Letters of reference inform the graduate school you are applying to about an academic teacher's professional opinion of your capacity and enthusiasm for graduate studies. They are usually very important in the selection process. Therefore, it is important that you help your academic referees write good and meaningful letters about you. This means making sure:
The simplest way to success is the following procedure. At least four weeks before the first application deadline, put a package for your referees together:
When you are asked whether you wish to waive your right to access (read) the letters of recommendation then do so (waive your right). This will make the positive statements in the letter appear honest and truthful.
Here, it is often enough to enclose a sheet with the addresses of two or three referees. The principal investigator you are applying to will contact them if she or he is interested, and ask for a reference. In the cases where letters are specifically requested, see the above information.
© Sebastian Springer 2005-14. Please contact me with suggestions for improvements.