Before asking me for a letter of recommendation, please read this in full.
A good letter of recommendation can help your application stand out from a pool of candidates. When I can write a strong letter in support of a student, I am always happy to do so. I believe that my role in helping you shape your future does not end when we leave the classroom, and like many faculty, I want to see you succeed.
Writing a good letter is time-consuming. One letter can take hours to write, and I get many requests to write them. It helps me tremendously to have all of the facts and enough time to write about them. If you want a letter from me, please:
The purpose of this exercise is not to put obstacles in your path, but instead, to make it easy for me to write you the best letter that I can.
The short answer: ask me if I can write you a strong letter.
The longer answer: A letter from me will not help you if I cannot write you a strong one. Be prepared for the possibility that I will suggest that you seek a stronger letter writer than me. I don't say this to make you feel bad. Sometimes others are simply in a better position to discuss your qualities positively. Of course, having taken a class with me helps me to know you. But my best letters are reserved for students who have
To request a letter of recommendation, please do the following in this order:
I will acknowledge your request once both things have been done.
Letters of recommendation form a "chain of trust" between letter writers and prospective schools or employers. I will not misrepresent your abilities. Doing so will not help you, it certainly does not help prospective employers, and it reflects poorly on me. By requesting a letter from me, you are giving me permission to freely discuss my interactions with you here at Williams, including items from your academic record, like grades, and in cases where I have knowledge of such things, outcomes of disciplinary hearings.