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Sound Writing

Section 10.2 Requesting Letters of Recommendation

At some point in your life, you’ll probably need to ask someone for a letter of recommendation. If you’re reading this handbook, you’re most likely a college student, so this section specifically addresses how to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation, but all of the big ideas in this section are true for asking a supervisor or a coworker for a letter of recommendation as well! For the rest of this section, “professor” means the person you’re asking for a letter of recommendation, and “program” is a catchall word for the many different things for which you might need a letter of recommendation.
This section explains three perspectives you should consider when figuring out who to ask for a letter of recommendation and then gives a suggested timeline for when and how you should communicate with the professor(s) you would like to write you a letter.