Letters of Recommendation

Here are some points to consider when deciding who you will ask to write a letter of recommendation:

Remember that receiving a letter of recommendation from a member of the faculty is not a foregone conclusion. For your own sake you should choose your letter writer wisely. Do not ask a faculty member with whom you have had little to no contact. In that case, the letter writer will only be able to make very general statements about you and a vague letter could be more damaging than a letter with reservations. Readers might assume that a vague letter is attempting to hide something and/or that you were unable to find a strong supporter. A letter with reservations can, perversely, have greater credibility since the writer was willing to reveal some of the bad with the good, making the good all the more meaningful.

Ask your recommender to write your letter well before the deadline, especially if it falls near the end of the semester when both students and faculty are very busy. This will ensure that your letter will arrive in time for full consideration.

If you would like me to write a letter of recommendation for you, I will need the following: