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Letter of recommendation LOR Requirements (Prof. JLF King)

Please email me and ask if I am willing to write you a Letter Of Recommendation for grad-school / employment / a grant. (It is a smart idea to remind me of which class(es) of mine you took, and in what year/semester(s).) Tell me explicitly what the LOR is for and by what date it is due.

If I say yes, then you must obtain a large manila envelope, carrier, henceforth known as the carrier. Write your name, large, on each side of the carrier; this is how documents will go from you to me, and be returned to you. (You and I will be inserting and removing documents from the carrier, and you'll probably use the carrier for LORs from other professors. It is best to purchase a manila envelope that is wider than 8.5x11, so that you can easily put in/out documents without damaging them. NOTE: Sometimes I have old manila envelopes carrier that can be re-used; ask me, before purchasing one.)


Easiest for me is to email a LOR   —to, say, ,  an actual email-address. As of 2010, most schools use a webform, which often is fine. But, before giving my name, please inquire of the school Does the webform require the user to click on a terms-of-use clause? If the answer is “yes”, or if the webform has poorly-defined questions that I can't skip, then I will decline to use that webform.

In that instance, you'll need to give me an actual eddress, or else a stamped, addressed, self-sealing envelope.


Each envelope that you want me to mail (or have returned to you, with my signature across the flap) must:

  1. …be a self-sealing envelope self-sealing envelope with peel-off tabs. (I have ingested all the glue that I am going to.)
  2. …have its full destination address, clearly written-or-typed, postage-envelope with address, and with sufficient postage affixed. The envelope must have my complete return address, clearly written/typed. It is
      Prof. Jonathan King
      Dept. of Mathematics
      University of Florida
      358 Little Hall
      PO Box 118105
      Gainesville, FL 32611-8105 (USA)
  3. …have, already folded and inside the postage-envelope with address , all (and only) the papers that you would like me to mail along with my LOR for you. One of these must be your signed waiver. Should the application not come with such a form then you can print a waiver, which you must then sign and date.
  4. Usually the grant has a form that must be included. You should fill-in all information requested about the recommender (except my dated signature). E.g, you should fill-in
    • Name: Dr. Jonathan  L.F.  King
    • Title: Associate Professor (Assoc. prof.)
    • Dept: Dept. of Mathematics
    • Phone #: (352) 392-0281 x270
    • Eddress: squashATuflDOTedu
    • URL of Recommender: <>
    My mailing address is listed above, should they request it.

What the carrier carrier must contain:

It will have one self-sealing envelope for each LOR that you want me to send. Each separate postage-envelope with address will contain, already folded, those materials (and only those materials) that you want to accompany your LOR, including your signed waiver.

For some of the other materials, email me a cover letter with the relevant information. Then print out a copy of your own message, and include it in the carrier. If you put in a URL, then isolate it by blank lines and give the full URL (including the http://) so that I can click-open it from your email. E.g,

Dear Prof. King The grant (grad-school admission, job, prize) description is at (but with the actual URL(s). Put it/them on separate line(s), sandwiched by blank lines above and below.) The grant that I am applying for is #3, grants for good swimmers. The LOR is due by 27March2011. The destination address is on the self-sealing, stamped, envelope that I have provided. Naturally, I will let you know whether I won the grant. Sincerely, Ima Mensch 06November2010 flourish

The carrier should NOT have the original of important documents. E.g, do not give me your birth certificate! If you think that I need your school transcript (I usually don't need it) then give me a photocopy; I neither need nor want an official copy.

The carrier must also contain:

  1. A cover letter (CL) with your email address. For each school (grant) that you apply to, your CL should have the date when it is due, whether they want my LOR by mail or by email; or do you need it from me in a signed envelope?
  2. Include a copy of the scholarship (grant, academic program, job) description. You can give me a URL if you previously provided me it by email. (You should have already emailed me your Cover Letter, and I should have vetted it, telling you if you have included all the necessary information.) If no official grant-description is available, then you should write-up a brief cogent description.
  3. Who is eligible to apply? Only women? Only American citizens? Children of insurance agents? (actually happened) Only graduate students?
  4. Some idea of what criteria I am to judge you by: Mathematical skill, general academic skill, character, honesty, your potential as a teacher?
  5. Optional: If you wrote an essay for your application and want to give me a copy; great —a rough draft is fine.

When I have written your LOR, I will email you. (If you haven't heard from me, please email me reminding me about the LOR.) I will put your carrier , containing your documents, into the wall-bin marked "LOR", which is wall-attached to the right of my office room 402 Little Hall 402 Little Hall.

Verify that your LOR was received. (Yes, really. Do this. For some reason, LORs are often mis-filed at the receiving end.)

And tell me whether you got the grant!

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Letter of recommendation