Shriram Krishnamurthi First version: Some years ago I was talking to a visiting scholar who was a faculty member in a foreign country. I asked her why letters from her country seemed to be so uninformative.
The following article was written by Tara Kuther and posted on About.
It is the rare applicant who can easily think of three professors to ask. Instead most graduate school applicants find it easy to obtain two letters, one from their primary advisor and another from a professor with whom they have worked or taken multiple classes, but the third letter often is a stretch.
Applicants often must turn to faculty with whom they have had less contact in order to obtain a third letter of recommendation.
Can you write a helpful recommendation letter? You may have a very strong positive opinion about the student yet the strength of a recommendation letter lies in its details. Do you know enough about the applicant to write a letter with sufficient detail?
Pause before making a decision. Whenever a student — any student — requests a recommendation letter you should pause before responding. Quickly assess what you know about the student and determine how supportive you are of his or her academic intentions.
That said, lack of outside of class experience with a student should not stop you from writing a letter if you have good things to say and can support them.
Just because you can write a letter on behalf of the applicant does not mean that you should. Inform students about the purpose of recommendation letters, what makes a good recommendation letter, and how your letter, while positive may not offer the types of details characteristic of helpful recommendation letters.
Not every student who asks should receive a recommendation. Frequently professors receive requests for letters from students who were little more than names and faces. If you have nothing to say about a student other than he or she attended class and earned a grade your letter will be of little help.
Explain this to the student. You are doing them a favor by refusing a letter. Should you give in? Sometimes students will be pushy.
Students often struggle to find that last recommendation letter and may ask for your letter regardless of your warnings. Some faculty give in. They again explain the content of their letter and that it is not helpful, but agree to submit it. If your letter only includes course grades and other neutral information you might reconsider and submit the letter as long as you have explained the ramifications to students.
Some professors argue, however, that it is unethical to send a letter that you think will help the student gain admission to graduate school. · Sample Cover Letter #2 for Graudate School Admittance Dear Graduate Coordinator (get the name so you can make the letter more direct), I am very interested in pursuing a masters degree at the University of UNIVERSITY NAME in Cardiac Rehabilitation (or the area you are interested in).alphabetnyc.com~lkravitz/Internship Inf/alphabetnyc.com · Graduate School Recommendation December xx, 20xx To the Review Committee: I am pleased to write a letter of recommendation for Janet Lerner, an honors undergraduate student in our program.
I have known Janet for more than two years. I came to know her very well when she was aalphabetnyc.com · Write a graduate school statement of purpose that will wow the admissions committee. Follow these tips for your SOP, letter of intent, or research alphabetnyc.com://alphabetnyc.com I was flattered (and a bit intimidated) when I was asked to write a letter of recommendation for the first time.
The task seemed so “high stakes”—my letter would factor into a student’s potential admission to a master’s alphabetnyc.com at the time, I was a mere year-old second-year PhD alphabetnyc.com://alphabetnyc.com You should have people who know you really well write your letters of recommendation.
Use the following rules of thumb as a guide to asking for letters of recommendations: Core academic teachers you have had your junior and senior years of high schoolalphabetnyc.com You know exactly what’s coming next—she wants you to write a letter of recommendation for her.
Of course, you’re flattered that she’d approach you with the task. But, on the other hand, you have to admit that you’re dreading alphabetnyc.com://alphabetnyc.com