Teaching Recommendations

This webpage contains advice for people asking for a teaching letter of recommendation from me or someone like me. Large portions of this have been rather shamelessly copied and adapted from Ravi Vakil's recommendations page.

The following statement is rather obvious, but a reasonable number of people seem not to have considered it: it is in your interest to make your busy letter writer's job as easy as possible.

Please give me as much notice as possible so I can write as detailed a letter as I would like. At least 4-6 weeks is reasonable. If you ask me on less than a month's notice, you should expect the letter to be submitted late. If you give me too little notice, your letter will necessarily be rushed, which does no one any good. Sending me your support materials a week before the deadline is not a good idea.

(The number of letters varies widely by individual. If you need a letter on short notice, you should strongly consider asking someone else.)

You want to help your recommender write as detailed a letter as possible. Here are things that would help me. Only some may apply to you. I will likely only start writing your letter once I have all the information I would like --- there is always someone else's letter I can write first.

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