LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Procedure for Securing a Letter of Recommendation
I encourage students who have completed at least one semester with me in any of my courses to request letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters are very important to potential employers, graduate admissions officers, and corporations. I work hard to provide as much detail as possible in every single letter of recommendation that I write. I do this because my principal purpose is to provide an honest, clear, and objective assessment of the student’s performance and potential to my peers, colleagues, institutions and corporations. It is therefore important to note that your final grade in the course, or courses you have completed with me, will often reflect the strength of the letter of recommendation.
I receive many requests for letters of recommendation from both current and former students regularly. Given the volume of requests, and the importance I place on highly individualized letters of recommendation, students must be sure to contact me at least five weeks before the letter is due. If you have completed an entire semester in any of my courses, and are confident that your overall performance in the course or courses you completed with me reflect the best of your abilities, please be sure to include the following information with your request:
1) A clear description of the specific job, program, graduate/professional school, or fellowship to which you are applying in a .DOC or .DOCX file;
2) a narrative description of your accomplishments, goals, and aspirations in a separate .DOC or .DOCX file;
3) any forms or other paraphernalia that must go along with the letter (please ensure that all forms are completely filled out as needed);
4) a recent copy of your resume or C.V.;
5) a recent writing sample that reflects your best work beyond the course or courses you've taken with me;
6) and a pre-addressed envelopes for each letter requested if electronic submissions are not permissible.
These materials should be sent to me via e-mail and with all necessary attachments in .DOC or .DOCX format. (Pre-addressed envelopes and/or any materials you can not send electronically should be sent to my campus address.) Also, please note that if I agree to write a letter of recommendation it is because I am supportive of your candidacy and confident that you will succeed. So let me let you in on an open secret: if you're asked to waive your access to a letter of recommendation, you should do so. Answering otherwise gives the appearance of not trusting your letter writer, or trusting yourself to pick a strong recommender. It also means that reviewers will not put much weight on a recommender's letter if access has not been waived. For these reasons, you should waive your access to view letters of recommendation written on your behalf.