Letters of Recommendation Question

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Should I submit one great academic LoR or one great one and one mediocre one?

Submit both academic LoRs
5
83%
Only submit the strong academic LoR
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

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doublehoohopeful

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Letters of Recommendation Question

Postby doublehoohopeful » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:44 am

I used the search function to see if this has been addressed in the past; I apologize if I missed it.

So I have one stellar academic LoR and another academic letter that reads like a form letter. I'm also working on getting one from my current employer.

I'm wondering if it would be stronger to submit both academic LoRs and the one I'm getting from work (three total), or if it would be better to just submit the one stellar academic one and the one I'm currently getting from work (two total). Any insight or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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malleus discentium

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Re: Letters of Recommendation Question

Postby malleus discentium » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:05 pm

Why is one weak and why do you know this? Where are you planning to apply? Are you in UG/how far out are you?

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hillz

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Re: Letters of Recommendation Question

Postby hillz » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:09 pm

Some schools (Yale) insist upon two academic letters but I think they expect both academic letters to be stellar. Is there anyone else who could write you a good academic letter? Did you work closely with a TA? I think generally that submitting a "meh" letter doesn't do much for you.

Is there anyone else who can write you an academic-type letter (i.e. talking about critical thinking skills, effective communication, etc.)?

Also, knowing answers to malleus's questions above would help.

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doublehoohopeful

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Re: Letters of Recommendation Question

Postby doublehoohopeful » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:38 pm

I appreciate the replies and I'm happy to provide some clarification. Towards the end of undergrad (I graduated class of 2012), I solicited these letters from professors. I was also considering other graduate schools at the time, so I asked them to submit the letters to a dossier service and I was able to see them then.

malleus discentium wrote:Why is one weak and why do you know this? Where are you planning to apply? Are you in UG/how far out are you?


The letter in question strikes me as weak because it reads like a form letter, consisting of three short paragraphs that basically say, "he participated in class, he got all As, he is articulate and can write well." My other academic letter, in contrast, is much more detailed.

I'm planning on blanketing the T14.

I graduated in 2012, working in policy for the past two years.

hillz wrote:Some schools (Yale) insist upon two academic letters but I think they expect both academic letters to be stellar. Is there anyone else who could write you a good academic letter? Did you work closely with a TA? I think generally that submitting a "meh" letter doesn't do much for you.

Is there anyone else who can write you an academic-type letter (i.e. talking about critical thinking skills, effective communication, etc.)?

Also, knowing answers to malleus's questions above would help.


Yeah, I listened to a webinar Yale put on and it made me think about it. Being two years out of undergrad, I've pretty much lost contact with professors and TAs, but the one I'm getting from work now is going to be academically inclined. I'm doing some pretty wonky policy stuff right now so it isn't like it is coming from my shift manager from Burger King.

Again, thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

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hillz

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Re: Letters of Recommendation Question

Postby hillz » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:09 pm

I think you should be okay. If it were me, I would probably still include both academic letters and the professional one. I don't think including a "meh" letter will hurt you but it may not help all that much (other than that it is an additional person attesting to the fact that you aren't psycho).

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hillz

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Re: Letters of Recommendation Question

Postby hillz » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:09 pm

And it's great that your work has an academic bent...sounds like your employer LOR will be strong.

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