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Sample note to provide to recommending teachers


After your teachers agree to write you letters of recommendation, it is helpful to provide them with context.  To do this, write each teacher a note which outlines the colleges where you are applying, the deadlines for each of the letters of recommendation, and a few specific points that you would like for them to highlight.  And remember, they don't have to write these letters - so thank them for their time!  Included below is a sample note written by a student to a teacher confirming a request for a letter of recommendation.

Sample Note to Provide to Recommending Teachers

Hi Ms. Henderson,
Thank you so much for agreeing to write a college letter of recommendation on my behalf!
As I mentioned, I am applying to eight colleges!  Six of the colleges use the Common App, and you can submit one copy of your letter of recommendation for all these schools by logging into the “Recommender” section of the Common Application website (https://www.commonapp.org/Login).  For the other two colleges, I have included a post-marked envelope where each letter of recommendation needs to be sent.  I am applying Early Action to UNC Chapel Hill, and the deadline for their letter of recommendation is October 15th.  For the remainder of the schools, I am applying regular decision with a recommendation letter deadline of January 1st.
The reason that I asked you to be my recommender is because I loved your AP English class, and because you are familiar with my academic abilities.  In your letter of recommendation, I’d appreciate if you focused specifically on how I performed in your class (since the guidance counselor is writing a letter to discuss some of my outside of class endeavors).  To help you get started, I want to highlight a few areas where I believe that I stood out:
  • I submitted a rough draft of a research paper analyzing the major themes contained within “The Great Gatsby.”  You tore the draft apart, and I spent substantial time reworking the final essay based on your recommendations.  Ultimately I received an A- on the paper, which I believe was one of the highest grades in the class.
  • In the group project where we researched and presented on an issue for the recent presidential campaign, I took on a leadership role in my group to ensure that all our work was completed on-time and at a high level of quality.  You asked us to rate each of our teammates, and the marks that I received were very positive (average of 9/10).
  • I volunteered to lead the class discussion on John Donne's "The Flea" which turned into a vigorous debate over the meaning of the poem.
  • I served as a volunteer tutor in your class, working with several students after school to help them edit their papers.
I hope these points are helpful as you write the recommendation; however, do feel free to focus on other topics related to my in-class performance that you think are more relevant.  And again, thank you so much for your time - I really appreciate it!
Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any help in the process,

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