How to Request a Letter of Recommendation

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Request a letter of recommendation in person, explaining why the person is being asked to write the letter and offering ideas about what to put in the letter. Allow a person to tailor a letter of recommendation to keep it personal with advice from a writing instructor and former classroom teacher in this free video on recommendation letters.

Part of the Video Series: Reading, Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Laura from youngwritersworkshop.com and I'm going to talk about how to request a letter of recommendation. I recommend asking someone in person if possible to write a letter of recommendation for you, and when you ask for the recommendation, be sure to tell the person exactly why you're asking them to do it. You might say something like, since you have experience with me and my work, and you've observed some of my best writing, I would like to ask you for a letter of recommendation. If you tell them specifically what types of things that brought them to mind as a recommendation, it will help them to guide their letter, and also might give them some motivation to do it because they know a little bit more about why you've chosen them. Sometimes when you ask someone for a letter of recommendation they may ask you to write it for them and they'll personalize it a little bit. So you might be, have some ideas in mind of what you would write and then have them take what you've started and tailor it a little bit more. If you can't ask the person in person, of course email or phone is fine as well. But again, emphasize the reason you chose that person to write a letter for you, and give them some ideas of about the types of things you might want them to include. So those are some ideas about how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

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