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Requesting a Recommendation Letter from Me

I can often write good recommendation letters for students who have taken a class with me or done research with me. When requesting a recommendation letter from me, please do the following: (1) ask me at least two weeks before the deadline, (2) provide me a list of all the opportunities and their recommendation letter deadlines, (3) waive your right to read my letters (in your application), and (4) answer the three questions below.

To help me write the best recommendation letter I can, it'd be very helpful if you could answer the following questions:

  1. What is a specific obstacle/challenge you overcame, related to your coursework/research with me? Alternatively, you could consider a specific instance of growth during one of the projects/classes you took with me.
  2. Why are you the best fit for the positions to which you're applying? Why these opportunities/institutions?
  3. Anything else that might be worth mentioning in the letter to strengthen your application? Something you'd like emphasized, extra-curricular activities that enhance your application, etc.

The best letters of recommendation show rather than tell. So the more specific you can be in your responses, the better!

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