Plain LoR from reknown vs Strong LoR from unknown (untrusted

hermitw
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:11 am

Plain LoR from reknown vs Strong LoR from unknown (untrusted

Postby hermitw » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:44 pm

Hi guys,

I am facing a problem of choosing LOR from two prof. One is Canadian and kind of well know, but I just took a course with him and he does not know me well. He told me that he can only write about my good grad, competitive scholarship and community service, which is basically what I write in my CV. Another one is a prof in a Chinese institution where I did undergrad. I took a course of comprehensive experiment with her and did very good jobs. She can write a very strong letter about my performance, although still not about research.

I have already have two very strong LoR from Canadians all related with research, but for the third one, I have no other choice. As you may know, Chinese LoR has very bad reputation. On the other hand, the Canadian prof told me that anything other than enthusiastic endorsement would sink me for top program. Do you think it really the case? I am thinking that the Chinese one is enthusiastic, so at least it won't hurt me, they just ignore it. The Canadian one can at least convey something good about me, but would it really heart me if it is plain? All opinions would be appreciated! Thank you!

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Plain LoR from reknown vs Strong LoR from unknown (untrusted

Postby bfollinprm » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:59 am

I think the Canadian professor is trying to tell you that he/she would not be a good letter writer, and you should heed that advice. People take recommendations seriously, and this professor obviously feels she/he doesn't know you well enough to write you a letter.

It's very true that a letter that just lists factual accomplishments is treated quite negatively, since it's rare people write anything actually _bad_ in a letter.

hermitw
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:11 am

Re: Plain LoR from reknown vs Strong LoR from unknown (untrusted

Postby hermitw » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:20 am

bfollinprm wrote:I think the Canadian professor is trying to tell you that he/she would not be a good letter writer, and you should heed that advice. People take recommendations seriously, and this professor obviously feels she/he doesn't know you well enough to write you a letter.

It's very true that a letter that just lists factual accomplishments is treated quite negatively, since it's rare people write anything actually _bad_ in a letter.

Thank you! I will take this. By the way, what if someone really have only two prof knows him well, and others can only write do well in class, and list some achievements in his CV? It is not that the student is not good, but only two profs knows him well and others don't. Is this still understood as negative?




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