For example, recommendations from research on target audiences can be used to develop marketing strategies that effectively reach specific demographic groups.
  • Medical practice : Research recommendations can guide medical practitioners in providing the best possible care to patients. For example, recommendations from research on treatments for specific conditions can be used to improve patient outcomes.
  • Scientific research: Research recommendations can guide future research in a specific field. For example, recommendations from research on a specific disease can be used to guide future research on treatments and cures for that disease.

Purpose of Research Recommendations

The purpose of research recommendations is to provide guidance on how to improve or solve a problem based on the findings of research. Research recommendations are typically made at the end of a research study and are based on the conclusions drawn from the research data. The purpose of research recommendations is to provide actionable advice to individuals or organizations that can help them make informed decisions, develop effective strategies, or implement changes that address the issues identified in the research.

The main purpose of research recommendations is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from researchers to practitioners, policymakers, or other stakeholders who can benefit from the research findings. Recommendations can help bridge the gap between research and practice by providing specific actions that can be taken based on the research results. By providing clear and actionable recommendations, researchers can help ensure that their findings are put into practice, leading to improvements in various fields, such as healthcare, education, business, and public policy.

Characteristics of Research Recommendations

Research recommendations are a key component of research studies and are intended to provide practical guidance on how to apply research findings to real-world problems. The following are some of the key characteristics of research recommendations:

  • Actionable : Research recommendations should be specific and actionable, providing clear guidance on what actions should be taken to address the problem identified in the research.
  • Evidence-based: Research recommendations should be based on the findings of the research study, supported by the data collected and analyzed.
  • Contextual: Research recommendations should be tailored to the specific context in which they will be implemented, taking into account the unique circumstances and constraints of the situation.
  • Feasible : Research recommendations should be realistic and feasible, taking into account the available resources, time constraints, and other factors that may impact their implementation.
  • Prioritized: Research recommendations should be prioritized based on their potential impact and feasibility, with the most important recommendations given the highest priority.
  • Communicated effectively: Research recommendations should be communicated clearly and effectively, using language that is understandable to the target audience.
  • Evaluated : Research recommendations should be evaluated to determine their effectiveness in addressing the problem identified in the research, and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Advantages of Research Recommendations

Research recommendations have several advantages, including:

  • Providing practical guidance: Research recommendations provide practical guidance on how to apply research findings to real-world problems, helping to bridge the gap between research and practice.
  • Improving decision-making: Research recommendations help decision-makers make informed decisions based on the findings of research, leading to better outcomes and improved performance.
  • Enhancing accountability : Research recommendations can help enhance accountability by providing clear guidance on what actions should be taken, and by providing a basis for evaluating progress and outcomes.
  • Informing policy development : Research recommendations can inform the development of policies that are evidence-based and tailored to the specific needs of a given situation.
  • Enhancing knowledge transfer: Research recommendations help facilitate the transfer of knowledge from researchers to practitioners, policymakers, or other stakeholders who can benefit from the research findings.
  • Encouraging further research : Research recommendations can help identify gaps in knowledge and areas for further research, encouraging continued exploration and discovery.
  • Promoting innovation: Research recommendations can help identify innovative solutions to complex problems, leading to new ideas and approaches.

Limitations of Research Recommendations

While research recommendations have several advantages, there are also some limitations to consider. These limitations include:

  • Context-specific: Research recommendations may be context-specific and may not be applicable in all situations. Recommendations developed in one context may not be suitable for another context, requiring adaptation or modification.
  • I mplementation challenges: Implementation of research recommendations may face challenges, such as lack of resources, resistance to change, or lack of buy-in from stakeholders.
  • Limited scope: Research recommendations may be limited in scope, focusing only on a specific issue or aspect of a problem, while other important factors may be overlooked.
  • Uncertainty : Research recommendations may be uncertain, particularly when the research findings are inconclusive or when the recommendations are based on limited data.
  • Bias : Research recommendations may be influenced by researcher bias or conflicts of interest, leading to recommendations that are not in the best interests of stakeholders.
  • Timing : Research recommendations may be time-sensitive, requiring timely action to be effective. Delayed action may result in missed opportunities or reduced effectiveness.
  • Lack of evaluation: Research recommendations may not be evaluated to determine their effectiveness or impact, making it difficult to assess whether they are successful or not.

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How to Write Recommendations in a Research Paper Correctly and Appropriately

Updated 25 Jun 2024

How to Write Recommendations in a Research Paper

Completing a research paper can be daunting, but it becomes more manageable if you delve deeper into the process. Academic papers adhere to specific formats that must be followed to ensure high-quality content.

The conclusion and recommendations sections are crucial components of a research paper. They mark the end of your research, leave a lasting impression on your readers, and should be approached with great care. No wonder many students search for information about how to write recommendations in research papers. Explore this comprehensive guide to infuse your content with thoughtfulness and coherence, thereby elevating the impact of your research paper.

Recommendations in a research paper: meaning and goals

Before you start learning how to write recommendations in a research paper, the first thing is to clarify the meaning of this term. It is a significant element in the research paper structure, as it is critical to your discussion section and conclusion. While conducting research and analyzing gathered data, you may come across ideas or results that only partially align with the scope of your research topic. Alternatively, your findings offer possible implications or causal relationships between the aspects not covered in existing research.

This section will provide practical solutions for further research based on your conclusions and findings. The particular goals of this section depend on the research nature and usually include the following:

  • Providing strategies to address the issues considered in the paper;
  • Delivering suggestions on how the investigation findings can be applied in practice;
  • Identifying gaps in the subject area and suggesting ways to extend existing knowledge;
  • Enhancing reliability and validity of the research findings. 

Where to put recommendations?

To better understand how to write recommendations in research, you should know where to insert them. These elements are typically added in the conclusion (a short version) and discussion sections. Still, if you’re doing research with a practical or business focus, you can also include your suggestions in an advisory report or separate section. This text part should be completed based on the research findings and evidence. It should be clear, specific, and actionable, targeted to the intended audience, such as researchers, practitioners, or policymakers.

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What should recommendations look like?

When providing your solutions for further research, it’s important to ensure they are specific, fully connected to your investigation, and supported by a comprehensible rationale. The essential goal is to show how other researchers can generate the same results to make conclusions and offer potential directions for future research. 

Recommendations should be clear and include actionable words. While completing this section, the writer should show a solution-oriented approach by highlighting the scope for future investigation. Using bullet points is a better way to ensure clarity instead of writing long paragraphs.

Look at the following recommendation in a research paper example:

It is recommended that company X should create and promote sugar-free biscuits along with their existing product range. The marketing department should focus on creating a positive and healthy image. 

Let’s rewrite this paragraph to make it clear and well-structured:

  • The corporation has to introduce and promote sugar-free products;
  • The company has to create a new positive image;
  • The company has to launch an advertising campaign to show their products’ benefits for health.

When visiting the EduBirdie website, you’ll find many helpful tips on writing a research paper, ranging from completing a research paper conclusion to exploring examples of a well-thought-out recommendations section. Don’t miss your chance to improve your paper with our assistance!

Structure of recommendations

Let’s consider the typical structure of this part. You’ll come across many various ways to organize it. The most common approach uses a simple formula with three elements: research question, conclusion, and recommendation. Now, you’ll see how this structure can be implemented.

Research question:

Which category of people is more prone to social exclusion? 

Conclusion:

The study found that individuals over 65 have a greater risk of being isolated from society.

Recommendation:

It is recommended that the institutions dealing with overcoming social exclusion should focus on this particular group. 

In this example, the author delivers a suggestion based on the research findings (the risk of social isolation grows among people aged 65 and more). The measures to improve this situation are indicated (the organizations dealing with problems of social isolation should pay more attention to people over 65 years old).

How to write recommendations in research papers: essential guidelines

Look at some tips from EduBirdie research paper writing services to help you complete a flawless chapter for your papers.

  • Be concise in your statements.  Ensure that your suggestions are written in clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or technical terms difficult to understand. Try to limit yourself to one-sentence statements to present your recommendation. Not only it can help with language learning overall, but will also look more professional.
  • Organize your ideas logically and coherently . You may use lists or paragraphs depending on your institution's guidelines or field of study. Use headings and subheadings to structure your section for easy navigation.
  • Provide specific and concrete suggestions.  Clearly state the issues you explore and offer specific measures and solutions. Your call to action and suggestions should be related to the issues mentioned in the previous sections. Focusing on the most relevant and actionable suggestions directly stemming from your research is crucial.
  • Match recommendations to your conclusion.  Ensure that your suggestions logically align with your conclusions. Refrain from suggesting too many solutions. You can create one recommendation addressing several conclusions when you must provide numerous suggestions for every study conclusion.
  • Ensure your solutions are achievable.  Your recommendations should be practical and feasible to implement. Suggest specific and actionable steps to effectively address the considered issues or gaps in the research, avoiding vague or impractical suggestions.
  • Use a comprehensive approach.  Make sure your solutions cover all relevant areas within your research scope. Consider different contexts, stakeholders, and perspectives affected by the recommendations. Be thorough in identifying potential improvement areas and offering appropriate actions.
  • Don’t add new information to this part of your paper.  Avoid introducing new issues or ideas to complete your argument when writing recommendations in a research paper. Your academic paper has to stand on its own merits. 
  • Create content tailored to your readers.  Ensure that your recommendations are aimed at your audience, namely your colleagues in the field of study who work on similar topics. The ideas you provide in the paper should be based on limitations identified during research. They should offer concrete possibilities for further study to rely on areas your investigation could not cover when completed.
  • Explain how your recommendations can solve the issues you explore.  Go beyond listing suggestions and provide a rationale for each, including why it is essential, how it handles the research problem, and what evidence or theory supports it. Use relevant literature citations to strengthen your content. Explain how the suggested solutions can effectively answer the research question. This can be done by adding the following:
  • Ideas for improving the methodology or approach;
  • Policy suggestions;
  • Perspectives for future research.
  • Don’t undermine your research contribution or criticize yourself.   Avoid criticizing yourself in this section. Instead, use it as a perfect opportunity to provide ideas on how future studies can build upon your findings, making them a natural extension point. 
  • Acknowledge any limitations or constraints of your research.  Reflect on how these limitations may impact the feasibility or generalizability of your solutions. This demonstrates critical thinking and awareness of the limitations of your study.
  • End this section with a summary.  Highlight the key suggestions and their potential impact in a short conclusion. Emphasize the significance of your ideas and their valuable contribution to the field.

Don’t forget to consult and adhere to the requirements and specific guidelines provided by your institution for this section.

How do the discussion and the conclusion sections differ in a research paper? 

The discussion usually entails a comprehensive analysis of the results, delving into the significance of your findings and providing contextualization using citations of relevant sources. On the other hand, the conclusion is typically more concise and general. It briefly considers the main research question and provides suggestions from your findings.

Can the research paper conclusion come with new arguments? 

Although adding fresh evidence or arguments in the conclusion might be tempting, especially if you have a compelling point, we don’t recommend doing it. Research papers, dissertations, or theses typically adhere to a formal structure. Exposing all your arguments and findings in the thesis body is crucial. It’s better to do it in the discussion and results chapters. The conclusion should serve as a summary and reflection of your evidence and arguments rather than a place to introduce new ideas.

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Written by Steven Robinson

Steven Robinson is an academic writing expert with a degree in English literature. His expertise, patient approach, and support empower students to express ideas clearly. On EduBirdie's blog, he provides valuable writing guides on essays, research papers, and other intriguing topics. Enjoys chess in free time.

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How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Are you feeling overwhelmed by referencing?

When you’re first asked to do referencing in an essay it can be hard to get your head around it. If it’s been a while since you were first taught how to reference, it can be intimidating to ask again how to do it!

I have so many students who consistently lose marks just because they didn’t get referencing right! They’re either embarrassed to ask for extra help or too lazy to learn how to solve the issues.

So, here’s a post that will help you solve the issues on your own.

Already think you’re good at referencing? No worries. This post goes through some surprising and advanced strategies for anyone to improve no matter what level you are at!

In this post I’m going to show you exactly how to reference in an essay. I’ll explain why we do it and I’ll show you 9 actionable tips on getting referencing right that I’m sure you will not have heard anywhere else!

The post is split into three parts:

  • What is a Reference and What is a Citation?
  • Why Reference? (4 Things you Should Know)
  • How to Reference (9 Strategies of Top Students)

If you think you’ve already got a good understanding of the basics, you can jump to our 9 Advanced Strategies section.

Part 1: What is a Reference and What is a Citation?

What is a citation.

An in-text mention of your source. A citation is a short mention of the source you got the information from, usually in the middle or end of a sentence in the body of your paragraph. It is usually abbreviated so as not to distract the reader too much from your own writing. Here’s two examples of citations. The first is in APA format. The second is in MLA format:

  • APA: Archaeological records trace the original human being to equatorial Africa about 250,000–350,000 years ago (Schlebusch & Jakobsson, 2018) .
  • MLA: Archaeological records trace the original human being to equatorial Africa about 250,000–350,000 years ago (Schlebusch and Jakobsson 1) .

In APA format, you’ve got the authors and year of publication listed. In MLA format, you’ve got the authors and page number listed. If you keep reading, I’ll give some more tips on formatting further down in this article.

And a Reference is:

What is a Reference?

A reference is the full details of a source that you list at the end of the article. For every citation (see above) there needs to be a corresponding reference at the end of the essay showing more details about that source. The idea is that the reader can see the source in-text (i.e. they can look at the citation) and if they want more information they can jump to the end of the page and find out exactly how to go about finding the source.

Here’s how you would go about referencing the Schlebusch and Jakobsson source in a list at the end of the essay. Again, I will show you how to do it in APA and MLA formats:

  • APA: Schlebusch, C. & Jakobsson, M. (2018). Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics , 11 (33), 1–24.
  • MLA: Schlebusch, Carina and Mattias Jakobsson. “Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa.” Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics , vol. 11, no. 33, 2018, pp. 1–24.

In strategy 1 below I’ll show you the easiest and fool proof way to write these references perfectly every time.

One last quick note: sometimes we say ‘reference’ when we mean ‘citation’. That’s pretty normal. Just roll with the punches. It’s usually pretty easy to pick up on what our teacher means regardless of whether they use the word ‘reference’ or ‘citation’.

Part 2: Why Reference in an Essay? (4 Things you Should Know)

Referencing in an essay is important. By the time you start doing 200-level courses, you probably won’t pass the course unless you reference appropriately. So, the biggest answer to ‘why reference?’ is simple: Because you Have To!

Okay let’s be serious though … here’s the four top ‘real’ reasons to reference:

1. Referencing shows you Got an Expert’s Opinion

You can’t just write an essay on what you think you know. This is a huge mistake of beginning students. Instead this is what you need to do:

Top Tip: Essays at university are supposed to show off that you’ve learned new information by reading the opinions of experts.

Every time you place a citation in your paragraph, you’re showing that the information you’re presenting in that paragraph was provided to you by an expert. In other words, it means you consulted an expert’s opinion to build your knowledge.

If you have citations throughout the essay with links to a variety of different expert opinions, you’ll show your marker that you did actually genuinely look at what the experts said with an open mind and considered their ideas.

This will help you to grow your grades.

2. Referencing shows you read your Assigned Readings

Your teacher will most likely give you scholarly journal articles or book chapters to read for homework between classes. You might have even talked about those assigned readings in your seminars and tutorials.

Great! The assigned readings are very important to you.

You should definitely cite the assigned readings relevant to your essay topic in your evaluative essay (unless your teacher tells you not to). Why? I’ll explain below.

  • Firstly, the assigned readings were selected by your teacher because your teacher (you know, the person who’s going to mark your essay) believes they’re the best quality articles on the topic. Translation: your teacher gave you the best source you’re going to find. Make sure you use it!
  • Secondly, by citing the assigned readings you are showing your teacher that you have been paying attention throughout the course. You are showing your teacher that you have done your homework, read those assigned readings and paid attention to them. When my students submit an essay that has references to websites, blogs, wikis and magazines I get very frustrated. Why would you cite low quality non-expert sources like websites when I gave you the expert’s article!? Really, it frustrates me so, so much.

So, cite the assigned readings to show your teacher you read the scholarly articles your teacher gave to you. It’ll help you grow your marks.

3. Referencing deepens your Knowledge

Okay, so you understand that you need to use referencing to show you got experts’ opinions on the topic.

But there’s more to it than that. There’s actually a real benefit for your learning.

If you force yourself to cite two expert sources per paragraph, you’re actually forcing yourself to get two separate pieces of expert knowledge. This will deepen your knowledge!

So, don’t treat referencing like a vanity exercise to help you gain more marks. Actually view it as an opportunity to develop deeper understandings of the topic!

When you read expert sources, aim to pick up on some new gems of knowledge that you can discuss in your essays. Some things you should look out for when finding sources to reference:

  • Examples that link ideas to real life. Do the experts provide real-life examples that you can mention in your essay?
  • Facts and figures. Usually experts have conducted research on a topic and provide you with facts and figures from their research. Use those facts and figures to deepen your essay!
  • Short Quotes. Did your source say something in a really interesting, concise or surprising way? Great! You can quote that source in your essay .
  • New Perspectives. Your source might give you another perspective, angle or piece of information that you can add to your paragraph so that it’s a deep, detailed and interesting paragraph.

So, the reason we ask you to reference is at the end of the day because it’s good for you: it helps you learn!

4. Referencing backs up your Claims

You might think you already know a ton of information about the topic and be ready to share your mountains of knowledge with your teacher. Great!

So, should you still reference?

Yes. Definitely.

You need to show that you’re not the only person with your opinion. You need to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’ Show what other sources have said about your points to prove that experts agree with you.

You should be saying: this is my opinion and it’s based on facts, expert opinions and deep, close scrutiny of all the arguments that exist out there .

If you make a claim that no one else has made, your teacher is going to be like “Have you even been reading the evidence on this topic?” The answer, if there are no citations is likely: No. You haven’t.

Even if you totally disagree with the experts, you still need to say what their opinions are! You’ll need to say: “This is the experts’ opinions. And this is why I disagree.”

So, yes, you need to reference to back up every claim. Try to reference twice in every paragraph to achieve this.

Part 3: Strategies for How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

Let’s get going with our top strategies for how to reference in an essay! These are strategies that you probably haven’t heard elsewhere. They work for everyone – from beginner to advanced! Let’s get started:

1. Print out your Reference Style Cheat Sheet

Referencing is hard and very specific. You need to know where to place your italics, where the commas go and whether to use an initial for full name for an author.

There are so many details to get right.

And here’s the bad news: The automated referencing apps and websites nearly always get it wrong! They tell you they can generate the citation for you. The fact of the matter is: they can’t!

Here’s the best way to get referencing right: Download a referencing cheat sheet and have it by your side while writing your essay.

Your assignment outline should tell you what type of referencing you should use. Different styles include: APA Style, MLA Style, Chicago Style, Harvard Style, Vancouver Style … and many more!

You need to find out which style you need to use and download your cheat sheet. You can jump onto google to find a cheat sheet by typing in the google bar:

how to reference in an essay

Download a pdf version of the referencing style cheat sheet, print it out, and place it on your pinboard or by your side when writing your essay.

2. Only cite Experts

There are good and bad sources to cite in an essay.

You should only cite sources written, critiqued and edited by experts. This shows that you have got the skill of finding information that is authoritative. You haven’t just used information that any old person popped up on their blog. You haven’t just gotten information from your local newspaper. Instead, you got information from the person who is an absolute expert on the topic.

Here’s an infographic listing sources that you should and shouldn’t cite. Feel free to share this infographic on social media, with your teachers and your friends:

good and bad sources infographic

3. Always use Google Scholar

Always. Use. Google. Scholar.

Ten years ago students only had their online university search database to find articles. Those university databases suck. They rarely find the best quality sources and there’s always a big mix of completely irrelevant sources mixed in there.

Google Scholar is better at finding the sources you want. That’s because it looks through the whole article abstract and analyses it to see if it’s relevant to your search keywords. By contrast, most university search databases rely only on the titles of articles.

Use the power of the best quality search engine in the world to find scholarly sources .

Note: Google and Google Scholar are different search engines.

To use Google Scholar, go to: https://scholar.google.com

Then, search on google scholar using keywords. I’m going to search keywords for an essay on the topic: “What are the traits of a good nurse?”

how to reference in an essay

If you really like the idea of that first source, I recommend copying the title and trying your University online search database. Your university may give you free access.

4. Cite at least 50% sources you found on your Own Research

Okay, so I’ve told you that you should cite both assigned readings and readings you find from Google Scholar.

Here’s the ideal mix of assigned sources and sources that you found yourself: 50/50.

Your teacher will want to see that you can use both assigned readings and do your own additional research to write a top essay . This shows you’ve got great research skills but also pay attention to what is provided in class.

I recommend that you start with the assigned readings and try to get as much information out of them, then find your own additional sources beyond that using Google Scholar.

So, if your essay has 10 citations, a good mix is 5 assigned readings and 5 readings you found by yourself.

5. Cite Newer Sources

As a general rule, the newer the source the better .

The best rule of thumb that most teachers follow is that you should aim to mostly cite sources from the past 10 years . I usually accept sources from the past 15 years when marking essays.

However, sometimes you have a really great source that’s 20, 30 or 40 years old. You should only cite these sources if they’re what we call ‘seminal texts’. A seminal text is one that was written by an absolute giant in your field and revolutionized the subject.

Here’s some examples of seminal authors whose old articles you would be able to cite despite the fact that they’re old:

  • Education: Vygotsky, Friere, Piaget
  • Sociology: Weber, Marx, C. Wright Mills
  • Psychology: Freud, Rogers, Jung

Even if I cite seminal authors, I always aim for at least 80% of my sources to have been written in the past 10 years.

6. Reference twice per Paragraph

How much should you reference?

Here’s a good strategy: Provide two citations in every paragraph in the body of the essay.

It’s not compulsory to reference in the introduction and conclusion . However, in all the other paragraphs, aim for two citations.

Let’s go over the key strategies for achieving this:

  • These two citations should be to different sources, not the same sources twice;
  • Two citations per paragraph shows your points are backed up by not one, but two expert sources;
  • Place one citation in the first half of the paragraph and one in the second half. This will indicate to your marker that all the points in the whole paragraph are backed up by your citations.

This is a good rule of thumb for you when you’re not sure when and how often to reference. When you get more confident with your referencing, you can mix this up a little.

7. The sum total of your sources should be minimum 1 per 150 words

You can, of course, cite one source more than once throughout the essay. You might cite the same source in the second, fourth and fifth paragraphs. That’s okay.

Essay Writing Tip: Provide one unique citation in the reference list for every 150 words in the essay.

But, you don’t want your whole essay to be based on a narrow range of sources. You want your marker to see that you have consulted multiple sources to get a wide range of information on the topic. Your marker wants to know that you’ve seen a range of different opinions when coming to your conclusions.

When you get to the end of your essay, check to see how many sources are listed in the end-text reference list. A good rule of thumb is 1 source listed in the reference list per 150 words. Here’s how that breaks down by essay size:

  • 1500 word essay: 10 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
  • 2000 word essay: 13 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
  • 3000 word essay: 20 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
  • 5000 word essay: 33 sources (or more) listed in the reference list

8. Instantly improve your Reference List with these Three Tips

Here’s two things you can do to instantly improve your reference list. It takes less than 20 seconds and gives your reference list a strong professional finish:

a) Ensure the font size and style are the same

You will usually find that your whole reference list ends up being in different font sizes and styles. This is because you tend to copy and paste the titles and names in the citations from other sources. If you submit the reference list with font sizes and styles that are not the same as the rest of the essay, the piece looks really unprofessional.

So, quickly highlight the whole reference list and change its font to the same font size and style as the rest of your essay. The screencast at the end of Step 8 walks you through this if you need a hand!

b) List your sources in alphabetical order.

Nearly every referencing style insists that references be listed in alphabetical order. It’s a simple thing to do before submitting and makes the piece look far more professional.

If you’re using Microsoft Word, simply highlight your whole reference list and click the A>Z button in the toolbar. If you can’t see it, you need to be under the ‘home’ tab (circled below):

how to reference in an essay

You’ve probably never heard of a hanging indent. It’s a style where the second line of the reference list is indented further from the left-hand side of the page than the first line. It’s a strategy that’s usually used in reference lists provided in professional publications.

If you use the hanging indent, your reference list will look far more professional.

Here’s a quick video of me doing it for you:

9. Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style

The top students edit their essays three to five times spaced out over a week or more before submitting. One of those edits should be specifically for ensuring your reference list adheres to the referencing style that your teacher requires.

To do this, I recommend you get that cheat sheet printout that I mentioned in Step 1 and have it by your side while you read through the piece. Pay special attention to the use of commas, capital letters, brackets and page numbers for all citations. Also pay attention to the reference list: correct formatting of the reference list can be the difference between getting the top mark in the class and the fifth mark in the class. At the higher end of the marking range, things get competitive and formatting of the reference list counts.

A Quick Summary of the 9 Top Strategies…

How to reference in an essay

Follow the rules of your referencing style guide (and that cheat sheet I recommended!) and use the top 9 tips above to improve your referencing and get top marks. Not only will your referencing look more professional, you’ll probably increase the quality of the content of your piece as well when you follow these tips!

Here’s a final summary of the 9 top tips:

Strategies for How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

  • Print out your Reference Style Cheat Sheet
  • Only cite Experts
  • Always use Google Scholar
  • Cite at least 50% sources you found on your Own Research
  • Cite Newer Sources
  • Reference twice per Paragraph
  • The sum total of your sources should be minimum 1 per 150 words
  • Instantly improve your Reference List with these Three Tips
  • Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style

Chris

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 101 Class Group Name Ideas (for School Students)
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  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ All 6 Levels of Understanding (on Bloom’s Taxonomy)

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How To Apply For College: Forbes Advisor’s Application Checklist

Alicia Hahn

Updated: Jan 2, 2024, 1:26pm

How To Apply For College: Forbes Advisor’s Application Checklist

Applying for college can be a lengthy, stressful and complicated process, with lots of moving parts and deadlines. Filling out an undergraduate application typically involves gathering documentation, taking standardized tests, writing essays and asking for letters of recommendation, among other steps. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

To help you stay organized, we’ve put together this college application checklist. Here, we round up all the materials you need and the dates by which you need them. We even provide a printable version of this checklist to guide you as you work through this process.

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Education

Forbes Advisor’s education editors are committed to producing unbiased rankings and informative articles covering online colleges, tech bootcamps and career paths. Our ranking methodologies use data from the National Center for Education Statistics , education providers, and reputable educational and professional organizations. An advisory board of educators and other subject matter experts reviews and verifies our content to bring you trustworthy, up-to-date information. Advertisers do not influence our rankings or editorial content.

  • 6,290 accredited, nonprofit colleges and universities analyzed nationwide
  • 52 reputable tech bootcamp providers evaluated for our rankings
  • All content is fact-checked and updated on an annual basis
  • Rankings undergo five rounds of fact-checking
  • Only 7.12% of all colleges, universities and bootcamp providers we consider are awarded

Save This Checklist

Keep track of your most important application tasks and deadlines with the simplified PDF version of this checklist. Save it to your phone or print it out for easy reference. (If you print it, make sure to choose the “fit to paper” scale option!)

Forbes Advisor’s College Application Checklist 

Before you start.

You can’t begin the application process until you’ve made a plan. Start by narrowing down your prospective schools. Know where you’re applying, what each application entails and the due dates you need to meet.

Decide About Early Decision

It’s important to determine whether you plan to apply for early decision or early action at any school. As the name implies, early decision often involves an earlier due date for your application.

Early decision comes with perks—admission rates for early-decision applicants tend to be higher, for example, and you learn about your admission decision more quickly—but this method comes with strings attached, too. For example, if you are admitted on early decision, you may have to give your response before learning whether other colleges have also accepted your applications, and you may have to withdraw your applications to other schools.

Get a Jump Start on Standardized Tests

You should prepare for and take the SAT early on since many students take the SAT multiple times. If you plan to take the ACT more than once, consider taking the ACT early on as well. And make sure to sign up for the Common App , which allows you to use a single form to apply to multiple colleges.

Your Checklist

  • Know which schools you’re interested in
  • Take the SAT
  • Know if you plan to apply for early decision
  • Mark down all college application due dates
  • Sign up for the Common App

Two Months Before College Applications Are Due

A couple of months before your deadlines, things are getting down to the wire. If you’re submitting standardized test scores, it’s time to make sure your results are up to snuff. If you plan to take the ACT , now is the time to do it. And if you weren’t satisfied with your earlier SAT scores , it’s time to retake that test as well.

  • Take the ACT
  • Retake the SAT (if applicable)

Four Weeks Before College Applications Are Due

Most undergraduate applications require letters of recommendation , at least one of which must come from an academic source. You could ask a teacher, a school counselor or another faculty member to write your recommendation letter.

Keep in mind that these individuals are busy professionals who may be writing multiple letters of recommendation for other students, so it’s important to give them at least a few weeks to complete this task.

  • Ask for letters of recommendation

Several Weeks Before Applications Are Due

Not all universities ask applicants to submit essays, but this is a common requirement for many. If you’re applying to schools that require college essays , you’ve probably been working on yours for a while—potentially even as assignments in your English class.

In the weeks leading up to your application deadlines, it’s time to polish up those essays and get them ready for submission. Gather feedback from trusted peers, teachers and mentors, and make edits as necessary. Make sure your essays answer the prompts, comply with word count requirements and are free of grammatical errors.

  • Complete college essays

The Week Before Applications Are Due

At this point in the application process, it’s time to gather all the materials required for your college application. These may include the application forms themselves, preliminary transcripts, test scores and essays. Make sure your letter-writers have finished your recommendation letters as well.

Once all your documents are in order, there’s no need to keep waiting—submit those applications.

  • Gather letters of recommendation and required materials
  • Submit all applications

Before, During and After Applying to College

Applying for college and applying for financial aid are separate processes. Before, during and after your college application process, you should be researching scholarships and grants to help you pay for your education.

Unlike student loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment. These forms of aid may be need-based, merit-based or use other identifying characteristics, like ethnicity or religion. If you qualify for a scholarship or grant, make sure to apply—these awards can add up to make a big difference.

  • Apply for scholarships and grants

During October

We recommend submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) regardless of whether you think you will qualify for financial aid. The factors determining aid eligibility are complex, so you may qualify for a federal student loan even if it seems unlikely to you. Many states use the FAFSA to determine eligibility for state-level student aid as well. Some aid is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so submitting the application in a timely manner is wise.

Also by October, you should know whether you will be registering to take any AP exams. The College Board usually requires all AP test-takers to register for their exams by November 15, but your high school may impose an earlier deadline for registration. Make sure you know and are on track to meet those deadlines.

  • Gather materials and submit the FAFSA
  • Know when to register for AP exams

By May, you should have received responses for all your college applications. Of the schools that granted you admission, you should have narrowed down your options and decided where you’d like to attend. Now, it’s time to make it official.

Note that if you were accepted to a school on early decision, you will have to complete this step of the process much earlier in the year—usually by February.

  • Accept an offer of admission
  • Decline offers of admission from schools you will not attend

During June and July

By this point, you’ve accepted admission to a college and you’ve graduated from high school—but we’re still going. Now that you’ve officially wrapped up your high school career, it’s time to tackle these last remaining tasks: submitting AP scores and official transcripts.

Send these materials in June if possible, and check with your prospective college for its specific deadlines—they are usually in early or mid-July.

  • Submit AP scores (if applicable)
  • Submit final transcripts
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  • Online Checklist For Students
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IMAGES

  1. Example Of Recommendation Letter Essay

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  2. How to Write the Recommendation in Research Paper

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  3. How to Write Recommendations in Research

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  4. ⇉Recommendation & Solution Essay Example

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  5. Valid How to Write A Recommendation Letter for A Job you can download

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  6. How to write a recommendation in a research paper

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Recommendation Letter for a Student

    Show me good student work. Copy and paste an especially well-writ paragraph from your student's best essay, or a screenshot of clean coding they did in class. Here's Kati: "Be brief in how you set it up, but it's cool to let the student speak for themselves.".

  2. How to Write Recommendations in Research

    Recommendations for future research should be: Concrete and specific. Supported with a clear rationale. Directly connected to your research. Overall, strive to highlight ways other researchers can reproduce or replicate your results to draw further conclusions, and suggest different directions that future research can take, if applicable.

  3. How to Write a Great Peer Recommendation

    Show them. Think About Tone. Finally, I would suggest considering tone and style. Your recommendation doesn't have to sound especially formal, like most teachers and counselors' letters would. As a peer, you can write more intimately and personally, as well as inject humor into your writing.

  4. How to Write a Recommendation Essay

    Structure the letter like an essay. This helps you effectively organize your thoughts. Your "thesis" is why the applicant is a strong candidate, the body consists of several supporting examples and your conclusion clearly states your recommendation. It also communicates the student's strengths in the style and format expected by most readers.

  5. Writing recommendations with explanations

    an explanation of the nature of the Economic or Business issue being considered. one or more suggested strategies to address the issue being considered. arguments for and against each strategy using evidence to support points made. a recommendation based on the evidence put forward.

  6. How to Write Recommendations in Research

    Here is a step-wise guide to build your understanding on the development of research recommendations. 1. Understand the Research Question: Understand the research question and objectives before writing recommendations. Also, ensure that your recommendations are relevant and directly address the goals of the study. 2.

  7. Complete Guide: Writing a Strong Letter of Recommendation

    Simply repeat resume points or quantitative data that are already listed on other parts of the application. Cast too wide a net and end up saying very little, because you tried to say too much. List adjectives without having examples to back them up. Use generic, bland, unenthusiastic language or cliche statements.

  8. How to Write a Letter of Recommendation: Counselor's Guide

    Use a title: "Letter of Recommendation for John Doe". Or. Put the student's name in the first sentence: "It is my great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for John Doe.". Suggestions for the first paragraph: Write an anecdote.

  9. Tips for Writing a College Recommendation Letter

    Paragraph 1: Introduce the student. Try opening your letter with something the person tasked with screening hundreds (possibly thousands) of recommendation letters will remember. I like to start with an amusing or poignant story that illustrates who the student is and how others perceive them.

  10. How To Write A Letter Of Recommendation For A College Application

    Whether submitted in print or electronically, a recommendation letter should use a business-like font like Times New Roman or Arial (in other words, this is not the place for Comic Sans). Stick to ...

  11. Tips for Writing a Good Recommendation

    Knowing how to give a good recommendation can make all the difference. Explore these samples and tips for how to write a commendation letter to remember. ... Before you start writing a recommendation letter, get a sense of the overall purpose of the letter, so you can be sure the letter you write is structured appropriately. For example, if the ...

  12. 5: Making Your Recommendation in Response to an Argument

    Here are a few ways to do that: Add to the sense of urgency about the argument with our own explanation for why it matters. Recommend ways to draw attention to the issue. Suggest that the argument has implications even beyond what the writer discusses. Remove limitations on the argument to make a broader claim.

  13. How to Write an Academic Essay with References and Citations

    When learning how to write an academic essay with references, you must identify reliable sources that support your argument. As you read, think critically and evaluate sources for: Accuracy. Objectivity. Currency. Authority. Keep detailed notes on the sources so that you can easily find them again, if needed.

  14. 9 Sample Excellent Recommendation Letters for Your Job

    Below are nine sample recommendation letters, each followed by an analysis of what it does well! Sample Recommendation Letter 1: Written by a Direct Manager for a Full-Time Employee. Sample Recommendation Letter 2: Written by a Principal for a Teacher. Sample Recommendation Letter 3: Written by a Direct Manager for a Part-Time Employee.

  15. How to write recommendations in a research paper

    Recommendations in the research paper should come from your review and analysis For example It was observed that coaches interviewed were associated with the club were working with the club from the past 2-3 years only. This shows that the attrition rate of coaches is high and therefore clubs should work on reducing the turnover of coaches.

  16. How to Write Recommendations in Research

    Recommendations for future research should be: Concrete and specific. Supported with a clear rationale. Directly connected to your research. Overall, strive to highlight ways other researchers can reproduce or replicate your results to draw further conclusions, and suggest different directions that future research can take, if applicable.

  17. How to Write Recommendations: Do's and Don'ts

    Conduct the research in an objective and unbiased manner. The research findings should be reproducible. The research recommendations should be made with a concrete plan in mind. The research recommendations should be based on a solid foundation of evidence. The research recommendations should be clear and concise.

  18. Research Recommendations

    For example, recommendations from research on climate change can be used to develop policies that reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability. Program development: Research recommendations can guide the development of programs that address specific issues. For example, recommendations from research on education can be used to develop ...

  19. How to Write Recommendations in Research Paper

    Make sure your solutions cover all relevant areas within your research scope. Consider different contexts, stakeholders, and perspectives affected by the recommendations. Be thorough in identifying potential improvement areas and offering appropriate actions. Don't add new information to this part of your paper.

  20. How To Write a Recommendation Report

    You can write a recommendation report with the following steps: 1. Choose a topic. Choose a topic for your recommendation report. If you are writing a recommendation report in the workplace, you may already have a problem to solve, which serves as your topic.

  21. How to Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

    Step 1: Grab paper and pencil, or open a new doc for notes…. Step 2: And then open this up. That's the Common App's Teacher Recommendation Form. Step 3: Take some time and imagine how your teacher/s might fill it out for you.

  22. How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)

    9. Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style. The top students edit their essays three to five times spaced out over a week or more before submitting. One of those edits should be specifically for ensuring your reference list adheres to the referencing style that your teacher requires.

  23. How To Apply For College: Forbes Advisor's Application Checklist

    Filling out an undergraduate application typically involves gathering documentation, taking standardized tests, writing essays and asking for letters of recommendation, among other steps. It's ...