Need a recommendation letter?
Writing recommendation letters is a part of my job, and I would like to support you on your journey forward. At the same time, I will not write a letter for you if I cannot write a strong one. Ordinarily, that means you have been a high-performing, dedicated student in one of my classes, we have had enough interaction that I have gotten to know you a bit, and you are giving me enough time to write the letter well.
I also require that you waive your right to view the letter; I only write if the letter can remain confidential. But remember, I wouldn't agree to write one if it were not going to be strong in the first place.
If you are applying to multiple programs, I prefer to use Interfolio or other service, rather than have to deal with many addressees.
Process for requesting a letter:
- Send me an email at least two weeks in advance of the deadline. If there is less than two weeks notice, do not ask me (does not apply if I have already written you a letter; in those cases, I can often turn it around faster).
- In that email, tell me about the opportunity for which you need the reference and how it fits in your plans. Remind me how we know each other and anything positive about that experience; including specifics is a plus (e.g., "I was a student in your Sociology 3290 class last year, and I received an A on my paper, which was about children and immigration. I'm attaching here a screenshot of your comments, in which you said xxx").
- Include a resume, unofficial transcript, or other document that attests to your record. My letter will be stronger if I know how your performance with me fits into your record overall.
- Include whatever you are sending in your application (e.g., personal statement -- in draft stage is fine). I can write a better letter if I know what else you are telling them, including your reason for applying.
- Once you hear from me and I have agreed to write one, then arrange for Interfolio or other service to send me the URL to upload the letter.