Letters of Recommendation
The better I know you, the better I can tell others about how incredible you are and why they absolutely must accept you into graduate school (or hire you). Please do not hesitate to talk to me before/after class or come by office hours. If I know you and you'd like a letter of recommendation from me, read on.
Requirements for Requesting Letters of Recommendation from Me
I need 2-4 weeks advance notice to prepare and submit your letters. Like everyone, I am busy and need to schedule time to handle these tasks. And, while you may just be asking for 1 letter, there are likely a dozen other people asking for a dozen letters from me at the same time.
Send your application materials. These include your resume/curriculum vita, personal statement, and graduate test scores (e.g., GRE, MCAT, LSAT, etc.) in percentiles (i.e., raw scores create more work for me; so tell me where you scored relative to all other test takers, which is usually provided on score reports).
Most semesters, I teach at least 150 students. Remind me when we met and in what context. If you took a class with me, tell me what class and semester it was. Please remind me what grade you received (I can confirm this on my end).
Tell me where I will need to submit your letters. Most of the time, I will receive an email inviting me to submit your letter to a dossier service. If I need to send the letter via email or snail mail directly to someone, let me know.
Waive your right to see my letter. I won't agree to write a letter if I can't write a good letter for you, but I also won't agree to write a letter unless you waive your right to see it.
Do not send follow-up emails checking on whether I submitted your letters or not until 5 days before the deadline. I receive too much email and do not need reminders for tasks that I've agreed to do. If I agreed, I will do it. If there are 5 days prior to the deadline, you may send ONE courteous email checking in on the state of your letter, but do not send more than that.