Recommendation Requests

This webpage contains advice for people asking for a letter of recommendation from me (or any other faculty member).

You likely have a lot of things on your mind right now, and this is the last thing you want to worry about, but this deals with a central part of your application, whether it be for jobs, graduate school, or a summer program.

Letter-writing is an important part of my job. The following statement is rather obvious, but a reasonable number of people seem not to have considered it: it is in your interest to make your busy letter writer's job as easy as possible.

Please give me as much notice as possible so that I can write as detailed a letter as I would like. For job and graduate school applications, please have all of your material to me at least three weeks before the first deadline, and six weeks is preferable. For summer programs that require a shorter letter, two weeks is okay. If you give me less time than this, then your letter may be submitted late. Sending me your support materials a week before the deadline is not a good idea.

Here is a list of things that you should send to me in order to help me to write the best possible letter for you. I will likely only start writing your letter once I have all of your information.
For other peoples' advice concerning letters of recommendation, visit the pages of Keith Conrad, Rob Pollack, and Ravi Vakil. I have heavily borrowed from their webpages in creating this page.
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