Will you write me a letter of recommendation?

I am happy to write recommendations for students when I can speak positively and authoritatively about their work in a way that is relevant to the program they're applying to. If you would like me to write you a letter, please:
  • Set up a request for an appointment at my book me site (https://malcolmkeating.youcanbook.me)
  • Fill out the letter of recommendation form below.
  • Send the relevant documents to my email in advance of our appointment. Depending on what the letter is for, I would like to have the following (sending more rather than less is a good idea):
    • Information about the position (specific websites, descriptions of program, etc)
    • Information about you (résumé/CV, transcript, personal statement, sample work)
    • Information about the letter (when is it due, what does my letter focus on)
  • Please make sure I have sufficient time before the deadline (typically, two months is ideal) to write the letter.

If you are wanting a letter for graduate school, please read on:

I want to write strong and specific letters of recommendation for students. That means that I will not write letters for everyone. In general, although there are exceptions, students I write for will:

  1. Have taken at least two classes with me.
  2. Have earned a B+/A- or better.
  3. Have been excellent members of the classroom community (participating astutely, helping other students).
  4. Have demonstrated independent interest in the topics (through asking for additional reading, coming to office hours,etc.)

(Note that if I say I will not write you a letter, that does not mean you are a poor fit for graduate school. It may mean simply that I'm not in the best position to write for you!)

For graduate school recommendations, it's crucial that I have information about your program of study, your personal intentions with that program (your statement of purpose), and the list of deadlines and where to submit your letters. I suggest setting up a Dropbox account or another online file-sharing service, where you can add your materials. The more personalized the letter, the greater the chances of it making an impact--so send me what you are sending to the institution (personal statement). Please send me a spreadsheet or other clearly organized list with:

  • Institution
  • Program of Study
  • Contact of Program/Institution
  • Link for online application (or other instructions)
  • Deadline (be specific about time zone!)
    • Order the spreadsheet by deadline to help me prioritize.

Send all the information two months ahead of the deadline. Feel free to check in by email about the status of your letter. I don't mind reminders. You'll get a confirmation that everything has been sent--if you don't get that, please check in.

Then let me know what happens with your application!


Letter of Recommendation Request