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Letters of Recommendation

  1. Oct 7, 2009 #1

    So two summers ago I did an REU. I would like to apply to a few REUs for summer 2010 but I am wondering how I should approach asking for a letter of recommendation from the professor I worked for. Should I email him beforehand and ask his permission for a letter of recommendation and wait for a response? Or should I just assume that he'll write it and give him the information (email addresses) to send the letters to? (I can't directly go and talk to him since he's in a different city than me) My memory is slightly fuzzy but I believe he did offer that if I ever need a letter of recommendation that he'd be willing to write one.

    At the moment I've noticed most REU websites haven't updated their information for the 2010 term. Should I just assume they'll be offering it again or should I try contacting the coordinators?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2009 #2


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    Definitely don't just assume he'll write it. That will come off as rude and has a chance to doom your project right off the bat. Send him an email saying you're applying to a couple REU's, and would appreciate it if he could write you a letter of recommendation for them, and if so, you'll let him know more details as they become available
  4. Oct 7, 2009 #3


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    I agree with Office_shredder - don't assume anything. Even if you thought the REU went great, your professor might not have had the same feeling - make sure they're willing to write you a 'good' letter of recommendation. If he agrees, great. If not, you might have dodged a bullet. I read a few 'interesting' recommendation letters for the past summer's REU; I think the student might have been better off asking someone who didn't know him or her too well.
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