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smileyfacegirl27

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Hello! What is the best way to ask for a letter of recommendation for professors I have previously had when I don't know their Office Hours? Do I show up unannounced? Or send a professional email asking them to "Set up a meeting to discuss the possibility of a letter of recommendation?" I'm not sure which one is preferred by professors/ which one is proper etiquette. (is showing up unannounced more rude? or is not asking in person more rude?). Also do I need to have a personal statement written before I ask or is a resume sufficient information to provide the professors with?

Thanks all :)
 

HomeSkool

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Hello! What is the best way to ask for a letter of recommendation for professors I have previously had when I don't know their Office Hours? Do I show up unannounced? Or send a professional email asking them to "Set up a meeting to discuss the possibility of a letter of recommendation?" I'm not sure which one is preferred by professors/ which one is proper etiquette. (is showing up unannounced more rude? or is not asking in person more rude?).
I would just e-mail and ask if they'd be willing to write a strong letter in support of my application. As a professor, I've had people e-mail me asking for LORs rather than meeting face-to-face, and I've never been offended by that.

Also do I need to have a personal statement written before I ask or is a resume sufficient information to provide the professors with?
You're going into medicine, so it's a CV, not a resume, and sending one is mandatory. I also find a PS to be helpful, but I don't require it. Others may feel differently about that, however.


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givemecoffee

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I started with an email, just giving them a general overview of my major, work etc. I asked if they would be willing to potentially write me a recommendation letter, and then said "If so, I would love to meet with you to discuss things further or answer any questions you may have." Some of my letter writers asked for CV, personal statement, and some didn't so it just depends
 

TheBiologist

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I knocked on my professors' office door and asked if he/she had 5 minutes. was happy to write me a letter
 

MCATISEZ

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I would just e-mail and ask if they'd be willing to write a strong letter in support of my application. As a professor, I've had people e-mail me asking for LORs rather than meeting face-to-face, and I've never been offended by that.


You're going into medicine, so it's a CV, not a resume, and sending one is mandatory. I also find a PS to be helpful, but I don't require it. Others may feel differently about that, however.


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I would suggest the OP ask in person. From my experience (I understand that you may not do this), professors can often forget to answer your emails. Plus, face-to-face communication often comes across better (especially if you are already prepared with instructions on how to submit the letter, the requirements, and a CV/Personal Statement). That worked well for me.
 

tiramisucheese

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If I was asking when school was no longer in session, I would send my profs an email asking if there was a good time for me to stop by and chat for a bit. Didn't mention the letter in the email. Showed up in person, chatted for a bit, brought up the question. They were expecting it, but I think it's important to play the game too, you know? For context, I had pretty solid relationships with all of my letter writers.
 

CCresearcher

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I would strongly suggest asking in an email rather than in person. It might seem counterintuitive, but you want to make it as easy as possible for a potential letter-writer to say no. While it might suck to have to pick another writer, it is FAR better than having someone write you a letter when they feel ambivalent about it/you.

I was actually just recently talking to someone in the admissions department at my school, and she was saying that you'd be shocked at how many otherwise strong applicants are sunk by one mediocre/bad letter. She said people often feel pressured to write letters for students because they don't want to say no, but then they write a bad letter, which is far worse for the applicant.

When you sent your email, make it professional and flattering to your professor, attach your CV and personal statement, and ALWAYS offer them an out. I would usually say that I knew they were busy, and totally understood if they didn't have time.
 
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Nathan17182

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I have always emailed my professor for letters. I basically ask if they would be willing to write a strong and supportive letter of rec and if yes, I will send my resume and personally statement and meet with them if wished. Everyone I have ever asked has said yes and some have asked for my transcript and a few wanted to meet. The most important part is asking for a strong letter, I have had one person say they would write a letter, but it might not be the best. So I said thanks, but I'll look elsewhere.
 
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