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How to ask for recommendations?


Replies to: How to ask for recommendations?

  • egchoeegchoe Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    thanks for the help!
  • LindaFromNYLindaFromNY Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    I recommend a hand-written note. Can never go wrong with that, but then again, I'm old-school :)
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,267 Senior Member
    A book I read recently suggested language like "I am applying to ____ among other schools and I wonder if you feel you know me well enough to write a strong recommendation letter" - the idea being that you give them an out for "not knowing you well enough" and emphasize what you expect with "strong".
  • nutellapanaceanutellapanacea Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Hi! I'm a current junior seeking some advice. I'm beginning to think about which teachers to ask for recommendations and I can't decide whether to ask my honors english teacher or ap chemistry teacher for my second recommendation. (I'm sure about my apush teacher who knows me quite well)
    I'm taking the hardest possible junior course in both subjects and am doing well in both classes but I was wondering if I should ask my chemistry teacher so I have one humanities and one math/science recommendation.
    HOWEVER although I'm sure my chemistry teacher likes me, she doesn't LOVE me so I'm not sure if the letter she'd write me would be strong.
    On the other hand, my english teacher likes me very much even though she doesn't know me that well personally.

    On another note: how can I work on getting to know my teachers better? Genuinely, though... I'm not interested in schmoozing.
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Registered User Posts: 4,520 Senior Member
    I think most schools that want 2 recommendations would rather have one humanities and one math/science recommendation, so APUSH and Chemistry would be better than APUSH and English. We found that a lot of schools actually only ask for one (plus your guidance counselor) so in many cases you'd be able to send just the one APUSH one that your sure of.
  • paku312paku312 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I am also a junior currently. My problem is that, in my current school, I know which teachers I would have write the recs, but I will be moving over summer. So, is it possible for me to ask the letters of recs from my current teachers or do they have to be from the school I will graduate from? If I do have to have letters from graduation school, how do I get to know teachers and vice-versa in less than 3 months (EA/ED) or 5 months at most?
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Registered User Posts: 4,520 Senior Member
    You can get teachers from the school you went to through junior year. It will just be slightly more complicated (depending on how exactly your new HS handles letters of recommendation). My advice to you -- get to know your new guidance counselor ASAP after your move. You will need the current counselor to write the counselor letter for you, so you need to let him/her get to know you as well as possible. Let the new counselor know that you are going to be submitting letters from teacher from your old HS and ask what you need to do to get that to work logistically. Your counselor should be able to help you with that. (For what it's worth, my son submitted a letter from a teacher who had been a long term sub for his junior year, and one who had taught him sophomore and junior year but then left the HS, so neither of his letters were from current teachers at the HS either. It's doable but sometimes a touch complicated.)
  • paku312paku312 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Ok, thanks a lot for the advice.
  • ivyhopes12ivyhopes12 Registered User Posts: 322 Member
    For those asking about applying to multiple colleges... at my school we gve the teachers sheets of paper with out school's letterhead at the top (gotta make em fancy) and they just print however many copies you need.
  • PrecociousUrchinPrecociousUrchin Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited August 2014
    Don't request letters of recommendation from anyone you reasonably expect to be lukewarm and vague or - perhaps worse - to demonstrate poor writing skills. I'd recommend asking a substitute teacher with whom you feel a bond, especially if that sub holds a liberal arts degree (likely in this economy!), rather than a teacher you barely know. Evaluators will consider the source only if they're compelled by his/her narrative about you.
    Post edited by fallenchemist on
  • nervousfreshienervousfreshie Registered User Posts: 285 Junior Member
    edited August 2014
    hi, I'm a bit confused as to what I have to print out from the common app to give to teachers? Don't I just add the teacher email, and they would be assigned as recommenders? Where is the physical copy recommendation letter forms everyone is talking about? I'm terribly confused D:

    Also, adding teachers to the list doesn't notify them until you invite them? I pre-added some teachers, but removed them, because I wasn't sure if I accidentally sent some invited. i may have f%^ up...
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Registered User Posts: 4,520 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    Ask your guidance counselor -- the process works differently at different high schools, both due to internal policies, and how they use the common app, Naviance, etc.
  • nervousfreshienervousfreshie Registered User Posts: 285 Junior Member
    @mathmomvt I'm an international student, and I'm having a new GC this year and I'm not sure if he/she will know whats up.. D:
  • mathmomvtmathmomvt Registered User Posts: 4,520 Senior Member
    Try asking the guidance department secretary or someone who knows what is up in the guidance office if there's anyone in the office who specialized in US applications and the common app?
  • london2valondon2va Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    So I'm kind of freaking out and I have no idea what to do. I'm a senior, and I asked for a recommendation from two teachers, and my APUSH teacher (whom I think is awesome), wrote me a note on naviance to confirm that it was submitted, and congratulated me on my success in high school. Included in the note was a copy of the recommendation which he had written for me - I DID NOT ASK FOR THIS. I have already waived my right to see the rec, and I assumed that it was just common knowledge that students don't normally see their recommendations.

    It kind of gets worse. I opened the recommendation, and it contained not only grammar and spelling mistakes, but a lot of the information that he used from my resume - which he requested - was incorrect. He incorrectly named my former school (I transferred to my current school last year), he misrepresented several key programs which I've participated in, and he put false information about my leadership. It wasn't a very good recommendation to begin with, but compounded with the mistakes, it was atrocious.

    What am I supposed to do? I'm freaking out.
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