Sep 27, 2007, 6:40 PM
Re: [jujubee] A technical question regarding asking for recommendations
You'll need three letters of recommendation for each school. Your LORs don’t have to be all from professors, but you should strive to have at least one former instructor writing on your behalf. The other letters should be from people who are familiar with your writing. These people should be writers or editors with publication credits.
If you’ve been out of school for a number of years, you could probably get away with one former professor, one writer, and one former boss or supervisor. If you’re still an undergrad or have graduated within the past five years or so, you should strive to get three letters from instructors or writers or both.
The process of writing LORs, for professors at least, is a routine part of the job. Don’t worry about the volume of LORs you are requesting. You won’t be the first student to ask for a bunch of letters, and you certainly won’t be the last. Your LOR writer has written dozens of these kinds of letters over the years and could probably compose one for you in minutes. If you’re an especially talented student, he or she may even write something original J Regardless, the LOR writer will most likely use the same letter (swapping out names when necessary) for all of your schools.
You can make things easier for your LOR writers by doing all of the administrative work for them. For each letter, you should provide a list of directions. These directions should include at least the following:
Program’s LOR deadline
The date by which you’d like letter in the mail (It’s ok to say “The letter is due by December 15. If you could have it to them by November 30, I’d really appreciate it)
Delivery method requested by the school (Mail directly to the program, mail to you so you can include it in your application, or fill out online)
Any other special directions (Sign over the envelope’s back flap, fill out an extra form, etc.)
Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for any LOR that must be mailed. If there are extra forms, you can go ahead and fill in as much of the objective information (names, addresses, graduation years, etc) as you can so the LOR writer doesn’t have to waste time filling out the same information over and over.
Also, many programs (the majority, I believe) offer online delivery of letters of recommendation. Definitely take this route whenever you can! It’s easier for you, the school, and the LOR writers.
(This post was edited by bighark on Sep 27, 2007, 6:42 PM)