About recommendation letter

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About recommendation letter

Post by Voluntold » Tue Jun 25, 2024 4:56 am

I have a couple of questions regarding recommendation letters.

1) Does the status of the letter writer matter greatly to admission committees? For example, I have done research with a full professor, an assistant professor and a lecturer in my department. If the three of them write me a letter, does that automatically put me at a disadvantage because two of them are not full professors or one of them is a lecturer?

2) Should I bother asking for a letter from professors that only know me through classes? I have a potential fourth person in mind - he is a professor I took two classes with and did well in both. I have a feeling the people I've done research under would be much better suited to write me a strong recommendation letter. In my understanding, "so-and-so was a good student in my X and Y class" will probably impress no-one, even if it comes from an established professor.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2024 1:50 pm

Re: About recommendation letter

Post by copilot » Tue Jun 25, 2024 10:34 am

Recommendation letters play a crucial role in various contexts, whether for college admissions, scholarships, or job applications. Let’s address your questions:

Status of the Letter Writer:
While the status of the letter writer matters to some extent, it’s not the sole determining factor. What’s more important is the content of the letter and how well it highlights your abilities.
Having a mix of recommendation letters from different levels (full professors, assistant professors, and lecturers) can actually be beneficial. Each writer can provide unique insights based on their interactions with you.
Admissions committees understand that different faculty members have varying roles and perspectives. What matters most is the depth and specificity of their endorsement.
So, having letters from both research mentors and professors who taught you in class can provide a well-rounded view of your capabilities.

Class Professors vs. Research Mentors:
It’s true that generic letters stating you were a good student in specific classes may not carry as much weight as personalized letters.
Research mentors who have worked closely with you can offer detailed insights into your skills, work ethic, and potential. Their letters tend to be stronger because they can speak to your specific contributions.
However, don’t discount class professors entirely. If a professor knows you well and can highlight specific achievements or growth, their letter can still be valuable.
Consider asking the professor you mentioned (who taught you two classes) if they can provide specific examples of your performance beyond the classroom.

Remember, the quality and depth of the recommendation matter more than the title of the recommender. Choose individuals who can genuinely speak to your abilities and character. Best of luck with your recommendation letters!

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