A WORD ABOUT LETTERS OF REFERENCE

Dr. Gavin T. Richardson, Union University

Good reference letters are crucial for getting a job, earning a scholarship, and gaining admission to graduate school.  You begin the process of securing good references by making sure that your professors will have something nice to say about you when the crucial time comes.  This process begins the moment you set foot on campus.  “Sucking up” is not the goal here; rather, a conscientious, serious, and humble approach to your classwork and thesis writing is the key to securing a good letter of reference.  And you know that campus job you’re grossly underpaid for?  Its real value may come in the opportunity to secure glowing references from those you work for.  Some further tips:

Let me say that for all these caveats, the great majority of professors are delighted to write strong letters for fine students.  Employment and admission to graduate schools are the fruits of our labor invested in you, and frankly we take pride when you do well.  So work hard, be conscientious, and have no fear asking for letters when the time comes.  Good luck!

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