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Getting letters of recommendation

confusedhokie

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2013
97
67
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
    Hi all,

    So as the subject line says, I'm curious about letters of recommendation. I wouldn't say I'm socially awkward or anything or really shy, but meeting professors to eventually obtain a letter of recommendation has always made me really uncomfortable. Can anyone who has gone through the recommendation process tell me how to even begin a conversation with a professor that would lead to a recommendation? Thanks!!
     

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    Full Member
    7+ Year Member
    Nov 5, 2011
    295
    121
    1. Medical Student
      Dear professor, I been in my room
      Think I'm goin' little crazy or maybe it's the shrooms
      I'm addicted to the thrill, the dream of being big
      I don't ever wanna die, but I'm hatin how I live
      And it's gettin so bright, these moments gettin better
      Doin shows I never dreamed of, I want this **** forever
      In the city I came. The city done changed
      Everybody I knew sayin' I am not the same
      We on the verge baby, this the come up song
      A loud toast to the coast I done came up on
      I will be applying to medical school soon,
      would you be able to write me a strong letter of recommendation?
       

      swimmergirl2010

      Full Member
      Jan 27, 2013
      92
      2
      Midwest
      1. Pre-Medical
        Hi all,

        So as the subject line says, I'm curious about letters of recommendation. I wouldn't say I'm socially awkward or anything or really shy, but meeting professors to eventually obtain a letter of recommendation has always made me really uncomfortable. Can anyone who has gone through the recommendation process tell me how to even begin a conversation with a professor that would lead to a recommendation? Thanks!!


        I was in your position last year, but it helped me to know that this is part of the professor's job. Yes, he or she can turn you down, but I have found that most professors want to help students out. Remember, your professor was in your position once too! Anyone applying to law school/med school/grad school has to go through this process. You don't have to be best friends with the professor in question. As long as you have done well in the class and went to office hours a few times, there's no harm in asking for a letter. I think it is generally best to ask in an email, and offer to meet with him/her in person to discuss your plans further. After he/she has consented, give him or her the following information: your personal statement, resume, a brief biography, and info about where to send the letter. You can include a picture as well if the class was large.
         
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        Kepner

        New Member
        Feb 3, 2013
        8
        0
        1. Non-Student
          Hi all,

          So as the subject line says, I'm curious about letters of recommendation. I wouldn't say I'm socially awkward or anything or really shy, but meeting professors to eventually obtain a letter of recommendation has always made me really uncomfortable. Can anyone who has gone through the recommendation process tell me how to even begin a conversation with a professor that would lead to a recommendation? Thanks!!


          I was definitely in a similar position about a year ago when I first started looking for LORs. I definitely would choose a professor who at least knows you somewhat. One of my recommenders has only known me for a semester, but I really feel like she's gonna write a great LOR because not only did I get a 4.0 in her class, but I was truly involved in the class. Shoot for professors whose classes you've done well in. Other times even going up to your professor after class and asking a simple clarification question can get you noticed. I also agree with the ^^ person above me. Writing LORs is part of a professor's job, and most likely a ton of other people are asking them for a letter too; therefore, if he/she turns you down, you really don't have much to lose.

          Also....I guess I should have anticipated this but I didn't when I was in your position, is that some of these professors have this 50 page questionnaire for you to fill out to help them write the LOR. Have some of those answers prepared ahead of time or at least an idea of what they will be. The sooner you respond to them, the more responsible and dedicated you appear to your prof, and the greater chances you'll have at getting a good, fresh LOR (as opposed to the guy who waits last minute to turn in the questionnaire and your prof is in robot mode and writing the same thing over and over again). Good luck! Go out there and talk to your professors; some of them are actually really nice :)
           

          rlbhou13

          New Member
          Jan 26, 2013
          9
          0
          1. Pre-Medical
            I also asked a professor that I did not know extremely well for a LOR. I scheduled a time to meet with them and explained the situation. I said that I really enjoyed their class even if I didn't come to office hours (I preferred to look things up on my own), and then asked how I could help them better get to know me. I asked for a list of things to provide that would help to write a LOR (PS, Resume, etc.) Then we just talked for awhile (mostly about non-academic topics) which helped me feel very comfortable having them write a LOR, and they seemed excited to help me out as well. Professors usually have great advice as well - my professor helped shape my PS after our first meeting. Good luck, relax, and have fun with it!
             
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