Ihave Nonamè

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Dec 9, 2017
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Hi, what's the best way to go about this?

Include "Letter of Recommendation request" in the subject title?

Keep it rather short?

Any objections to this below?:

'Hi Professor ---, I'm writing to request a letter of recommendation from you. I was a student in your (course name) class in (time of year). I attended and enjoyed all office hours with you, considered the material beyond what was necessary for the course and earned an A.

If you are able to write a letter on my behalf, I would be available for a zoom meeting to discuss my journey thus far toward medical school. Please let me know.

sincerely..'

I'll add that everything is remote here in California so I cannot go in to ask in person.
 
Jun 29, 2020
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Personally, I would include a few sentences about something specific you enjoyed about the course or something about the course that encouraged you in your pursuit of a career in medicine. Adds a nice personal touch and makes it seem like you're asking them for reasons other than because you did well in the class. Also would word the beginning like "I'm writing to ask if you would be willing to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf for my application for medical school". Sounds less demanding. Make sure you sound very grateful for their consideration as well.
 
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Rachapkis

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I would make my request for an LOR as personal as possible. Pre-pandemic, I would visit the professor in person to make the request. Post-pandemic, I would call the professor if possible, but, if that is not the nature of your relationship, I would personalize the letter (as suggested above).
 
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Ihave Nonamè

2+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2017
182
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I would make my request for an LOR as personal as possible. Pre-pandemic, I would visit the professor in person to make the request. Post-pandemic, I would call the professor if possible, but, if that is not the nature of your relationship, I would personalize the letter (as suggested above).
Definitely not the nature of our relationship. Though again, I am available for a zoom meeting (would you recommend this?). I couldn't set up a zoom meeting with them of course without first emailing...

This definitely is not my preference for the record. I have been pretty upset actually with the remote format.
 
Jan 9, 2020
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With the pandemic going on I would really just send an email. Zoom meeting shouldn't be necessary. If they forget what you look like it's not the right person to ask for a letter
 

Ihave Nonamè

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If they forget what you look like it's not the right person to ask for a letter
*sigh* yes...well I'm certain they would recognize me in person but not so certain about my email/name. I attended every OH for a few professors alongside 10 other students or so each time (I'm at an overcrowded UC school). They were not concerned with names, frankly.

However, I was fairly talkative and joked around a little (made them laugh on occasion) as well as asked questions that they voiced were challenging or displayed great critical thinking skills.
 
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clumsy.md

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Dec 4, 2018
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I remember doing a Skype call with a professor (pre-pandemic) for a letter of rec. It helped him get to know me beyond what he saw in class. He ended up writing me a great letter. Provide he/she the option to do a zoom call, if they would like to.

Personally, I would avoid saying, "I'm writing to request a letter of recommendation from you," especially as an opening. It doesn't have a genuine or personable tone to it. Like you said, you're at an overcrowded UC school, which means you should try everything you can to get the professor to write something memorable/positive about you.
 

Ihave Nonamè

2+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2017
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I remember doing a Skype call with a professor (pre-pandemic) for a letter of rec. It helped him get to know me beyond what he saw in class. He ended up writing me a great letter. Provide he/she the option to do a zoom call, if they would like to.

Personally, I would avoid saying, "I'm writing to request a letter of recommendation from you," especially as an opening. It doesn't have a genuine or personable tone to it. Like you said, you're at an overcrowded UC school, which means you should try everything you can to get the professor to write something memorable/positive about you.
I've always been told that emails to professors should be short and to the point... Are you suggesting I should describe myself, my pursuit and my time in their class all in this initial email? Or should I reserve all of this for further discussion with them?
 

drducky.

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You're missing the most important part. Ask if they're willing to write you a STRONG letter of recommendation.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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You don’t need to Skype them. Email them and give a short reminder of who you are, ask if they feel comfortable writing you a strong LOR, and say you can send your cv and PS if they want them for reference. If they want to do a zoom call they’ll tell you. Don’t over complicate it and don’t make the email long. You can give them all the details after they say yes.
 

clumsy.md

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I've always been told that emails to professors should be short and to the point... Are you suggesting I should describe myself, my pursuit and my time in their class all in this initial email? Or should I reserve all of this for further discussion with them?
Nope. I'm simply saying none of my emails asking for letters looked like yours. Like Matthew said, once the professor says yes you can send them more details. Each professor is different in how they approach writing letters. They'll either want your cv/resume or they'll churn something out on their own.
 

LizzyM

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Did you have any written assignments (papers, reports, essays)? If so, attatch one of the best which might serve as another reminder of who you are. Also look into whether your email system allows you to attach a photo... some do. That can help, too. "Your journey" is not relevant. The professor should be writing only what they know first hand, not repeating whatever is in your personal statement, etc. Do say that you are available to speak by phone, if necessary.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

Do it.
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Did you have any written assignments (papers, reports, essays)? If so, attatch one of the best which might serve as another reminder of who you are. Also look into whether your email system allows you to attach a photo... some do. That can help, too. "Your journey" is not relevant. The professor should be writing only what they know first hand, not repeating whatever is in your personal statement, etc. Do say that you are available to speak by phone, if necessary.

Totally agree but I will say that I had a couple letter writers ask for my personal statement. So it would help to have at least an outline ready in case they want it.
 
May 27, 2019
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Speaking of letters, and not to hijack this thread, but is there an appropriate follow-up timeline after sending a LOR to a professor? I emailed a professor about a few weeks ago and have heard nothing back. Granted, I understand he is always on the slow side of things and is probably inundated with many other emails to sift through. I was wondering if I should just leave it at that or if I should follow-up at some point in the future?
 

mdphd123j

MD-PhD applicant, 2020-2021
Mar 27, 2020
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Speaking of letters, and not to hijack this thread, but is there an appropriate follow-up timeline after sending a LOR to a professor? I emailed a professor about a few weeks ago and have heard nothing back. Granted, I understand he is always on the slow side of things and is probably inundated with many other emails to sift through. I was wondering if I should just leave it at that or if I should follow-up at some point in the future?
If you have a deadline, make sure there is reasonably enough time before the deadline (don’t wait too long to remind). A few weeks and a business day (good to email on a Monday) is the perfect time to send a 1-sentence reiteration of your request to write you a strong letter of recommendation for med school if they feel they are able, then thank them. Most of the time it just gets lost in their inbox (I had the same thing happen) and they will respond quickly after you send the 1-2 sentence follow-up
 

mdphd123j

MD-PhD applicant, 2020-2021
Mar 27, 2020
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*sigh* yes...well I'm certain they would recognize me in person but not so certain about my email/name. I attended every OH for a few professors alongside 10 other students or so each time (I'm at an overcrowded UC school). They were not concerned with names, frankly.

However, I was fairly talkative and joked around a little (made them laugh on occasion) as well as asked questions that they voiced were challenging or displayed great critical thinking skills.
If you are not sure they will recognize you, you could always attach a picture of yourself at the bottom, which is what I do when I send a thank-you note after med school interviews. Or if you can set a profile picture for your institutional email that is good too
 
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mdphd123j

MD-PhD applicant, 2020-2021
Mar 27, 2020
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Include some points you’d like them to hit about your strengths for med school
 

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