Letters of Recommendation

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 Prof. Bonikowski write for you?
If you've taken a seminar (small, discussion-based course) with Prof. Bonikowski, or if he advised/is advising your thesis or dissertation, he can write for you. If you've only taken a large lecture course, and Prof. Bonikowski did not get to know you well he will probably be unable to write (though your TF for that course may be able to do so).


  1. Email Prof. Bonikowski to see if he 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.) he may want to reference as he writes your letter(s). In addition, please CC Prof. Bonikowski's assistant Deborah De Laurell (deborahd@wjh.harvard.edu).
  2. If Prof. Bonikowski agrees to write your letter, Deborah will share with you a standard application list template via Google Sheets**. The greatest benefit of sharing this information via Google is that you, Prof. Bonikowski, and Deborah are able to share ownership of materials, resulting in the most up to date information being available to all parties.
  3. 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.
  4. As letters are sent/submitted Deborah will mark them as sent on the application spreadsheet, providing you with up to date information regarding the status of letters.

Please give Prof. Bonikowski as much advance notice as possible when requesting recommendation letters. If you are approaching Prof. Bonikowski for a letter for the first time, it is helpful to give a minimum of one month’s notice so that he 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