Reference Letter Procedure

This page is part of my Advice for Students. I created it to explain what information students should provide so that I can write the best possible reference letters for them. I typically send a link to this page in an email once I've agreed to write the letter. This page is also an extension of an entry in my Guide for Interacting With Faculty.

Please reply with the following in the body of an email at least three weeks before the deadline. You can exclude any items you sent in your initial request.

  1. The name of the opportunity that you need the letter for, including a web address for it
  2. 1-3 sentences about why the opportunity is especially important or exciting for you; this is valuable context to help me write
  3. 1-3 sentences with anything about you I should make sure to mention in my reference letter; this is also valuable to help me write
  4. How I can submit the letter
  5. If known, the date and time when the letter is due

Please also attach the following to your reply. Again, you can exclude items you sent in your initial request.

If I need to send the letter directly via postal mail (a rarity), please provide me with a pre-addressed envelope with a stamp on it.

Good luck! Remember to let me know what happens.