Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

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histandard387
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Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby histandard387 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:38 pm

I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with (he was my mentor when I was president of my student investment fund, when I was president of my university's financial club, and I also went on several conferences with him).

Anyways, he is a very busy guy, and asked me to write it for him. He said he would look over it and sign off.

Anyone ever done this?? I started writing it, but found it a bit more difficult than I initially thought it would be... Don't want to overemphasize how amazing I am :mrgreen:

any feedback would be appreciated, thanks...

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NZA
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby NZA » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:40 pm

histandard387 wrote:I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with (he was my mentor when I was president of my student investment fund, when I was president of my university's financial club, and I also went on several conferences with him).

Anyways, he is a very busy guy, and asked me to write it for him. He said he would look over it and sign off.

Anyone ever done this?? I started writing it, but found it a bit more difficult than I initially thought it would be... Don't want to overemphasize how amazing I am :mrgreen:

any feedback would be appreciated, thanks...


:lol:

Oh dear.

EDIT: In case you are not a troll, no, you can't do this. :\ Would be highly unethical.

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thecilent
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby thecilent » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:42 pm

histandard387 wrote:I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with


Can't be all that good.. get someone else.

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fathergoose
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby fathergoose » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:42 pm

histandard387 wrote:I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with (he was my mentor when I was president of my student investment fund, when I was president of my university's financial club, and I also went on several conferences with him).

Anyways, he is a very busy guy, and asked me to write it for him. He said he would look over it and sign off.

Anyone ever done this?? I started writing it, but found it a bit more difficult than I initially thought it would be... Don't want to overemphasize how amazing I am :mrgreen:

any feedback would be appreciated, thanks...

Tons of threads on this, search through them for some pretty good perspectives on it.

The gist of it is that some people will tell you it's absolutely unethical and terrible.

Others will tell you it's not a big deal at all.

If you know the guy and he knows you, then I don't think it's unreasonable to provide him with some well written, eloquent notes about yourself in the format you need the final draft to be in. But that's my two cents

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4for44
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby 4for44 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:43 pm

NZA wrote:
histandard387 wrote:I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with (he was my mentor when I was president of my student investment fund, when I was president of my university's financial club, and I also went on several conferences with him).

Anyways, he is a very busy guy, and asked me to write it for him. He said he would look over it and sign off.

Anyone ever done this?? I started writing it, but found it a bit more difficult than I initially thought it would be... Don't want to overemphasize how amazing I am :mrgreen:

any feedback would be appreciated, thanks...


:lol:

Oh dear.


Waiting for the wolves... ::Grabs popcorn::

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:45 pm

I can't believe that more people haven't had this experience. Although it never happened to me, it seems to be quite common. Part of the issue can be a recommender who isn't sure what skills to highlight, or what kinds of things a particular program would like to know about you. I don't assume it's an ethical issue for you--although it might be for your recommender if they sign their name to something they don't believe to be accurate.

meh3884
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby meh3884 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:46 pm

It is how its done in the Army, but I'm not sure about doing it for law school. In the military its just standard practice...letters are ceremonial, largely just dependent on who you get to sign them, and your chain of command doesn't have time to waste on you.

They're very different in law school...really used to make a decision about an applicant and expected to be an honest appraisal. Don't really see how writing it yourself is an honest appraisal, but on the other hand if the professor thinks highly enough of you to do it....vs. he's lazy and apathetic and you should ask someone else.

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2Serious4Numbers
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby 2Serious4Numbers » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:47 pm

Forget the popcorn.. It's all about the sour patch kidz

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hokie
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby hokie » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:47 pm

NZA wrote:
histandard387 wrote:I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with (he was my mentor when I was president of my student investment fund, when I was president of my university's financial club, and I also went on several conferences with him).

Anyways, he is a very busy guy, and asked me to write it for him. He said he would look over it and sign off.

Anyone ever done this?? I started writing it, but found it a bit more difficult than I initially thought it would be... Don't want to overemphasize how amazing I am :mrgreen:

any feedback would be appreciated, thanks...


:lol:

Oh dear.

EDIT: In case you are not a troll, no, you can't do this. :\ Would be highly unethical.


Not only is it highly unethical, but risky seeing as adcomms have enough material to be familiar with your writing style. I was in a similar situation as yours and I just politely asked him to write it (simply stating the previous reasons along with writing from his perspective) and he thought [with a quizzical facial expression], laughed, then said not a problem. TITCR

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thecilent
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby thecilent » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:48 pm

thecilent wrote:
histandard387 wrote:I asked one of my professors who I have real good relations with


Can't be all that good.. get someone else.

histandard387
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby histandard387 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:51 pm

he actually had one of my buddies do the same thing... apparently he ended up changing a good amount of the letter as well, though... he is one of two professors who know me very well, I was a bit surprised when he asked me to write it for him... did not think it was customary...

and wow!...did a search... they do have a lot of tips online...

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Tanicius
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby Tanicius » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:52 pm

LSAC prohibits this. So... I really don't see how this is even a question of subjective ethics. The more important point is that this can come back to harm you. Sure it's unlikely a school will do anything formal if they suspect you wrote your own LOR, but they can always just not admit you because, well, I don't know, your LOR looks like it was written by its subject.

Also, the idea that a professor doesn't have time to write an LOR is absurd. You need to be more assertive with them. If they honestly cannot find an hour to sit down and hammer something out, they aren't close enough to you.
Last edited by Tanicius on Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NZA
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby NZA » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:53 pm

Tanicius wrote:LSAC prohibits this.


Case closed.

951623
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby 951623 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:24 am

haha! this is funny. that means that nearly every evaluation report ever written in the military is unethical - call CNN!!! :? :?

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Lwoods
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby Lwoods » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:32 am

As someone who has written LORs before (I advised a sorority chapter), I'm sympathetic to those professors who ask for a draft. It's difficult to not write a form letter, even when the letter writer thinks highly of the applicant.

There is nothing wrong with providing your letter writer with tools he can use to best complete the favor you asked of him. When I write letters, I always ask for a resume. One of my professor LOR writers asked for my resume, transcript and a list of activities in which I participated in undergrad; another professor asked me to submit a couple papers I had written for his class in addition to my resume.

That said, you definitely put yourself at risk if you write an actual draft. In addition to the shady ethical line, adcomms might notice the similar writing style between the letter and your PS. Instead, maybe provide a list or outline of what you think is important / the qualities you believe this writer would have a unique perspective on (in your case, probably your leadership skills in the clubs he advised and conference experiences). Your professor will still be the one to write the letter, sign his name, and submit the letter. If he disagrees with any of the bullet points you provide, he won't include them.

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oldhippie
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby oldhippie » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:58 am

i had the same situtation - i sent her my resume, my PS, and a bullet point list of the things that i thought she would want to include in the letter. she turned it into a letter within a few hours.

quetzal_bird
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby quetzal_bird » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:24 am

Part of being an academic is accepting that you will write recommendation letters. It is simply unreasonable not to perform this service, unless of course you don't know the student well enough to write a letter, in which case you let the student know that. It is finals period, however, maybe ask the prof if they need more time to write something.

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Montevillian
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby Montevillian » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:48 am

histandard387 wrote:he actually had one of my buddies do the same thing... apparently he ended up changing a good amount of the letter as well, though... he is one of two professors who know me very well, I was a bit surprised when he asked me to write it for him... did not think it was customary...

and wow!...did a search... they do have a lot of tips online...


This doesn't seem like it would be very productive. You are already trying to sell yourself to the law school with your application- the purpose of the letter of recommendation is to get another person's view on you. Even if he agrees with everything you right, it's just not going to be the same as if your recommender does it himself. Personally, I would find someone else, unless you're sure that he will change a good amount of the letter to give his own insight.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:09 pm

oldhippie wrote:i had the same situtation - i sent her my resume, my PS, and a bullet point list of the things that i thought she would want to include in the letter. she turned it into a letter within a few hours.


This. All of my recommendation writers got a copy of my resume, and one requested a copy of my personal statement. It gave some perspective and some direction. This is MUCH better than writing your own IMHO.

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AreJay711
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:15 pm

I recommend writing important points and details out then EMAILING it to you prof. as a word doc. He can then keep what he wants, deletes what he wants, and add perspective. It is good because profs won't forget the little details -- like that someone has had the absolute highest exam grades across all sections for 3 separate classes -- yet will be able to add their overview of you and add some perspective that you wouldn't be able to.

quetzal_bird
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby quetzal_bird » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:37 pm

Yeah, just make sure when they say they are too busy, they aren't really saying you haven't given them enough time. Send a PS, a resume, stamped envelope, and offer to come in and chat for 15 minutes in their office about what you hope they can highlight for you in a letter. Come to decision, together, about an appropriate deadline for finishing the letter. Its getting late in the cycle, but I gave my profs a month and that's about how long I waited. Make sure that, as it approaches the date you've agreed on, you deliver a thank you card to your prof for writing the letter. This can be a hint, if they haven't done it yet, to get on it for you.

krad
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby krad » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:38 pm

2Serious4Numbers wrote:Forget the popcorn.. It's all about the sour patch kidz


For realz!

Edit: in all seriousness, this-
oldhippie wrote:i had the same situtation - i sent her my resume, my PS, and a bullet point list of the things that i thought she would want to include in the letter. she turned it into a letter within a few hours.

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Ratchet Jackson
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby Ratchet Jackson » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:47 pm

Find another LOR writer. That really speaks to how your professor feels about you if he cannot spend an hour writing your letter of rec. On to the next one.

krad
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby krad » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:49 pm

RJ127 wrote:Find another LOR writer. That really speaks to how your professor feels about you if he cannot spend an hour writing your letter of rec. On to the next one.


I got a million ways to get it
Choose one
Bring it back
Double your money and make a stack
On to the next one

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T6Hopeful
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Re: Writing a letter of rec. for myself; for my busy professor

Postby T6Hopeful » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:00 am

Tanicius wrote:LSAC prohibits this. So... I really don't see how this is even a question of subjective ethics. The more important point is that this can come back to harm you. Sure it's unlikely a school will do anything formal if they suspect you wrote your own LOR, but they can always just not admit you because, well, I don't know, your LOR looks like it was written by its subject.

Also, the idea that a professor doesn't have time to write an LOR is absurd. You need to be more assertive with them. If they honestly cannot find an hour to sit down and hammer something out, they aren't close enough to you.

+1 to all of this.




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