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Professor michaud's website

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Guidelines for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation

It is likely that you will need a letter of recommendation at some point in your career, whether it is for graduate school, a scholarship, a fellowship, an internship, or employment. As such, it is important that you take every opportunity to get to know your professors by attending office hours and participating in class regularly. Selecting to take courses with small class sizes and taking more than one class with a professor are also good ways to get to know a professor.

Before asking a professor for a letter of recommendation, please consider the following suggestions and guidelines.

Who to Ask

A strong letter of recommendation can strengthen your application, so it is important to ask someone who knows you and your work well enough to evaluate your ability to perform and succeed in the career you are pursuing. In general, the best professor to ask for a letter of recommendation is one who:

When to Ask

As a general rule, you should request your letter at least one month in advance of the deadline. The more time you give your recommender, the better. Professor Michaud is unable to write a letter with less than 2 weeks notice.

In addition, unless you have taken another course with a professor, you should wait until your final course grade has been posted before requesting a letter. Professors are generally unable to write a letter of recommendation for a first-time student mid-way through the semester because they have not yet evaluated the student's performance on exams, writing ability, and class participation for the semester.

How to Ask

What to Give your Letter Writer

In order to ensure that your recommender is able to write the strongest letter of recommendation possible, you will need to provide a portfolio that includes all of the following items.

Post-request Etiquette