Asking for Reference Letters
writing letters of reference for my best students because it gives me a
chance to reflect on the skills and abilities I have personally
witnessed. I put a lot of effort into each letter I write and therefore
writing letters is a time-consuming process. If you want me to write a
letter of reference for you, I need you to help me by following these
steps. I suspect your other references will appreciate you doing these
things for them as well, but ask them if there is anything special you
can do to make the process easier on them.
sure I will have at least two weeks to write the letters before they
have to be mailed/delivered.
2. Approach Dr. Fortner-Wood
during her office hours.
Remind her in which class(es)/situations she has worked with
Remind her if she has written letters for you before and, if so,
Ask her if she is willing/able to write letters of
recommendation by the due date.
Tell her what type of program(s) to or position for which you
giving Dr. Fortner-Wood reference letter materials for each
program/position, be sure to do the following:
Organize the materials in a folder or envelope to be sure all
pieces stay together. If requesting several letters, please
separate materials by institution and paper clip materials for
each institution together.
Complete all questions on the forms you possibly can including
Name of program/position to/for which you are applying
Your decision to waive/not waive your rights to view the letter
Name of reference (Dr. Cheryl Fortner-Wood)
Title of reference (Associate Professor, Psychology)
My Address (134 Kinard, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733)
My Phone (803-323-2641)
My Fax (803-323-2371)
My E-mail (email@example.com)
How long have I known you/the applicant (in years).
Be sure to give an envelope for each letter and do the
Provide Dr. Fortner-Wood’s return address on each envelope.
Be sure to put the correct name and full address for the
institution to which the letter is to be sent.
Place appropriate postage on each envelope (if necessary).
Using a post-it, indicate on each envelope the date by which the
letter must be postmarked, faxed, e-mailed, or picked up by you (not
received) as well as if the letter is to be mailed by me or by you.
Write “re: your name” in the bottom left corner of each envelope
just in case your materials are mixed up with those of other students.
Be sure to indicate what experiences or qualities you would like
Dr. Fortner-Wood to highlight in her letters. This should be a
list of activities in which she knows you have participated
and/or qualities you know she has witnessed in working with you.
You can highlight these on your vita/resume.
4. Let Dr.
Fortner-Wood the results of your applications.
Example of Reference Letter from a Professor