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Reference letters: writing the prototype oneself

  1. Jun 8, 2010 #1
    Hello Physicsforums,

    I've been reading here for a while and like this forum a lot. For the following issue I couldn't find a suitable thread so I decided to register and ask my first question: I'm about to apply for grad school, for which I need academic references. I talked to the two academics in my department that I believe know me best. They were willing to provide recommendation letters, but suggested I should write the prototype. Now is this a common practice?

    -If so, I'm not familiar with form and content standards of good reference letters, so maybe someone knows about this or has some resources to link me to?

    -If it's actually not common practice, would you recommend considering other persons to ask for letters?

    Your thoughts on this would help me a lot!

    Best regards
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2010 #2
    It really depends. I actually had to do the same thing for one of reference letters for grad school also. It was horribly difficult and I don't think I have a copy anywhere. Sorry.

    The basic form is to discuss your relationship with the student, discuss their performance and make some statement(s) about how well you think they will do in grad school (or whatever they are applying to.)

    I am sure if you google a bit for recommendation letters you might find something out there.
  4. Jun 8, 2010 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    Education Advisor

    In my experience it is common practice. Basically, it's a way for you to tailor the letter. Plus, the people you are asking are very busy and, while they don't have the time to write one from scratch, are willing to spend the time tweaking what you wrote.
  5. Jun 8, 2010 #4
    I see. It is really weird to describe how a person came to know me from their point of view. But it seems I just should get used to it. Thanks for your opinions so far!
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