How do you ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation?

Jump to Last Post 1-2 of 2 discussions (8 posts)
  1. Tiger Mom profile image60
    Tiger Momposted 6 years ago

    How much weight does this letter of recommendation carry in your college application?  Should you waive the right to review it before it's sent?

    1. phdast7 profile image83
      phdast7posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      In my experience both as a student and a professor, it carries a lot of weight. Lots of students apply who have great GPAs and excellent SAT or GRE scores.   So, often decisions are made based on faculty recommendations or students essays (that is if you are asked to write one). Also you should have 2-4 good letters of recommendation.

      Asking a teacher to write a letter is not the problem  (more on that in a minute).  The real issue is, have you built a relationship with a teacher?  Was your attendance good?   Did you speak up in class?  Were your exams and assignments of high quality?   Did you visit the faculty in their office just to talk?

      If you can answer yes to these questions, then you should ask that teacher/professor for a reomendation.  Here is what you do.   Start early gathering all the application materials from the schools you want to apply to.  Make sure you ask the teacher for a letter about three months before the final deadline.   Teachers are very busy and sometimes get many requests for letters.

      Be organized.  Fill out all the necessary forms.  Sign them.   Make sure you include a stamped addressed envelope if one is required.  Complete a detailed resume on yourself, include all your activities.Now put all these items in a nice clean manila folder (cost about 20 cents).

      Now go see your teacher/professor during their office hours (not during class and on;t stop them in the hall).  Sit down, be polite, you are asking for a favor.  Explain that you are applying to colleges and that you hope they will be willing to write you a recommendation letter.   Tell them when the deadline is and show them all the information in the folder.   Say thank you.  If and when you get accepted into a college or program, tell them about it and say thank you again.

      Always have several people in mind that you can ask in case someone says no.  Teachers say no for two reasons:  1) they don;t really know you or your work or they don;'t feel like they can write a positive letter, or 2) they are very nusy and you ahve waited until the last moment and they cannot get it done in time.   If someone says no, don't oush it -- you probably wouldn't get a good letter.

      1. Tiger Mom profile image60
        Tiger Momposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        All good advice, phdast7.  College Admission Directors read letters of recommendation just like potential employers contact references.  A good reference is paramount to success at any stage of life.

      2. livewithrichard profile image83
        livewithrichardposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        All great advice, and if I were you, I would expand on this advice while also turning it into a hub.  I'm sure there are many other prospective students looking for the same advice.

        1. Tiger Mom profile image60
          Tiger Momposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Hi livewithrichard,
          Looks like great minds think alike.  Check out my hub 'Top Ten Tips on Getting Letters of Recommendation for College Application'.

  2. rlaha profile image69
    rlahaposted 6 years ago

    Hi Tiger Mom.
      I have had the situation recently where I was filling out applications for grad schools.  Some of the schools had forms for my professors to fill out.  On the top part was a box where I had to sign, date and check a box if I wanted to waive my rights to knowing what my professors had written about me.  I checked the box, because I honestly do not want to know what they said about me.  I know these professors well enough that they will give me decent recommendations at least, if not glowing ones.  I am really not worried about what they said, so I just checked the boxes on the forms.

      I guess in all honesty, if you are not sure what your professor will say about you, then you can keep the box unchecked.  It's up to you.

    1. Tiger Mom profile image60
      Tiger Momposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Again rlaha,
      Choosing not to micro-manage is the right choice.  You sound like you are on the ball.  Good luck in your studies!

      1. rlaha profile image69
        rlahaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks! smile


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)