Strong letter of recommendation

  • #1
525
16
(This is for grad school applications) I'll have one strong letter of recommendation from a previous research advisor, so I'm wondering about my choice of second letter. One option is a prof who works closely with my previous advisor. He knows me reasonably well and could write a good letter, but his experience with me is the same as the first prof and it would probably be mostly a rehash of the first letter. The other alternative is to use a prof I've taken a few classes with. He doesn't know me as well, but he's been impressed by my assignments/tests in his classes. He works in a different field from the first two profs, so it would give a little more diversity.

I guess it might not make a huge difference in the end, but which one is likely better? A "redundant" letter from someone who knows me well, or a "diverse" letter from someone who doesn't know me as well?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
53
6
Yikes, that's a really hard one. I'd say go with the prof who doesn't know you as well, but would 'diversify' your letters. Although, between now and the letter writing, I'd go to a bunch of his office hours and try to let him know you better. Plus, don't you usually need 3 letters?
 
  • #3
525
16
Yikes, that's a really hard one. I'd say go with the prof who doesn't know you as well, but would 'diversify' your letters. Although, between now and the letter writing, I'd go to a bunch of his office hours and try to let him know you better. Plus, don't you usually need 3 letters?

The particular application I'm looking at (which has a much sooner deadline than all the others) only allows 2. Maybe the other ones will allow 3...
 

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