GUIDELINES FOR LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Prof. Zev Handel

In general I am happy to write letters of recommendation for former and current students when asked. However, if I feel that I cannot write a sufficiently strong or appropriate letter, I may decline. When asking for letters of recommendation, please follow these guidelines.

  1. Please provide me at least three weeks notice before the deadline. If the letter needs to be mailed out of the country, you should give even more time. Exception: If you want me to send out another copy of a letter I have already written, then a few days’ notice will be sufficient.
  2. As a courtesy, please provide stamped and addressed envelopes if possible. Be sure to let me know if the letter should be returned to you, in a sealed envelope, or sent directly to the institution.
  3. Please waive your right to see the letter. This will give me the freedom to write honestly about you, and will in turn incline the evaluators to lend more weight to the letter. If for some reason you do not wish to waive this right, please consult me in advance.
  4. Be sure to provide me with any forms that should accompany the letter.
  5. Remind me which courses you have taken with me, and when.
  6. If you can provide me with the following materials, it will help me write a letter that is suited to the program you are applying to: (1) A copy of your statement of purpose (a draft copy is fine if you don’t yet have a finished version); (2) A description of the job or program you are applying to; (3) a résumé or curriculum vitae; (4) any other information about yourself or the application that you think will help me.
  7. Please bear in mind that letters written based on your performance in a language class will not carry as much weight with graduate school admissions committees, since I will be unable to attest to your ability to write or think analytically.