Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

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brinicolec

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Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby brinicolec » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:36 pm

Provide a cover letter with the following information [to the recommender]:
• An introduction thanking the person for his/her time.
• Information on how to contact you if she has questions.
• A due date, which should be within four weeks.
• If you have identified a reason, and gotten approval for, a targeted letter, politely remind the person of that fact. If it is true, you can let the writer know that the school is your first choice. (if it makes it into the recommendation, it is a very credible way to supply this information to an admissions committee).
• A request that the letter be sent on the recommender’s letterhead.
• Alert the writer to the fact that LSAC will be sending an email with instructions on how to submit the letter electronically.
• A list of the materials you are providing.
Provide the following materials:
• A reminder of the course(s) taken with that professor and the grades received.
• A list of papers or projects completed for the recommender and any notes/remarks/grades on those items.
• A writing sample from the professor’s class (preferably graded with the instructor’s comments).
• A completed LSAC letter of recommendation form (signed waiver included) for each letter you are requesting.
• Any other information the person requested during your meeting, but preferably not a personal statement because there is a tendency for writers to use it as a crutch rather than using their letter to add new and helpful information to your application.


Do you all recommend sending this "packet" to recommenders?

MyNameIsntJames

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:39 pm

brinicolec wrote:
Provide a cover letter with the following information [to the recommender]:
• An introduction thanking the person for his/her time.
• Information on how to contact you if she has questions.
• A due date, which should be within four weeks.
• If you have identified a reason, and gotten approval for, a targeted letter, politely remind the person of that fact. If it is true, you can let the writer know that the school is your first choice. (if it makes it into the recommendation, it is a very credible way to supply this information to an admissions committee).
• A request that the letter be sent on the recommender’s letterhead.
• Alert the writer to the fact that LSAC will be sending an email with instructions on how to submit the letter electronically.
• A list of the materials you are providing.
Provide the following materials:
• A reminder of the course(s) taken with that professor and the grades received.
• A list of papers or projects completed for the recommender and any notes/remarks/grades on those items.
• A writing sample from the professor’s class (preferably graded with the instructor’s comments).
• A completed LSAC letter of recommendation form (signed waiver included) for each letter you are requesting.
• Any other information the person requested during your meeting, but preferably not a personal statement because there is a tendency for writers to use it as a crutch rather than using their letter to add new and helpful information to your application.


Do you all recommend sending this "packet" to recommenders?


Can't see how it would go wrong. I'm sure they'd appreciate the thoroughness and it could only serve to bolster their good recommendation of you. You'd be surprised how many students act as thought their references are obligated to help them.

MyNameIsntJames

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:39 pm

brinicolec wrote:
Provide a cover letter with the following information [to the recommender]:
• An introduction thanking the person for his/her time.
• Information on how to contact you if she has questions.
• A due date, which should be within four weeks.
• If you have identified a reason, and gotten approval for, a targeted letter, politely remind the person of that fact. If it is true, you can let the writer know that the school is your first choice. (if it makes it into the recommendation, it is a very credible way to supply this information to an admissions committee).
• A request that the letter be sent on the recommender’s letterhead.
• Alert the writer to the fact that LSAC will be sending an email with instructions on how to submit the letter electronically.
• A list of the materials you are providing.
Provide the following materials:
• A reminder of the course(s) taken with that professor and the grades received.
• A list of papers or projects completed for the recommender and any notes/remarks/grades on those items.
• A writing sample from the professor’s class (preferably graded with the instructor’s comments).
• A completed LSAC letter of recommendation form (signed waiver included) for each letter you are requesting.
• Any other information the person requested during your meeting, but preferably not a personal statement because there is a tendency for writers to use it as a crutch rather than using their letter to add new and helpful information to your application.


Do you all recommend sending this "packet" to recommenders?


Can't see how it would go wrong. I'm sure they'd appreciate the thoroughness and it could only serve to bolster their good recommendation of you. You'd be surprised how many students act as thought their references are obligated to help them.

pittsburghpirates

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby pittsburghpirates » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:41 pm

Just reach out to your recommenders and offer to provide them with anything that they might need to help them write your letter. Some will ask for things, some won't. But good to at least give the option!

mscrew

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby mscrew » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:42 pm

Four weeks seems kind of short to me. I always asked for recs about 2-3 months in advance to give them plenty of time. You never know how busy professors are going to be.

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brinicolec

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby brinicolec » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:44 pm

mscrew wrote:Four weeks seems kind of short to me. I always asked for recs about 2-3 months in advance to give them plenty of time. You never know how busy professors are going to be.


Yeah, LSN has some inconsistencies with timing too. Other postings on their site say advise them you'll check back in six weeks.

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:53 pm

brinicolec wrote:
Provide a cover letter with the following information [to the recommender]:
• An introduction thanking the person for his/her time.
• Information on how to contact you if she has questions.
• A due date, which should be within four weeks.
• If you have identified a reason, and gotten approval for, a targeted letter, politely remind the person of that fact. If it is true, you can let the writer know that the school is your first choice. (if it makes it into the recommendation, it is a very credible way to supply this information to an admissions committee).
• A request that the letter be sent on the recommender’s letterhead.
• Alert the writer to the fact that LSAC will be sending an email with instructions on how to submit the letter electronically.
• A list of the materials you are providing.
Provide the following materials:
• A reminder of the course(s) taken with that professor and the grades received.
• A list of papers or projects completed for the recommender and any notes/remarks/grades on those items.
• A writing sample from the professor’s class (preferably graded with the instructor’s comments).
• A completed LSAC letter of recommendation form (signed waiver included) for each letter you are requesting.
• Any other information the person requested during your meeting, but preferably not a personal statement because there is a tendency for writers to use it as a crutch rather than using their letter to add new and helpful information to your application.


Do you all recommend sending this "packet" to recommenders?



This strikes me as being very thorough, which definitely isn't a bad thing, It couldn't hurt, though it probably isn't necessary to include writing samples/grades if you're confident that the professor knows you well. The only thing I'd change is the due date - give them more like a month or two.

TLSDookie

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Re: Saw this on LSN about LoR: Do you recommend this method?

Postby TLSDookie » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:47 pm

mscrew wrote:Four weeks seems kind of short to me. I always asked for recs about 2-3 months in advance to give them plenty of time. You never know how busy professors are going to be.


Realistically it only takes one night after work to do it. I gave my professors 6 weeks notice, checked in after 5 weeks and reminded them I'd like them to submit it in the next week or two, would be happy to resend the submission instructions email, and had them all submitted within 48 hours of the reminder email.

I wouldn't advocate asking them for one with less than a weeks notice, as that totally shows no respect for what else they have on their plate, but if they're a good choice to write you a LoR, it should be a pleasure for them to write a 1pg letter re: their experience working with/teaching you, not an ordeal that takes them months to finally get around to writing up. 2-3 months is definitely excessive, and it would be a bad idea and bad advice to tell these 0Ls to hold up an otherwise ready admission app because they tell their writers they need the letters whenever they can get to it between September and October.



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