some of us are brave
I am a fan of my students.
Students, if you feel the same, you may find yourself in need of a letter of recommendation from me one day.
I love helping you set the world on fire.
To help me do that, you should ask for a letter a minimum of three months before you need it. The longer the better.
You should also remind me about our time together. Send my your best or favorite assignment in my class. Remind me what class we had together. Tell me about your career or educational goals. If you are still on campus, be prepared to meet with me before I agree to write you a letter.
Ask all of your letter writers if they feel confident that they can write you a STRONG letter of recommendation. I will only agree to write your letter if I think that I can do that.
Ideally, the components of your graduate school application should tell a single story — the letters, essays, writing samples are pieces of a puzzle. When we meet, I’ll want to know what piece I can contribute to the puzzle. I may seem nosy. I’ll ask what you want from your education/career choice, how you imagine your career unfolding, who is in your support network, what scares you and other such things. I like to know these things so that I can figure out what I can help you with. I may be able to introduce you to people willing to mentor you, students who have navigated your concerns, community resources and books to get you through, or just laugh when you don’t realize how great you are.
For all of the materials you’ll need to request a STRONG letter of recommendation from me, click here: Dr. Cottom’s Guidelines for Letters of Rec & References.
Always yours in formation,