Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby ali8 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:45 am

Hi,

Sorry for two threads in two days.

I was just wondering that, besides the professor with whom you did
research, you probably will go to a professor you only take a calss with.

So, at least you will have one professor in which class you got A+, right?

So, in principle, that professor should write a VERY impressive LOR, true or
false?

I am just wondering becuse it seems to me that LORs are not generally
very impressive unless you are really exeptional.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby negru » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:52 am

LORs are not outstanding unless you did something outstanding, either for research or for the class, or the prof is really willing to push for you. Getting an A+ is not outstanding enough to warrant an outstanding LOR. "did well in one course" LORs generally go in the "doesn't change anything" pile.

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby ali8 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:57 am

Ah, I see.

Thank you :)

alreadyconfused1
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:18 am

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby alreadyconfused1 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:27 am

In general too, a LOR from a lecture professor that you got an 'A+' from will not be anywhere near as good as a professor you did "good" research with. The school has no idea if that professor even KNOWS you or is just writing a general LOR from your grades. They also don't know how many students got an A+, the grade distribution, etc. Just a bit more detail from the previous post :P

djh101
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby djh101 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:19 pm

What if you didn't just get an A+ but did exceptionally well in the course, e.g. got the highest grade and exceeded the average by a very large amount (in stat mech I got 100% on the midterm, which averaged around 50%)?

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby TakeruK » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:13 pm

djh101 wrote:What if you didn't just get an A+ but did exceptionally well in the course, e.g. got the highest grade and exceeded the average by a very large amount (in stat mech I got 100% on the midterm, which averaged around 50%)?


In my opinion and from advice from my professors, letters about class performance generally go on a lower tier than letters from research supervisors. If you have to get a letter from an instructor (it's hard/rare to get all 3 letters from research since research opportunities are hard to find), the type of letter mentioned above would be the best kind to get. That is, one that distinguishes you from the rest of the class. But generally, even if you are several standard deviations above the mean in Stat Mech, that doesn't really provide a ton of useful information about whether or not you are going to be a good graduate student. There are tons of empirical evidence for students with bad grades doing excellent research. So I would only get a letter like this if I could not find one about my research ability.

djh101
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby djh101 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:19 pm

Thank you for the reply. I will be getting a letter from my PI and likely another close professor, but I've been in the same lab for a while so don't really have anyone to write a good third non-academic letter. (And sorry for any thread hi-jacking that I may have committed.)

tlamonty
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:25 am

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby tlamonty » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:59 am

Writing a really good LOR is not an easy task at all. I myself used to have some problems with creating a really impressive one. I highly recommend you to use some resource for creating LOR, because, usually, such service can create a really outstanding LOR, which you won't do on your own. Especially, when you have a lack of time.

godwin
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:38 am

Re: Why doesn't everyone get a VERY impressive LOR ?

Postby godwin » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:49 am

Some professors let students write their own LORs and they will then sign them. Are these letters the most impressive since the student can push for him- or herself the absolute most? In reality they're not. They will sound very positive but will be devoid of content, reflecting a professor that doesn't care about you enough to type a few paragraphs.

Job Interview processes are full of buzzwords. Go look at any university faculty website and count the instances of 'cutting-edge', 'world-class', 'diverse', 'excellent', 'outstanding'. LORs, similarly are full of them.

Content matters. 'Got an A+' and a billion well-sounding adjectives isn't going to get you anywhere.




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