Hi guys! I truly need your suggestions! I am now applying for a PhD program and am worrying a lot about my selection of LoRs. The thing is I talked with one of my professors in the department about my PhD plan when I was a current student and I got a A and ranked 2 in this professor’s class. He is fairly helpful to students and recommended students including me many job chances. However, he said he was reluctant to write a LoR for a current student when I asked him a LoR for the PhD application and hoped me could understand it. But he agreed to provide a reference letter if I planned to search a job. After my graduation, I talked with him again about the LoR and told him that I would apply for some PhD programs including my own law school (I was planning to put him as a potential supervisor). Now I am not a “current student” but I could still feel his reluctance (hem and haw, if I got it right). He finally said that “I could write you a LoR, but you know I can’t write my strong preference to the admission, whether you can be admitted totally depends on the committee... I can only write you a general LoR”…
Although I was a quite positive student in his two courses and got two A (ranked top 3) in his class, I am now so confused with his attitude and what does a “general” LoR mean? Does it mean he would not say anything good for me? (I guess that would be horrible...)
Should I still ask for LoR from him? (He enjoys a pretty good reputation in the research area that I am applying for, and I got a better performance in his two courses than others. so these are the reasons that I feel hard to give up his LoR T.T) Would the situation be better if I forward my research proposal to him? Anything can compensate this?
I am worrying that I did not understand what he said correctly as an international student, and I greatly appreciate if anyone would like to give me some suggestions. Thank you again for your time and kind help!