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National Residence Hall Honorary

Top 10 Tips for Writing a Winning OTM

  1. Proofread: The better your OTM reads, the better it is as a candidate. A good tip is to carefully reread it in order to find grammar and spelling errors.
  2. Define Acronyms: Remember that different letters stand for different things on different campuses. Help those of us who read them by letting us know what you mean when you say CC, CAB, RHAA, RA, CA, etc.
  3. Define Campus Culture: The people who read your OTM’s don’t know the importance of people, events, or organizations on your campus unless you make it clear for them. Without this information, the contributions of your nominee can be lost in the selection process.
  4. Give Details: Details allow others to get the whole picture by being able to visualize what the individual did or the program that took place. Details can make the difference between a winning and losing OTM.
  5. Keep Track of Nominees: If you prefer to wait until the last minute to do things, keep a running list of people/programs/organizations that you would like to nominate so that when the deadline comes, you won’t draw a blank.
  6. Submit It Immediately: For those of you who prefer to get things done early, just get them in. You are more likely to convey passion in your nomination and remember details if the event has recently taken place.
  7. Give Outstanding Qualities: A lot of people do a lot of great things at this university. Help us understand what was extraordinary about your nominee and how they went above and beyond your expectations.
  8. Keep It Month Specific: OTM winners are chosen for their accomplishments during a specific month, not over multiple months. Keep your nomination clear and concise as to the impact made during that specific month.
  9. Keep It Category Specific: Remember that an OTM may be able to fit into multiple categories, so pick the one in which it has the most information on. If you are writing an OTM for a Resident Assistant, the majority of it should not talk about their experience on an executive board. It can be mentioned, but should not be focused on.
  10. Just Do It! Sometimes the hardest thing about writing OTM’s is the simple act of sitting down to take the time to do it. Once you start, you’ll realize just how easy it is and learn that it’s a great feeling to recognize others.