eli2k

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I'm looking over everything and it looks like it would be fairly difficult for me to get good recommendation letters from professors. I don't really know what to ask them during class, and have utilized TA office hours a lot more than professor office hours. Do you think it's possible to ask a TA to pass on his/her opinion of me in order for the professor to write a letter? Do you have any tips?

I'm finding my life to be really miserable right now and am not sure if I'll be able to make a mark on admissions so they give me an interview; everything feels so gloomy right now. :(

Thanks.
 

docinthemaking

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You could always have the TA write you a recommendation and have the professor co-sign the letter. This is what I did for one of my recs since I had a lot more contact with the TA.
 

javert

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docinthemaking said:
You could always have the TA write you a recommendation and have the professor co-sign the letter. This is what I did for one of my recs since I had a lot more contact with the TA.
Was the TA an undergrad or a grad student?
 

dynx

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docinthemaking said:
You could always have the TA write you a recommendation and have the professor co-sign the letter. This is what I did for one of my recs since I had a lot more contact with the TA.
This is a good way to go. What matters is that the letter is really, really, good. Not so much who wrote it as long as there is a professors sig on it. However, I don't think I would go this route for all of your letters.
 

dopaminophile

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Remember, too, that professors in large universities don't have long-time relationships with very many of their undergraduate students. It doesn't hurt to ask the professor and if he/she has hesitations, you can always suggest a meeting to get to know eachother. Start utilizing the professor's office hours rather than the TA's. They are used to being asked for letters, it's part of thier job.
 

crazyvladif

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dopaminophile said:
Remember, too, that professors in large universities don't have long-time relationships with very many of their undergraduate students. It doesn't hurt to ask the professor and if he/she has hesitations, you can always suggest a meeting to get to know eachother. Start utilizing the professor's office hours rather than the TA's. They are used to being asked for letters, it's part of thier job.
I attend a large state school (UWisc, 27000+ undergrads), and was running into similar problems. I started going into office hours for certain profs that seemed receptive to students, or those that were passioante about their job.

As for asking them, they'll let you know if they have any hesitations. Just make sure you do well in the class, and show some interest in the material. And be fearless with asking -- I chickened out on asking a few, and regretted it. It's much easier than you think, and as long as you've talked with them before, most profs feel somewhat honored -- in fact, one of my letter writers took me out for lunch!
 
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eli2k

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Thanks for the input. I guess I'll go to the professor's office hours a few times, then.

And, yes, I'm sort of afraid that I might ask something that the professor just went over a few minutes ago because I just wasn't following him correctly and, depending on his attitude, might seem frustrated or annoyed, and I would feel like I am wasting class time. :/