Does Recommender’s English Affect Your Recommendation?

Proficiency (or lack of it) of your recommender in written English has little impact on how adcom evaluates your recommendation. After all, they are not judging your recommender’s communication skills.

As far as recommendations are concerned, adcoms primarily focus on content.

Probably, the best insights in this regard come from Stanford GSB. In response to the following two questions, they say:

How Accommodative Are MBA Programs of Your Sub-Par English in Essays?

Does the quality of English in your essays matter?

That’s no-brainer. It does. Higher the quality, the better it is. After all it’s reflective of your communication skills.

But how accommodative are admission committees of your sub-par English – rule-based things (grammar, punctuation, and spelling) as well as style (structure, transition, variation in sentences, and so on).

Before getting into it, let’s first see some of the examples (source: Harbus Essay Guide, a compilation of essays of 16 students admitted to class of 2017 at HBS) where admits to HBS deviated from the canons of good English (comments in brackets):