Requesting Letters of Recommendation
Faculty members are asked to write many letters each year, and it can be hard to keep track of different deadlines, formats, and other information. To facilitate this process, please follow the guidelines below when emailing to ask for a letter.
Can Professor Lamont write for you?
If you've taken a seminar (small, discussion-based course) with Professor Lamont, or if she advised/is advising your thesis or dissertation, she can write for you. If you've only taken a large lecture course, and Professor Lamont did not get to know you well, she will probably be unable to write (though your TF for that course may be able to do so).
- Email Professor Lamont to see if she is willing to write a letter for you. It is best to include any pertinent application materials (Writing Sample, Research or Teaching Statement, articles or chapters, etc.) she may want to reference as she writes your letter(s). In addition, please CC Professor Lamont’s assistant, Lisa McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If Professor Lamont agrees to write your letter, Lisa McAllister will share with you a standard application list template via Google Sheets**. The greatest benefit of sharing this information via Google is that you, Professor Lamont and Lisa are able to share ownership of materials, resulting in the most up to date information being available to all parties.
- Fill out the application list template, noting all positions or programs to which you are applying. You should continue to update this list as new positions and/or programs are posted, or as you decide not to apply for certain positions and/or programs for which you had originally intended to apply.
- As letters are sent/submitted, Lisa will mark them as sent on the application spreadsheet, providing you with up to date information regarding the status of letters.
Please give Professor Lamont as much advance notice as possible when requesting recommendation letters. If you are approaching her for a letter for the first time, it is helpful to give her a minimum of three week’s notice so she has time to prepare an effective letter.
**If you do not already have a Google account, you will need to create one. If you would like a Harvard affiliated google account, you can sign up at g.harvard.edu.