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morganapple


Oct 6, 2009, 2:06 PM

Post #251 of 333 (7012 views)
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Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm wondering if it makes a difference that all my reference letters are coming from writing professors. Will that hurt me? Not sure if they're trying to get various perspectives of me or just my writing?


kbritten

e-mail user

Oct 6, 2009, 2:26 PM

Post #252 of 333 (7007 views)
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Re: [SevenFreckles] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

SevenFreckles: it was very weird, some of the schools never heard of the service. I pretty much received a different response from each of the twelve schools that I contacted. Several told me that it would be okay to use it, but others were kind of snarky with their response, like I was trying to be "difficult" or something. Oh well, to each its own! Thanks anyway, I'm making record time getting my letters returned, and it looks like I could be done with the entire application process by the end of October or, the very latest, end of November. Yay for me!!


bighark


Oct 6, 2009, 2:38 PM

Post #253 of 333 (7005 views)
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Re: [morganapple] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't over-think the recommendation process. If you have three strong LORs from writing teachers, you're in good shape.


taraberyl



Oct 6, 2009, 11:34 PM

Post #254 of 333 (6975 views)
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Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I apologize if this has been addressed in the past - I tried to find something about it but came up empty.

I have 3 great rec letters from three great people. i recently got back in touch with a former writing teacher of mine who is *kind of a big deal* and he said he would write one of my letters. i don't want to bump any of my other recommenders.
SO: can i send 4 letters of recommendation to schools? wise or unwise? will they be pissed? i don't want to anger the admissions gods.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 12, 2009, 11:19 AM

Post #255 of 333 (6645 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

My advice would be that if a school asks for three, send three—no more and no fewer. In fact, if you're applying on-line, the electronic application might only provide three fields in which to register your recommenders, meaning you physically can't register more than three of them, and it will likely prevent you from submitting your app if you try to submit any fewer than three.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


Pedro Eler


Nov 12, 2009, 11:50 AM

Post #256 of 333 (6634 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

If they say three, send three. No more, no fewer. Not following basic guidelines is normally considered a very bad thing when applying for MFA`s.


WanderingTree


Nov 12, 2009, 1:14 PM

Post #257 of 333 (6622 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to disagree with the other two posters. Letters won't make or break you. You won't get accepted or rejected based on rec letters. But, if you really want someone (and this person really is a big deal), I doubt admissions committees would care one way or the other if you included it.

A lot of people probably send more than 3 letters just in case something happened to one of their recommenders (or if one went awol and a deadline was coming up). I sent 4 last year and I still got wait listed at two top tiers.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 12, 2009, 1:26 PM

Post #258 of 333 (6611 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

WanderingTree—I absolutely agree with you that the letters of recommendation aren't going to make or break you (the writing sample will do that). However—and this is just based on my brief experience working in undergraduate admissions at a highly selective university—admissions committees do like to see that you can follow their instructions, and if the instructions ask for three letters, I think you should send three. I think it's also worth noting that (a) a recommendation from someone who's "kind of a big deal" isn't necessarily going to help if that person doesn't have some pretty persuasive stuff to say about your writing, and (b) as I mentioned above, if your recommenders are submitting on-line, the electronic application my limit you to three recommenders. Not that you couldn't have one recommender submit a letter by post, but I think that just increases the odds of annoying the graduate school and drawing attention to the fact that you're not following their guidelines.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Nov 12, 2009, 3:56 PM

Post #259 of 333 (6587 views)
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Re: [WanderingTree] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I had 4 recommenders send letters as well, and did just fine.

I did so because it was coming down to the wire, and it looked like recommender 3 was going to flake out on me, so rather than have only 2 recs in, I asked recommender 4 to send letters for me. Recommender 3 ended up coming through at the 11th hour, so each school had 4 letters on file for me.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


taraberyl



Nov 12, 2009, 11:12 PM

Post #260 of 333 (6541 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

i just want to say for the record that my use of the term *kind of a big deal* was intended as a lighthearted shortcut to communicate what i was trying to say, and that i am not an uber douche bag.

anyway i think i will use his letters since he's been my teacher for several semesters in undergraduate and knows me really well. none of my writing samples or SOPs go over the page limits so hopefully the schools won't feel like i disregarded their instructions.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Nov 12, 2009, 11:15 PM

Post #261 of 333 (6537 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Haha no worries, taraberyl. I figured you were joking, otherwise I wouldn't have linked to a photo of Ron Burgundy.

And I obviously don't think that the schools are going to shred your application and blacklist you for submitting an extra recommendation, I'd just be cautious about it. It sounds like you know what you're doing, though, so best of luck!


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 1:55 AM

Post #262 of 333 (6259 views)
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Re: [ericweinstein] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone know if addenda to letter of recommendation forms are actually required for applicants using dossier services?

I refer to Columbia and Wisconsin's applications, which asks those who are recommending to complete a slightly obnoxious rating grid on the candidate's various abilities (such as "perseverance").


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


jaywalke


Nov 30, 2009, 10:31 AM

Post #263 of 333 (6217 views)
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Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Anyone know if addenda to letter of recommendation forms are actually required for applicants using dossier services?

I refer to Columbia and Wisconsin's applications, which asks those who are recommending to complete a slightly obnoxious rating grid on the candidate's various abilities (such as "perseverance").


See: "irony."


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 10:44 AM

Post #264 of 333 (6195 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, not helpful.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


bighark


Nov 30, 2009, 1:25 PM

Post #265 of 333 (6147 views)
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Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

If it makes you feel better, I use Interfolio for my recommendations, and I'm not asking my letter writers to fill out extra forms.


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Nov 30, 2009, 3:14 PM

Post #266 of 333 (6116 views)
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Re: [bighark] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks bighark, good to know. I guess I might call and ask Admissions, though I read somewhere that professors sometimes just cross out those pages anyway.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


jaywalke


Dec 2, 2009, 4:11 PM

Post #267 of 333 (5911 views)
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reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

 
There's a good post on RateYourStudents about letters of reference.

http://rateyourstudents.blogspot.com/2009/12/ruby-from-richmond-runs-down-rec-letter.html


scottjmonty


Dec 9, 2009, 11:49 PM

Post #268 of 333 (5789 views)
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late reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

December 15th deadlines are in less than a week, and I heard from a recommender today that he would not be able to complete any letters for me until mid-January. Would it be a good idea for me to find a new recommender or are most programs ok with a late letter of rec as long as other materials are in order?


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Dec 9, 2009, 11:59 PM

Post #269 of 333 (5788 views)
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Re: [jaywalke] reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks. Whoever wrote that must be horrifically cranky--or have the most insensitive students in the world.

An hour and a half seems a bit abnormal though--I have some academics in my family, and they say it takes them 10-30 minutes, and all seem to think writing letters is a part of their job.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."


bighark


Dec 10, 2009, 12:30 AM

Post #270 of 333 (5782 views)
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Re: [scottjmonty] late reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Yikes! That's horrible, Scott. Unless you asked for the letter last week, this person has really put you on the spot.

Although there are a couple of programs out there that take a hard line on absolute deadlines (IU Bloomington comes to mind), many programs understand that some aspects of your application are beyond your control.

The best thing to do at this point is contact your programs and advise them of your situation. I imagine that most will tell you that you should be fine as long as your other stuff comes in on time.

Anyway, if you do have to get a new writer, I wouldn't let Professor January know about it. Make him or her honor their commitment.

Good luck!


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Dec 10, 2009, 10:16 AM

Post #271 of 333 (5754 views)
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Re: [scottjmonty] late reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

scottjmonty-- I was in a similar situation last year when I went through app season, and I went ahead and got another recommender to send letters immediately. The tardy one still sent my recs, eventually, so each school had 4 recommendations on file for me instead of 3. But I figured that was better than having my app tossed at some schools because it wasn't complete by the deadline. Everything turned out fine for me.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


scottjmonty


Dec 10, 2009, 1:24 PM

Post #272 of 333 (5725 views)
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Re: [alamana] late reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Bighark and Alamana, thanks for the help, but my professor just got his letter done after i gave him a little bit of a guilt-trip (situation is a bit more complicated than i can explain in a few sentences but basically he left the country today on short notice and was not going to be back by mid-january). anyways, all worked out fine


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 10, 2009, 9:10 PM

Post #273 of 333 (5646 views)
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Re: [scottjmonty] late reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

These people kill me/I had one go MIA on me too. I had to scramble around at the last minute (Irvine's early deadline) to ask someone else and had to explain why I was being so last minute. I hated having to tell that person that he was a sub. Not that he minded, but still.


taraberyl



Dec 11, 2009, 7:16 PM

Post #274 of 333 (5575 views)
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uh ohs [In reply to] Can't Post

As some of you may or may not recall, a while back I was wondering aloud on the message boards whether or not to use a fourth letter of rec from a teacher of mine who recently offered his help. I thought he would just write them, give them to me in sealed envelopes, and I would decide what to do. I was thinking about sending them with a little note of explanation if I did send them at all, saying, you know, feel free to discount this additional letter but this teacher was really important to my development as a writer, etc, etc.
The point is I hadn't decided yet what to do with them.

So. Turns out he decided to be very helpful and save me money on postage and ship them off himself.
Nice of him, right? But this frightens me to no end. On top of being an additional letter, it is arriving at places (Iowa) that specifically requested that everything be included in a single application envelope.

Is this a horrible horrible thing that's happened? Or ok? Should I write to the schools? Let it go?

Thanks, guys. This is not good for my health.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Dec 11, 2009, 7:25 PM

Post #275 of 333 (5571 views)
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Re: [taraberyl] uh ohs [In reply to] Can't Post

When I applied (last year) I sent four letters. Because it looked like recommender no. 3 was about to flake out on me I had recommender 4 write letters and send them out. Recommender 3 managed to send them on time too, so. . . every school got four letters. I didn't worry about it and everything worked out fine for me. I wouldn't worry about it at all.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com

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