I am happy to write recommendation letters with advance notice for students who have performed well in my courses. I have created the following page to provide you with guidelines when requesting a recommendation letter, which may be of use when making similar requests of other professors.

What to do as you prepare to email me to request a recommendation:

  • Make your request with at least three weeks advance notice, especially if it is the first time that you have requested a recommendation from me. Allow additional time if you are sending the request over winter or summer breaks.
  • Do the necessary research on the position/s and recommendation procedures.
  • Read Leonard Cassuto’s “How to Ask for a Recommendation” (2016), https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-to-Ask-for-a/235968.
  • If you are planning to apply to graduate school, read Rachel Herrmann’s “A Letter to Past Graduate-Student Me” (2016), https://www.chronicle.com/article/A-Letter-to-Past/236870. Also, consider picking up the following books from the library: Michael Fabricant and Stephen Brier’s Austerity Blues (2016) and Gregory M. Colón Semenza’s Graduate Study for the Twenty-First Century (2005).

What to include in your email when you request a recommendation:

  • Your name, pronouns.
  • What you are applying for, why, and when you need my letter by (i.e. deadline).
  • An acknowledgment that you’ve read this guide.
  • A CV or resume.
  • A list of the classes that you took with me and in which semesters.
  • Short statement that gives me a sense of what your qualifications are outside of my course and how your work in my course connects to the proposed position and your broader goals and/or the personal statement for your application. This may be a draft of a personal statement that you will use in your application.
  • A reminder of how you performed in my class overall and on major assignments; include images/copies of my comments on those assignments.
  • A request to meet with me in office hours to discuss further.
  • Anything else I may need to know to craft you a strong letter.

What to do before you meet with me about your recommendation:

  • Visit the UF Career Connections Center in person and learn more about the resources that they provide that can help you in your application, https://career.ufl.edu/.
  • Figure out how many recommendation letters you will need; if it is more than a few, I may request that you sign up with Interfolio, a dossier service that will send letters on my behalf, https://www.interfolio.com/.

What to do after we meet about your recommendation:

  • Follow up with any additional materials that I have requested during the meeting.
  • Send me a reminder email as the deadline nears.
  • Update me with the final status of your application.

Thank you to Carrie Shanafelt and Jack Gieseking whose recommendation letter policies inspired me to craft this page.