This page is a slightly-modified version of a similar one created by Michael Orrison of Harvey Mudd College.  Thanks to him for sharing this idea in FOCUS.  You can see his original work at http://www.math.hmc.edu/~orrison/teaching/recs.html.

I regularly write letters of recommendations for students and am almost always happy to do so.  If you have gained my consent to write such a letter for you, I ask that you please do the following to assist me in writing the letter(s):

At least two weeks before the letter is due, please give me a folder containing

• a copy of your transcript,

• a copy of your personal statement (if applicable),

• all necessary forms, and

• addressed, stamped envelopes (if email submission is possible/preferred, please provide a careful list of the relevant email addresses and do so in an electronic format).

Furthermore, at least two weeks before the first letter is due, e-mail me (boelkinm at gvsu dot edu) your answers to the following questions (the more details the better):

1.  What is your name, year in school, and major?

2.  For what are you applying? (scholarship, graduate school, job, etc.)

3.  List the programs/insitutions to which you are applying, together with due dates.  Please include names of contact people and addresses (so that I may include these in the header of the letter).

4.  If necessary, remind me of how long have I known you and settings in which we have interacted.

5.  State the classes you have taken from me along with the final grade you earned in each.

6.  How would you describe yourself?  What are your top three goals in life?

7.  What are some of your academic accomplishments?

8.  What are some of your nonacademic accomplishments?

9.  Why do you think I would be a good person to write a letter on your behalf?

10.  What makes you particularly qualified for this position/honor/award?

11.  What are your long term career goals and how will this position/honor/award help? 

12.  Do you have any additional comments/achievements (REU's, summer research, interesting jobs, hobbies, etc.)?

Please send me e-mail reminders as deadlines approach, and feel free to chat with me about other ways you can make the letter writing process go as smoothly as possible for you and your letter writers.