How to get the most out of a letter of recommendation from Adam Elga ===================

What my letters are like

If I write a letter for you, I will write about specific interactions we have had and work of yours that I've helped you do. I will try to use details to give the letter readers a vivid picture of your abilities.

In other words, the letter will mostly explain what I've learned about you by saying something about our work together. This work typically consists of work on a paper or project, or discussions over a period of time in or out of class. I believe letters that give such detailed anecdotes and information are much more effective than ones that only give evaluations of students, or of completed papers.

When I won't write a letter

Because my letters largely consist of details of interactions between students and me, I won't write a letter unless there have been enough interactions for me to say something helpful. In particular, here are some example circumstances in which I won't write a letter:

How to ask for a letter

Ask early. That way, if I am not able to write one for you, you'll know in time to get another writer. And if I am able to write one, I'll have time to write a good one.

How to get the best letter possible if I do agree to write one

Give me as many helpful raw materials to work with as you can. For example:

Also, please let me devote as much energy as possible to the contents of the letter, by making the mechanics easy:

Last updated [2010-12-05 Sun].