Monday, September 24, 2007

Letters, More Letters...

It's been 5 years since I went got my Bachelor's, and while I had pretty good relationships with teachers at the time and had very good grades, five years have caused me to lose a lot of essays and may have caused them to forgot just who the heck I am. When requesting letters of recommendation, should I (slyly, of course) include some sort of reference picture? Also, if I don't have any work from that class to remind them that, yes, you did give me "A's" on papers, should I send stuff from another class? Finally, should I send my creative work to them or are they there for the strict academic side?

when i was applying (six years post-undergrad), i was advised not to use recommenders who couldn't comment on my creative work. if the potential recommenders are strictly academics, it might be better to get recs from people who you haven't necessarily taken college classes with, but can comment on your creative work. this includes any post-graduation workshops or conferences you've attended. even though i did well in undergrad and had people to recommend me on that side, i ended up getting recs from people i took adult education classes with.

5 comments:

Mike Valente said...

Same with me. I was 6 years post-undergrad, but I asked instructors from adult education courses, as well.

I'm not sure how I would approach undergrad profs in your situation. Some of them might have a standard form that they use for all of their students. Or, they may agree, but ask you to write a draft, and they'll edit it and sign off.

Ana said...

For what it's worth, b/c I had no prior creative writing classes, I used three academic references (one lit professor and two sociology profs) and was accepted to the mfa program I'm about to graduate from and offered a substantial fellowship as well. I think the key is to get recommenders that know you well and can speak to your abilities.

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