How to ask TA for a LOR that you want the professor to sign?

uclaussr

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I've been meeting with the TA is office hours not the professor, hes too busy to meet with any students. So how do i ask the TA to write the letter while also telling her i want the professor to sign it?
 

red10

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*suck up, suck up* "would you write me a letter of rec for med school" *suck up some more* "Med schools require the professor to cosign, is that ok?" *suck up and thank profusely*

if this person has ever written a rec letter before they probably already know a prof will have to cosign. If they haven't, I doubt they'd be offended if you told them it's basically a requirement.
 

surftheiop

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I've been meeting with the TA is office hours not the professor, hes too busy to meet with any students. So how do i ask the TA to write the letter while also telling her i want the professor to sign it?
"Could you write me a letter of recommendation and have Prof. X cosign it?"
 

austinap

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*suck up, suck up* "would you write me a letter of rec for med school" *suck up some more* "Med schools require the professor to cosign, is that ok?" *suck up and thank profusely*

if this person has ever written a rec letter before they probably already know a prof will have to cosign. If they haven't, I doubt they'd be offended if you told them it's basically a requirement.

Don't make **** up, we know that you don't need a professor to cosign it, only that it looks far better if they do. We also understand that a letter only from us doesn't carry all that much weight.

As a grad student that's written a bunch of letters for former students of mine, here are my suggestions: first, make sure that the TA knows you well enough to be able to speak to your abilities as well as your personality. Second, offer to give them more information about yourself. I usually ask for a resume, and it's even better if I get a personal statement. Usually I make the student sit down with me to discuss career plans, why they want to do those things, etc. Finally, make sure they're going to write you a strong letter, and ask if they've written letters for students before. It takes practice to be able to write a good letter of recommendation. I'd also suggest not hounding them, and give them an adequate amount of time to write a strong letter. You don't want your letter to be something that they rushed to get done.

You do not want a letter that only talks about your performance in a class or your grade in that class. That's worthless. You want a letter that can sell you as a person, including how you interact with other people, how you contribute to discussions, what your academic abilities are like, what your real strengths are, etc. Give your TA something to work with.
 

chickensandwich

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my advice is to ask the prof *first* what the lor policy for the class is (if it hasn't already been explicitly stated/you don't already know) and ask if they are willing to co-sign one from a ta/grad student. i say this because i know at least a few professors at my school (who teach huge classes with 400+ students) who will not co-sign and instead have a few requirements before they will write their own for you (come to at least x number of office hours, give them your personal statement, etc). if they are willing to cosign, then ask the ta/grad student nicely and let them know you already talked with professor _____ who was fine with it.
 

Latuza

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I always asked the professor first if they're willing to cosign a letter that the TA will write, then ask the TA for the letter. It's awkward to have asked the TA and then said never mind b/c the professor won't cosign. Unless you'll use the only TA-signed letter anyway.

On the contrary, most schools do require that a letter be signed by a professor or faculty. Letter only signed by TA is an extra letter, not one that satisfies the requirement. Maybe contact the schools you're interested in to see if they're more lax about the rule.

You should provide the TA with your personal statement, resume, and list of things you would like them to be reminded of (things you would like them to mention, anecdotes, etc.). It's like giving them materials to work with. Stamped and addressed envelope will be nice. Also you should store the confidential letters at a letter service, at your career center or use Interfolio that almost all med schools trust. You can just send the letters with the service without reasking your past recommenders again.