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Old 09-15-2011, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Hi, I'm a high school senior applying to several selective universities which require letters of recommendation. How would I go about asking this and what should I provide them? I have two teachers in mind because they would often approbate my writing and I believe know me as a student and as a person. I get nervous thinking about it with one teacher. The other one is very nice and I'm sure it won't be a problem asking her for a letter. The other one is the one that gets me nervous. She's a great english teacher, probably the best I've had, its just that I never talked to her that much but she knew me as a great student and would praise my work in front of the class several times. The thing that gets me nervous is asking, should I just ask her if she can write it and leave or should I try to make a conversation? To those that did ask for letters of recommendation, did you just go there and get to the point and ask her or did you have some conversation and eventually talked about the letters?

Any help is welcome!
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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When I asked my teacher for a recommendation letter, I dropped by her office, exchanged the usual greetings and explained the graduate program that I was applying for. After that I asked her if she would be willing to write a recommendation for me. We talked for a little while so that she could get to know a little more about me. Wasn't too bad.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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What did you talk about, if you don't mind me asking? Usually I feel comfortable no talking when I don't feel like it but sometimes I feel the need to say something. Teachers are some of those individuals with whom I'd feel the need to talk to.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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In the past I have:

Sent the prof an email (hey remember me? We talked about X that time in your office or I gave Y presentation). I explain the thing I'm applying for and ask if they would CONSIDER writing me a letter. Explain they are looking for a letter which talks about my qualities A B and C to give the prof an idea of what he would need to write.

I then say if he is considering this, I would be happy to drop by his office and give him my CV, transcripts, examples of writing or exams done in his class, or talk to him further about my goals or whatever, to give him a better idea before he decides.

That way I'm not asking him in email, but I'm asking him to consider it over email and then if he says yes when I drop by his office it's less...unexpected.

Good luck
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Perfectionist View Post
In the past I have:

Sent the prof an email (hey remember me? We talked about X that time in your office or I gave Y presentation). I explain the thing I'm applying for and ask if they would CONSIDER writing me a letter. Explain they are looking for a letter which talks about my qualities A B and C to give the prof an idea of what he would need to write.

I then say if he is considering this, I would be happy to drop by his office and give him my CV, transcripts, examples of writing or exams done in his class, or talk to him further about my goals or whatever, to give him a better idea before he decides.

That way I'm not asking him in email, but I'm asking him to consider it over email and then if he says yes when I drop by his office it's less...unexpected.

Good luck
Wow, thanks! That seems pretty clear in terms of doing. I know my teacher knows me so I'll make a conversation and eventually ask in a similar fashion. Thanks to you both for responding!
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I ALSO have to do this, and i've been avoiding it all last week.
I need to do it tomorrow. I'll look for them and ask if i can ask for a favor from them, and if they would write me a letter of recommendation for the scholarship I'm applying for.
Let us know how your situation works out.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hey, ask them as soon as possible!

I went today only to find out she wasn't there, she was still on leave for maternity circumstances (she had a sub there and I asked her if she could check my admissions essay, the essay won't be a problem for me anymore, she loved it). I was thinking of e-mailing her during the summer but became procrastinated. How do I feel right now? I feel angry with myself for not doing it sooner. I'm freaking out because I e-mailed her about an hour ago and my e-mail was forwarded with a message that said that the e-mail account was out of office with a message saying that she couldn't contact students at the moment about school issues. A friend of mine e-mailed her about a letter of recommendation and he's getting one. He probably asked soon, before his e-mail became forwarded. I'm going to ask the sub if there is anyway possible for me to reach my teacher so I can ask for a letter. She knew my work and approbated my work in front of the class. I'm sure her letter would've been stellar, but now I'm freaking out. She'll be back on Oct. 10 but I'm thinking of applying ED. Take it from me, don't procrastinate!

How I wish I could go back in time when I was thinking of e-mailing her instead of waiting until now.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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i can't remember what i did when applying to college, but when i was applying to grad school i approached some undergrad professors by asking them for their input on different graduate school programs in the field. i think most of them know thats a thinly veiled request for a letter of recommendation, but it worked. it certainly made things a lot easier than asking outright, and i actually did get some valuable input from them on applying to schools, etc.

actually when i was in undergrad i applied for a study abroad program and i had a professor that was very rude to me and said some pretty hurtful things when i asked her for a letter of rec.

that made it a lot harder to ask others in the future because i was scared of the same thing happening. but ive learned that most teachers are very happy to write letters.

heck, i started teaching last year and ive had a few students ask me for recommendations, im always glad to do it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by blue the puppy View Post
i can't remember what i did when applying to college, but when i was applying to grad school i approached some undergrad professors by asking them for their input on different graduate school programs in the field. i think most of them know thats a thinly veiled request for a letter of recommendation, but it worked. it certainly made things a lot easier than asking outright, and i actually did get some valuable input from them on applying to schools, etc.

actually when i was in undergrad i applied for a study abroad program and i had a professor that was very rude to me and said some pretty hurtful things when i asked her for a letter of rec.

that made it a lot harder to ask others in the future because i was scared of the same thing happening. but ive learned that most teachers are very happy to write letters.

heck, i started teaching last year and ive had a few students ask me for recommendations, im always glad to do it.
Ah, I'm sorry to hear that (about the first professor) but glad you got a professor who understood!

You're a HS teacher? That's awesome. If I may ask, what type of things do teachers usually write?
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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i actually teach college (undergrads) but in letters i mention how long and in what context i've known the student, comment on the quality of work, and their other strengths (for example, if they do really good group work, or if they participate a lot in class, or something else. everyone has strengths!) if they have weaknesses, like a low grade or something, i mention that and try and put a positive spin on it, like their grade is improving.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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i actually teach college (undergrads) but in letters i mention how long and in what context i've known the student, comment on the quality of work, and their other strengths (for example, if they do really good group work, or if they participate a lot in class, or something else. everyone has strengths!) if they have weaknesses, like a low grade or something, i mention that and try and put a positive spin on it, like their grade is improving.[/QUOTE]


Sounds like what I thought it would be, haha. Are the students whom ask you students you don't know in detail or students you've seen regularly?

You're a professor? That's awesome! How's that like, does SA get in the way?
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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im not a professor, im a grad student i actually love teaching, SA doesnt really get in the way.
as for which students have approached me for recommendations, its been both. obviously its a lot easier to write letters for students ive seen regularly.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue the puppy View Post
im not a professor, im a grad student i actually love teaching, SA doesnt really get in the way.
as for which students have approached me for recommendations, its been both. obviously its a lot easier to write letters for students ive seen regularly.
That's awesome that SA doesn't get in the way! Ah, of course
(about the letters of recommendation).
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