OVERVIEW: It is in your best interest to make my job as your letter writer as easy as possible. The more information that you provide about yourself will give me more to talk about in the letter. Giving me explicit deadlines, directions for submitting the letters and frequent reminders will make sure that the letters get where they need to be on time. The tips below will give you some guidelines for what kind of info to provide.

TIMING: Let me know of your request for a letter at least one month in advance. Make sure to send reminders with increasing frequency as the deadlines approach.

Please send me a single email answering the following questions and attaching the documents listed.


  1. What is your full name?
  2. What is your year and major (or when did you graduate)?
  3. How long have I known you?
  4. What is my relationship to you? (student, research advisee, grader, co-worker, etc.)
  5. What classes did you have with me? Give the year and quarter(s).
  6. What are you applying for (REU, PhD program, Masters program, CPP scholarship, teaching job, industry job, fellowship)? Please provide a link to the program or job description is available.
  7. What is the corresponding due date(s)?
  8. What are the specific letter writer instructions?
  9. What are the instructions for submitting the letter (email, online form, snail mail, etc.)?
  10. For students, what are your long term goals? How will this position/award help you attain that goal?
  11. What are your extracurricular interests and passions?
  12. Have you worked while going to school? If so, where and how many hours a week?

MATERIALS: In the same email as above, please send me links to, or attach the following:

  1. Resume (for students) or CV.
  2. Your unofficial transcripts.
  3. If applicable, all necessary forms for letter writers.
  4. All materials you will submit with your application (e.g. personal statement, statement of interest, research summary, etc.).