Your Goals:


1.  Create the first draft of your autobiographical essay.  Follow this link for brainstorming help:


1.  Type your activities information sheet

Create a chart / list / resume including headings such as:




        Community Outreach


        Honors and Awards



Add and / or subtract whichever headings work for you!

Make it neat and professional looking.

Be specific and include dates etc.

2.  Create a template for your recommendation request letter

3.  Create a template for your thank you letter

Here are some links to help you!

How to write a thank you letter:

Be sure to use business letter format!!

How to request a recommendation: 

Use business letter heading

Then, use this as an example of the body of the letter:


Dear *****:

I am applying to ************.  I would greatly appreciate your writing a letter of recommendation on my behalf.

As you may know**** (details about your class, work, club, etc. go here.)  The reason you selected this person could also be included in this paragraph.

The deadline...person to submit letter to (guidance etc) and any other helpful information should be included in this paragraph.

Thank you for considering my request.



Your name


Recommendation Letters

  Donít ask for a recommendation letter by email.  

  Donít spring it on the faculty member. Donít ask before or after class, in the hall, or at any other random time. 

  Arrange an appointment, explaining that you wish to discuss your plans to apply to graduate school. This gives the professor a heads up and a chance to think about whether he or she can write a helpful letter on your behalf.  

  Donít ask, ďcould you write a letter?Ē Instead ask, ďDo you feel that you are able to write a letter supporting my application to graduate school." Ask whether the faculty member feels that he or she can write a "helpful letter." You donít need any old letter Ė you need a good letter.

  Prepare. Be prepared to discuss the type of degree you seek, programs to which you applying, how you arrived at your choices, goals for graduate study, future aspirations, and why you believe the faculty member is a good candidate to write a letter of your behalf.  

  Give the faculty member enough time to write a good letter. Writing a letter of recommendation isnít easy. Ask at least a month before the due date. Earlier is better. 

  Remember to tell the professor the application due date.  

  Donít make the person rush as it will result in an average or even mediocre letter. When every recommendation letter an admissions committee receives is stellar, average will hurt your application.

  Give the person what he or she needs to write an informed letter, including recommendation forms, transcript, essays, and other essential information.  

  Print out information for each program so that faculty have the information they need to tailor your application to the program.  

  Be neat. Place all of your documentation in a folder and neatly label each item. Clip each recommendation form to supporting documentation, relevant admissions essays, and a stamped envelope. Use a sticky note to mark the deadline on each. Neatness counts because it gives people the impression that you are organized and it makes their job easier. 

  Ask for input on your choices and overall advice. If the person offers to review your admissions essay, take him or her up on it Ė and use their advice to improve your essay.  

  Pay attention to signals that the person may not want to write a letter on your behalf. Anything other than a glowing letter can harm your application. You donít want a lukewarm letter.