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2007-2009 Mary Bucholtz Tips on requesting letters of recommendation
 

Summary:  2007-2009 Mary Bucholtz
Tips on requesting letters of recommendation
Mary Bucholtz (Department of Linguistics)
bucholtz@linguistics.ucsb.edu
Letters of recommendation are required for many aspects of graduate school, from your initial
application to graduate programs to fellowships and grants to job applications in your final year
of graduate school (and beyond). Some applications (most graduate programs, many grants and
fellowships) may have a specific form that you should give each of your letter writers, while
other applications simply ask for a letter. In addition, some applications require letters to be
submitted electronically, others require them to be submitted by the applicant together with the
other application materials (sealed, with the faculty member's signature across the flap), and still
others require them to be sent directly by the letter writer. The following suggestions will help
you get strong letters into your application file on time.
Start early. Give your letter writers ample time and enough information to write you a strong
letter. Sometimes it's necessary to ask for a letter at the last minute, but do all you can to avoid
it; you're on much safer ground doing so if the same person has written similar letters for you
before, but a good letter takes time to write, so make sure you ensure that your letter writers have
the time they need. Ideally request the letter at least a month beforehand, but don't ask so early
(more than two months or so) that your letter writers will forget or lose your materials. It's
advisable to give your letter writers an early heads-up that you'll be requesting a letter, just to

  

Source: Akhmedov, Azer - Department of Mathematics, University of California at Santa Barbara

 

Collections: Mathematics