I just received my first letter of recommendation from my English III teacher, it sound very nice and the wording and language is excellent but I'm a little concerned because its only about 180 words long, not even a half a page, and really only hits on 2 major points of my personality/qualities.
1.) Is there a certain standard that a recommendor should follow?
2.) How long should they generally be?
3.) and how much of a factor do they really play in the admissions/nomination process?
should I still use this one since I will have 2 others that will most likely be longer to make up for it? I really don't want to have to write him back asking him to redo it and sounding ungrateful, any suggestions or comments?
I'm a bit tickled that you want your English teacher to write a longer paper, even though this one is nicely worded and the language is excellent. And it hits on 2 major points of your qualities.
Seriously though, I doubt there is a standard for length - content would be more important. I'll bet that they want letters from teachers who are familiar enough with your work and abilities to write about you. How important are they? I doubt anyone here really knows. You may want to ask your MALO. However, I suspect they are a part of the package. I'm sure Admissions understands that teachers write many recommendation letters for each service academy applicant along with so many other students.
guess I was just a little shocked at first when I saw it was only like 1 paragraph long and was worried that admisisons might look at it as the teacher doesn't know anything about me and was just writing it because I asked, but I do agree that content is more important, so I'll just get my others and see how they are and will try not to worry about it.
I don't think you can actually send the Letters of Recommendation to USMA until you recieve the 2nd Step Kit in Mid August, but I just went ahead and requested that he go ahead and write it so I can go ahead and get my nomination stuff out of the way and so when I do get my 2nd step kit the turn around on it will be as quick as possible instead of waiting for them to write it then. I planned on using his letter for all 4 sources 3 noms/USMA and just change the heading on all of them depending on the source and I'll give him envelopes already addressed and stamped so all he has to do is mail them out when the time comes.
In our experience all of the letters from teachers were confidential. If they were not required to be mailed directly, the instructions were to have them sealed in an envelope signed and dated by the writer.
Good luck with the process.
Location: So Cal-USC (2005) and West Point Parent (2009)
I was thinking the same thing. As I remember, the teachers mailed the letters of rec on their own. They were more like questionnaires with a small area to put some comments in rather than actual "letters". Our cadet never saw them. Come to think of it, the only actual "letters" were for the MOC's and the nomination process. This was two years ago, so maybe things have changed.
I'm an active military officer-Army. I have not read your teacher's recommendation letter and I'm sure it is fine, but wanted to share this tidbit. We have a lot to read with very little time. Short and to the point is always the best: short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject or get your point across. Continue to ensure your packet is complete and I will "see you on the high ground".
I agree with Ann/shogun, generally, the candidate nevers sees these letters. One obvious reason is that the teacher is more likely to write an honest assessment and may have actually want to point out areas of weakness and is more likely to do that is they know the applicant won't see it. Having them submit it directly insures they actually wrote it and the candidate didn't ask them to 'edit' it which can produce a very awkward situation. While I am sure every candidate assumes the letter will talk about wonderful/amazing they are, objective outsiders are more likely to also point out shortcomings as well and there is no reason for the canadidate to see this.
Roger that on all responses! All ended up working out great and I graduated from USMA this past May and I am currently at BOLC right now. It's nice to see there is still an active group of members on here willing to help out candidates! This forum was definitely a major help to me back in high school and it's almost funny looking back at the nit picky things I was concerned about throughout the admissions process after now having a much greater understanding about how it all works and what the Army/USMA is all about, but it all paid off I suppose.
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