doctorsutton letter of recommendation policy

Added on by Matthew Sutton.

If you are viewing this page, you are probably a student of mine and have asked me for a letter of recommendation. I have directed you here to help you and me make this letter the best it can be.

I am glad to recommend you so that I can help you pursue your goals and dreams in your professional life.

Please read the follow these guidelines

  • Please take the time to read and follow these directions because I will be taking time to write this letter for you.
  • Please give me at least two weeks of notice. Given my other responsibilities, I might not be able to write a good letter for you. The best is three or four weeks for a good letter of recommendation.
  • Please be clear about the date this letter is due. Here's your chance to give me a due date!
  • Please understand that I write for people reading your letter so I prefer that you do not review the letter before it is sent. A letter not reviewed by a student carries more weight to the reviewer of your application.
  • Please give me all the details about where the letter needs to go, either an email address or web address if it is to be submitted electronically. Double-check that these details of submission are correct. Please also check if a stamped, pre-addressed envelope is necessary and provide me with it. If there is a particular person to whom the letter should be addressed tell me that too. Forms, envelopes, and other paperwork can either be brought to my office (SJH B20-27) during my office hours or left with an administrative assistant (SJH B20-26).
  • Please tell me something about why you are pursuing the object of the recommendation: why are you applying for this program, award, honor, or career position? The more you can tell me about this point the better my letter. The more generous and enthusiastic you are with your own prose the more I'm likely to be with mine. A personal statement or cover letter, if you have one, is a big help in this regard.
  • Please email me an electronic copy of an essay or project, if possible, that you completed in one of my classes and tell me why you're proud of it.
  • Please email me your GPA, resume, or curriculum vitae. The more I know about you the better my letter will be.
  • Please send me an email reminder a couple of days before the recommendation is due, just to make sure. I take these due dates seriously so let's make sure we meet them prepared.
  • Please respect my decision if I say no: I will only write for students I feel I can endorse strongly, and trust me, you don't want a letter that will be lukewarm. I want to only recommend the best. And if I recommend you, you must be the best.
  • Yes, letters of recommendation are important, but as Scripture says, what is a letter of this kind, "you yourselves are our letter of recommendation written on our hearts, to be known and read by all" (2 Cor 3:2). You as who you are is your letter of recommendation.
  • Finally, please let me know how it turns out! I can't wait to find out so please let me know.

gratefully adapted from Dr. George H. Williams