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How to ask for a letter of recommendation from professors

Posted: May 19th, 2016, 7:33 pm
by MBACrystalBall
Sample email template asking for a letter of recommendation from a professor

Prof John Williams
ABC University
777 Street
New York NY 10001

Dear Prof. Williams,

Section 1: Objective
Share the objective of the letter in short. 1-2 lines should be sufficient.
Example: "I am reaching out to you in relation to my Masters / PhD application..."

Section 2: Introduction
Your professor has probably been teaching hundreds of students. Don't assume s/he will remember everything about you. Share some important facts or events to refresh their memory.
Example: Mention a little about which class you are in, and what subject(s) the professor taught you (and when, if it's not in the current year).

Section 3: Context
Talk about any one-on-one interactions you've had with them and the skills/capability/potential you had demonstrated and what you had accomplished that made you stand out in the class. Also, share with them what's important for the application that they may not know about.
For instance, you could say "In the first term, I was struggling with Subject XYZ. My grades were low, I got an C. But I was determined to improve in this subject, so I did..." Add details here, also mention the final outcome.

The idea is to give them as much material as they can, so they don't have to job their memory to recall all the details and also figure out what's real crucial for you. Apart from the academic achievements, also include qualities about your personality that you've demonstrated.

Section 4: Conclude
In your urgency to get the task completed, don't forget to be polite. let him know what deadlines you are aiming for, and end with a thank you.
It's ok to get back in touch with them a few weeks before the deadline (if they haven't responded by then).
For instance you can say - "I am aiming to submit this by [date here]. So, it'll be very helpful if you can share the letter by [another date]. I really appreciate your help and support."

Yours sincerely,

[Sign here]

[Your Name]

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[Coming soon] We'll add a list of sample email templates that you can use to request a letter of recommendation from a professor / lecturer / teacher for post graduate or PhD applications. Sourced from various sites.