In order to have the most convincing recommendations possible, follow these guidelines:

  • Seek ranked, established recommenders to write for you. In order to write a strong letter that articulates your strengths, each recommender should be familiar with you and your academic work. Avoid requesting letters from high school teachers, graduate instructors, or faculty who do not know you well enough to write letters.
  • Discuss your plans with your recommender(s) in person. Communicate to the writer why their letter would be valuable and important, and invite the writer to ask any questions about your candidacy or your eligibility. Inviting a writer to discuss any perceived inconsistencies or any unperceived strengths will only make you a better candidate.
  • Provide your recommender(s) with a copy of your personal statement or application essay.
  • Give your recommender(s) enough time to write by asking them at least one monthin advance.
  • Provide your recommenders with clear and accurate directions(e.g., what the letter should address, when the letter is due, how the request for a letter of recommendation will arrive, how they should submit it, etc.)