If you can answer “yes” to all of the following questions, please feel free to ask me for a letter of recommendation.
- I have taken a class with Prof. Coleman in the last five years
- I visited Prof. Coleman’s office hours at least twice during the semester I was enrolled in her class
- I earned at least a B+ in her class
- The recommendation is for graduate school or another academic-related activity
- I have allowed at least 4 weeks between the date requested and date the letter is needed
- I have an overall (or major) GPA of 3.5
Without meeting the above qualifications, I may not be able to write the strongest letter possible, so please consider carefully before asking.
Frequently asked question:
Q: I earned an A in your class. Why did you tell me it might be difficult to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
A: Organizations expect that excellent students will apply to join their ranks. As such, these organizations seek to learn more about you beyond your classroom performance (NOTE: It is illegal for me to reveal course grades). Letter writers are often asked very specific questions to assist organizations in getting at a far more comprehensive picture of an applicant. For example, they may ask the following:
- How long have you known the applicant? The organization will include a prompt asking how many years I have worked closely with you. Noting 3 months/one semester of only classroom contact could hurt your application.
- Outside of the classroom, in what capacity have you worked with this applicant? The organization may be looking for information on your work abilities as, for example, a research assistant or teaching assistant.
- Describe the applicant’s research/professional/internship or extracurricular/volunteer activities. If the only thing I know about you is that you had good class attendance and completed all of your assignments satisfactorily, I may not be able to provide a narrative that speaks effectively to your other talents.
PLEASE PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IF YOU ARE REQUESTING A LETTER (Submit these documents ALL TOGETHER by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Prof. Robin R. Means Coleman, Dept. of Communication Studies, 5370 North Quad, 105 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285):
- An updated resume or curriculum vitae
- Information about the university/scholarship/program to which you are applying (supply a link if possible)
- A copy of your completed statement of purpose/application letter
- Any forms that must be filled out/links to forms
- Stamped and addressed envelopes if letters are to be mailed
- A .jpg photo of yourself (this helps me to remember you accurately; for example, I’ve taught approximately 75 students named “Sarah”)
- A reminder of the work you did in my class, such as paper titles, and what grade you earned in the class
**Note, I will fill out the paper copies OR online, not both. Decide which you will request and let me know how to format/submit the letters.
Thanks to Prof. S.Y. Evans for permission to use this template.