Strudel19

5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2011
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As I get closer to thinking about who I'll ask for an LOR, I'm hoping someone on these forums can give me some advice.

1) Correct me if I'm wrong, I hear that two things matter in an LOR: what is being said and who is saying it. Is this true?

2) What makes the person "saying" it any "better"? Their position in the department? Where they earned their graduate degree? How well they are regionally or even nationally known?

3) Is any one letter more important than another? For example, a committee letter over a letter from a professor or physician?
 
Jan 20, 2014
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I hear that two things matter in an LOR: what is being said and who is saying it. Is this true?
Uh, is there anything else to a LoR?

2) What makes the person "saying" it any "better"? Their position in the department? Where they earned their graduate degree? How well they are regionally or even nationally known?
The best person to write your letter is a person who truly knows you and can sincerely make you sound like the bee's knees. Period.

3) Is any one letter more important than another? For example, a committee letter over a letter from a professor or physician?
Committee letters are often sent by themselves, so they would be the most important LoR given that they are the only LoR. That certainly doesn't mean they're more important than a well-written letter from a professor or a physician, they are simply usually not together. One is not simply better or worse than the other because they are a committee letter or a letter from a professor/physician, it's the content that counts.

What is actually said in LoRs is of paramount importance to how it is received. While certainly, it might be helpful to have a person on the admission's committee of the school write you a letter, that's pretty uncommon and would have mixed effects. What doesn't have mixed effects is a letter that makes you sound like the kind of physician the reader wants treating their father or son.
 
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