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solar3000

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ok here is the deal. I just received my B. in Psych last semester. I have helped as an undergraduate RA at different psych departments: Developmental 2 semesters
environmental, 1 semester
Clinical, 2 semesters
Currently: post bach, currently helping as an RA at the Cognitive NC lab.

I am a little worried about asking for LOR from my past undergrad experience because it's been a couple of years that i did them. also i was wondering how appropiate would it be to ask them if they would write a strong letter of recomendation? I emailed the clinical professor and he does still remember me and even gave me thanks for the work i did. i was worried though because the work i did at his lab did not involve much contact with him. i basically spent 95% of the time transcribing recorded sessions.
I didn't have much exposure with the teacher at the Environmental lab, and i only helped for one semester.
as far as my Developmental and the Cognitive NC labs, i did have a lot of expsure with the professors.
to sum up all this, what would you guys do in my situation? i want to get strong LOR and I was wondering how would you guys go about it. should I email them and ask if they would write me a strong LOR?


on a side note, my Cognitive NC professor allowed me to take a graduate level class last semester "neuropsychology of aging" in which I received an A and was graded at the same level as the rest of the grad students.
How good do you guys think this will look on my application for grad school?

thanks for reading this confusing message. i would love to hear what eveyrone has to say. i REALLY appreciate any suggestions!!! :banana:
 

PsychappA

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What type of programs are you planing on applying to (clinical, cognitive, etc.)?
 

solar3000

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What type of programs are you planing on applying to (clinical, cognitive, etc.)?


good question, I'd like to apply to a clinical program with emphasis on neuropsychology.

or a phd program that focuses only on neurobiology..

thanks for replying!
 
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erg923

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Those 2 are very very different training programs, and will prepare you for very different careers. Are you more interested in research or seeing patients? I would assume you're pretty research geared since you are considering a Ph.D. in neurobiology?
 

solar3000

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Those 2 are very very different training programs, and will prepare you for very different careers. Are you more interested in research or seeing patients? I would assume you're pretty research geared since you are considering a Ph.D. in neurobiology?

well I am debating if I want to apply for either programs. I love learning about how the brain works on a cellular level I guess you can say. I also would love to become a neuropsychologist and deal with patients.

Right now I am wondering what I should do when it comes to LORs. Is it a good idea to contact professors and ask if they would give me a strong letter of rec or should I just "hope" that they will give me a good LOR?
 

lilies05

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i know people who have asked for a rec letter and have been told by the prof that they don't feel comfortable writing one.

a prof isn't going to spend hours on your letters of rec, only to write one that isn't that great. i have a feeling that if they are willing to write a recommendation, it's going ot be pretty good. if they don't have that many good things to say, they'll probably tell you that they can't write you one.
 

erg923

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i know people who have asked for a rec letter and have been told by the prof that they don't feel comfortable writing one.

a prof isn't going to spend hours on your letters of rec, only to write one that isn't that great. i have a feeling that if they are willing to write a recommendation, it's going ot be pretty good. if they don't have that many good things to say, they'll probably tell you that they can't write you one.

Thats a good point. however, I have always found it to be better "form" so to speak, to first discuss your interests and desire to go to grad school and then politely ask if they would feel comfortable writing you a strong letter. I think its bad form to just assume and request one.
 

solar3000

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From what I read sometimes there are teachers who would write LORs but not necesarily a good one. so who knows.

the #1 reason I was thinking if I should ask if they would write a strong one is because it's been a couple of years since I worked as an RA AND I didn't get much exposure with the professor. I spent 95% of the time alone.
 

myelin

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From what I read sometimes there are teachers who would write LORs but not necesarily a good one. so who knows.

the #1 reason I was thinking if I should ask if they would write a strong one is because it's been a couple of years since I worked as an RA AND I didn't get much exposure with the professor. I spent 95% of the time alone.

Being able to work on your own without constantly being prompted to do your work can be seen as a positive thing. Just because you weren't sitting side-by-side with your professor looking over data all of the time doesn't mean that they won't be able to write you a strong letter.

Now, there are tactful ways to go about asking for a strong LOR without directly asking for it. You could say something like, "The programs I'm applying to are highly competitive and it would be advantageous for me to have very strong letters of recommendation that accurately portray my abilities. If you were to write me a LOR, would you be able to speak strongly about my aptitude for graduate study?"
 
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