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Who do I ask for letters of recommendation?

I'm a little confused on what I need to do in order to get letters of recommendation. How should I go about asking someone if they are willing to write a letter for me? Also, should I pick teachers from main subjects like math or English or can I ask my art and drama teachers? #art #writing

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Richard’s Answer

Depends heavily on HS vs college. Focus less on what the person teaches and more on how well they know you! Aim for someone who knows your personal thoughts/values, not just your work.

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Ben’s Answer

Hi Nicoletta,

When thinking about who should write a letter of recommendation, ask yourself 'who can speak to my abilities the best?' If this is for school, you want this person to be able to present you as the strongest and most qualified applicant by discussing your merits (academic and personal) thoroughly. Maybe your arts or drama teacher know you better from your efforts in class and through participating in extracurriculars. When I was in high school, I asked my junior-year English teacher and my coach to provide letters of recommendation - people that knew me in and out of the classroom. Also, it's ideal to not only have a strong relationship with your reference but a current one as well.

Experts say it's best to ask for a letter of recommendation in person. Provide them as much information as possible - details such as what the letter of recommendation is for, when it is due by (if there is a deadline), and why you are interested in the specific job/college/program requiring a recommendation. If you are filling out an online application where your references will receive notifications to submit the letters electronically, let them know in advance you are listing them so they don't get caught of guard or ignore the request altogether.

Finally, after the person has completed the letter of recommendation, write them a personal thank-you note. You may need this person to write more than one letter, so be sure to keep the relationship strong and thank them for their time and effort.

Hope this helps!


Ben recommends the following next steps:

Identify what the reference is for - college/job/etc.
Think about who can speak to your strengths and qualifications and who you have the strongest relationship with.
After you have identified this person, ask them for a letter of recommendation in person; providing them with as much information as possible about what the letter is for.
Write them a personal thank-you note once they've completed the letter!

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Benjamin’s Answer

You shouldn’t be afraid to ask anyone for a recommendation for college. I would ask those teachers that are from the field you would wish to get into. So if that’s your art teachers I would definitely ask them. Then I would talk to those teachers from your academic classes as well. You want to show you are a well rounded individual and having differing perspectives are a good thing. Chase your dream. I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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Marta’s Answer

When I was applying for college, I asked my biology teacher for letter of recommendation. I was passionate about that subjct and gave my 100% and teacher saw that and I was confident that she would be fair and highlight my strengths but also point out my opportunities. I went to her office and let her know about my future plans and asked if she would write a recommendation for college.

She was very thrilled for me and happy to do so.

Never be afraid to go for what you want in life!!