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SRod2015

Does the grade matter when asking for letters of recommendation??

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Hello,

 

I have a huge dilemma that I have to figure out. A professor who had informed me earlier in the summer that she would write a letter of recommendation for me changed her mind because she said she has a huge load this coming semester as in she is teaching 15 units, working her currrent job as a SLP and helping her daughter with her wedding stuff for her wedding in January. I am reapplying for Spring and Summer 2018 and she would not have a write a new letter for me. I informed her about this but she still said no. So now I am stuck. I just need her as I already have 2 others who said yes.

I have to find someone else and quick. I have one other professor in mind but I got a B in her class. So does the grade matter when asking a professor for a LOR? Or should I just ask professors that I got A's in their class? And do the LORs to be from Communication Disorders professors only? I received an A in a developmental psychology class which fulfills one of the pre-requisites that some schools are asking for.

 

Thank you

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As for the grades, I think it depends on whether the professors remember you well enough to write a recommendation based on your other traits besides your grade. Are you at an undergrad at a big school with classes of over 100 students? If so, I'd ask professors of classes where you got an A, because they won't likely remember you and will only have your grade as reference. Or were they smaller classes where you interacted with the professor more directly? If that's the case, I think a B is fine, as long as you demonstrated good character by coming to class, asking good questions, trying your best, etc.

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The most important thing about LOR is how much the person knows you. The grade only comes into factor in regards to their opinion of you. I have heard from multiple PIs, the lack of a LOR is better than a generic bland one that shows the person who wrote it knows nothing about you. Grades can represent many things, and don't necessarily mean you are a bad student. So if you got a B in someones class, but the professor saw you were hard working or really dedicated, than the grade doesn't matter and the professor might not even mention it in their letter. Say if you started rough from an F and brought yourself up to a B, then they might bring it up but only to say you have the ability to improve and are a determined individual. Regardless, LOR are supposed to demonstrate the type of person you are from other peoples point of view, so you really only want to ask people who remember you and like you/have a positive opinion about you. So to answer your questions: screw the grade and ask the person who knows you better. If the person you had a B with knows you better, ask them. If the person who you took a class outside of your major knows you best, ask them. If the people who you got A's with know you better, ask them. Point being, a detailed LOR that demonstrates the type of person you are based on the professors anecdotal evidence of you, is better than a generic LOR saying you got a good grade in their class or did well in their class. 

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