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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Who should write my rec letter and how should I ask

Hi everyone, I'm working on my Common App and I need to get a recommendation letter from a teacher. How do I go about asking for one? And what should I look for in a teacher who can write a strong recommendation letter?

6 months ago

Hello! It's great that you're working on the recommendation letter portion of your applications. Asking for a recommendation letter can feel intimidating, but it is an essential part of the college application process. Here's some advice on how to approach a teacher and what to look for in an ideal recommender.

1. Choose a teacher who knows you well: Ideally, you should select a teacher who taught you in your junior or senior year and is familiar with your academic performance, intellectual curiosity, and class participation. This teacher should be able to speak to your strengths, work ethic, and potential, as well as any unique contributions you made in their class.

2. Make a formal request: Schedule a meeting, or find an appropriate time to respectfully ask the teacher if they would be willing to write you a strong recommendation letter. It's best to ask this in person, if possible, as it demonstrates sincerity and respect for their time.

3. Provide materials to support your request: When asking for the recommendation letter, provide your teacher with key information to help them craft a well-rounded recommendation. This may include a formal resume, a list of your extracurricular activities, and a brief explanation of why you think their class was significant to your academic journey. You can also share info on the colleges and programs you're applying to, so the teacher can tailor their letter accordingly.

4. Give ample notice: It's important to ask for the recommendation letter at least four weeks before the deadline, giving your teacher enough time to write a thoughtful and well-structured letter. The more time you give them, the better your chances are of receiving a high-quality letter in return.

5. Send a polite reminder: As the deadline approaches, you can send a polite reminder email to ensure they're aware of the deadline and have everything they need to submit the letter.

6. Express gratitude: After your teacher submits the recommendation letter, don't forget to thank them for their time and effort. A handwritten thank-you note, a simple email, or a small token of appreciation will go a long way in showing your gratitude.

In essence, a strong recommendation letter comes from a teacher who knows you well and can speak to your strengths, work ethic, personal qualities, and potential. Make sure to choose someone who has a positive impression of you and is enthusiastic about recommending you for college admission. Good luck!

6 months ago

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