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Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE

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Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 14:37
My former Professor was happy enough to oblige my request for a Letter of Recommendation, however, he asked that I draft it myself. I honestly don't even know where to begin with this.

Complicating matters more--my former supervisor has also asked that I draft her letter!

I'm feeling a little self-conscious here. Is it unusual to be asked to write all of your own recommendation letters? It seems to be a good thing, if only because I can tailor-focus the content of each recommendation to address/shore-up my exact weaknesses/strengths....from two different and distinct perspectives; that of my former professor and that from my former supervisor.

What do ideal "winning" Letter of Recommendation's even look like? How long should each be? What kind of content to include? Format? Anyone have samples? I've got ALOT of writing to do...
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Re: Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 15:31
lifeisshort wrote:
My former Professor was happy enough to oblige my request for a Letter of Recommendation, however, he asked that I draft it myself. I honestly don't even know where to begin with this.

Complicating matters more--my former supervisor has also asked that I draft her letter!

I'm feeling a little self-conscious here. Is it unusual to be asked to write all of your own recommendation letters? It seems to be a good thing, if only because I can tailor-focus the content of each recommendation to address/shore-up my exact weaknesses/strengths....from two different and distinct perspectives; that of my former professor and that from my former supervisor.

What do ideal "winning" Letter of Recommendation's even look like? How long should each be? What kind of content to include? Format? Anyone have samples? I've got ALOT of writing to do...


I don't think admissions committees want applicants to write their own letters of recommendation otherwise why even ask for them? Let's put it this way. If they suspect you wrote, or drafted the letters, you will be dinged. Does that mean it doesn't happen? No. I am sure it happens all the time.
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Re: Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 16:42
I'd suggest that you check the LOR guidelines for each school to which you're applying. Some (all?) of them state that the letter cannot be drafted by you. If that's the case with your schools, don't write the letters yourself. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably seek out two different recommenders, hopefully people willing to take the time to write a letter on your behalf.

As for the content of the letters, I think that Montauk's book provides excellent guidelines.
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Re: Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 17:03
skahuh wrote:
I'd suggest that you check the LOR guidelines for each school to which you're applying. Some (all?) of them state that the letter cannot be drafted by you. If that's the case with your schools, don't write the letters yourself. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably seek out two different recommenders, hopefully people willing to take the time to write a letter on your behalf.

As for the content of the letters, I think that Montauk's book provides excellent guidelines.


Not an ideal situation; I agree, but this is my reality. I have no other recommenders, so it is this or nothing.

That said, I'm sorely in need of advice. I did a quick search on a book by "Montauk" but came up short, can you elaborate?
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Re: Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 17:45
lifeisshort wrote:
skahuh wrote:
I'd suggest that you check the LOR guidelines for each school to which you're applying. Some (all?) of them state that the letter cannot be drafted by you. If that's the case with your schools, don't write the letters yourself. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably seek out two different recommenders, hopefully people willing to take the time to write a letter on your behalf.

As for the content of the letters, I think that Montauk's book provides excellent guidelines.


Not an ideal situation; I agree, but this is my reality. I have no other recommenders, so it is this or nothing.

That said, I'm sorely in need of advice. I did a quick search on a book by "Montauk" but came up short, can you elaborate?


I had a recommender ask me the same thing, but I told this person the importance of a letter of recommendation and the consequences regarding drafting my own letter. I proceeded to find sample letters, can be found online, templates, or any other examples to get this person some guidance.
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Re: Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 18:18
lifeisshort wrote:
Not an ideal situation; I agree, but this is my reality. I have no other recommenders, so it is this or nothing.

That said, I'm sorely in need of advice. I did a quick search on a book by "Montauk" but came up short, can you elaborate?


Sorry. The book I mentioned was this one: http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Into-Top- ... 863&sr=8-1

As for your predicament, you'll want to hear others' opinions, but I still think that you should be careful not to break any rules when applying. What if, instead of drafting the letter yourself, you give your writer a good 2-page description of the letter writing process, the schools to which you're applying, and some suggestions for specific examples of your leadership abilities, weaknesses, etc. Maybe you can even review the letters before they are submitted?

Good luck!
Re: Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE   [#permalink] 01 Sep 2010, 18:18
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Asked to draft all of my own LOR's --- NEED ADVICE

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