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I asked a professor of mine to write a recommendation for me in August. I dropped off the materials while she was on vacation. I wrote her a note telling her that I wasn't sending off the materials for a bit, so take your time. She's very busy. She teaches one big freshman class I know about, does research and is a mom. I'm afraid she forgot about it and want to remind her, but in a very respectful, gentle way. Here's the email I'm thinking about sending:

Hi, This is Holly X from your X class. I hope the semester is going well. I know you're very busy, but I was writing to follow up on my graduate school recommendation we talked about. I'm not sending in all of the materials for another two months, but I wanted to make sure you received all of the materials that I left at your office while you were on vacation. If you need anything else, I can drop it by whenever. Thank you again for writing this recommendation for me. I know you are a very busy person and I really appreciate it.


I dont' want to sound pushy, but I really need this recommendation. Professor mamas, how would you want this addressed?

Thanks!!!

ETA: She seemed really happy to write the recommendation for me when I asked her.
 

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I think it sounds appreciative and respectful of her time, but if you're really worried about getting it on time I would say something like- "I hoping to have all of the components of my application assembled by ___________." Maybe make it in one month instead of the two months you have. That way you have a little leeway in case you don't get it by then.
 

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First, I'd find out when her office hours are and go by in person. It's more polite. It also gives her a chance to ask any questions she might have.

We're used to writing letters of recommendation, as it goes with the job. If she was happy to do it when you talked to her, you don't need to remind her who you were, unless it was a class of over 50 that you had her for. She should remember you (and if she doesn't, seeing your name/face should jog her memory.)

If that doesn't work, then here is what I would write/say:

Quote:
Dear Dr. _______ (unless you're quite comfortable using their first name, go for the title as it's more polite; "Hi" is too informal for this kind of thing. If you go in person, then "Hi" is fine, of course.)

Thank you for agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for me for XX. I was just checking in to make sure that you got the materials that I dropped off while you were on vacation. I also wanted to check and see if there is anything else you need from me. I'd be happy to drop off anything else you need.

The deadline for the application is _____________________, and I'm planning sending in my application on _______________ just to be on the safe side. [if you're picking up the recommendation from her to send in your packet, then I would add: Would it be possible for me to pick up the recommendation by _____________ (3-4 days before the day you want to send things in on)?]

Thank you again for writing this recommendation for me. I know you are a very busy person and I really appreciate it.

Is there anything I can do to make this process easier for you?
Ending with a question will be more likely to get a response!
 

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What Lynn said. It's also ok (and appreciated on my part) for you to write a quick note the week before the deadlne to ask for confirmation that the letter was sent.

FWIW, if someone asks me to write a letter and then says "you have two months before it's due," I don't start for another 7 weeks. I need to know it's coming for planning purposes, but don't expect me to actually send it until the last minute. I just have too much to do to work that far in advance.
 
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