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donnay

Should I ask this professor for recommendation?

11 posts in this topic

Hi,

I've been doing research for this professor for about 3 months now. His lab is pretty big, so I pretty much work with his post doc, but I never see this professor.

I've been doing experiments but I haven't have any results or any publication.

Should I still ask this professor for a recommendation? since I am working for him.

What do you guys think?

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You should never ask anyone who you do not know *very well* for a letter of recommendation.

Ditto. It will totally come through in the letter that they do not know you well.

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Ditto. It will totally come through in the letter that they do not know you well.

how about asking the post doc for recommendation??

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how about asking the post doc for recommendation??

I would think that is okay, since they know you and your work better. I had a post doc in my field whom I knew very well from class write my letter of recommendation.

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I would think that is okay, since they know you and your work better. I had a post doc in my field whom I knew very well from class write my letter of recommendation.

What consider a well written recommendation?

so far I have one from my math professor whom I had class and worked for 3 years.

A major course professor whom knows me very well.

And this post doc.

do they have significant weight on my application?

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What consider a well written recommendation?

so far I have one from my math professor whom I had class and worked for 3 years.

A major course professor whom knows me very well.

And this post doc.

do they have significant weight on my application?

My LOR writers actually let me read their letters before they got sent in. I think a good letter shows that the person knows you well as a person, can speak to your work ethic, your accomplishments and your potential to be a good student. I think having the professor is good too. In my opinion, not all of your references have to have amazing credentials. I would suggest you go over to the forums on The Chronicle of Higher Education, and ask this question in their grad school forum, if you want to seek additional opinions. A lot of people in admissions and others who actually make the decision on whether or not to let someone in read those forums. They might say something completely different than what I think, but it will give you more to base your decision on.

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I think in some cases it is ok if you don't know the person well. I didn't know many professors, because I had no research experience and I don't go to office hours. I was busy with work and studying. It's obviously better if you do know them well though. I got one from an assistant professor who I knew fairly well, and who actually recommended that I apply to grad schools. I also got one from the professor who is the structural engineering grad program chair at my undergrad school, who I had only had one class with. Lastly, I got one from a professor that I had 2 classes in structural engineering with, but didn't know well. He did know that I got A's though, and listed me in the top 5% so that was good.

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I think you're more an exception than a rule, though, Aaron.

I've had the experience of asking someone to write me a letter who didn't know me as well as I thought she did, and it REALLY came through in my letters.

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The more you know the person you're asking, the better the benefit to you. Anyone can get someone to say they did "good work" and scored well (after all, most people applying to grad school have received satisfactory grades), but the best candidates will be able to present LORs from people who really know their work and can attest to their abilities.

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It's almost always a better idea to ask the professor for the letter. They will then ask the postdoc to provide an outline with which the professor will work with. The fact that the letter is signed by the professor means much more than it being signed by a postdoc, even if they didn't write it entirely.

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