|What is being reviewed?
||What audience is reviewing it?
| scholarly journal articles
|| editor and author(s)
| funded research proposals
|| agency officials and proposer
| job recommendations
|| potential bosses and their bosses
Are you the correct person? Say NO if any below apply.
- You have a conflict of interest: working in the same area,
applying for same funds, pushing another candidate for the job.
- You are inexperienced: know little about the article's or
proposal's field; you don't know the person's abilities.
- You are likely to be excessively negative. If so, beg off
for some plausible reason. Your report may hurt your reputation.
Assume your report won't be confidential. Never write
what you can't defend to affected person about
work/ideas/ability. Avoid negative comments; instead fail to praise,
neglect to mention.
Papers and proposals
- Supply your summary of the paper/proposal. This should
be better than the abstract and show you understand the work.
- Give clear recommendation [topic sentences]. Then
explain reasons so that inexperienced editor can understand.
- Comment directly on the quality of figures/tables/captions.
- Reject papers that do not contain a least publishable unit.
Reject proposals that do not contain substantial new ideas.
Letters of recommendation
- Explain in what way(s) you know individual. A short story helps.
- Answer any specific questions specifically.
- Give evidence for your opinions.
- Summarize your opinions, avoiding negative sentence at the end that
could be interpreted as discreet "don't hire" opinion.
Picking and Soliciting References
Applying for non-professional job:
- Find people who know about your work skills.
- Find people who know about your reliability.
This includes not only bosses but others
observing you in the work environment. These individuals must have
been at least one level above you. For example, if you were working for
one faculty member, another might have seen you on several occasions.
Applying for graduate school:
Try to find people who did more than teach you in a course:
- Professors you worked for in a research or in non-research mode.
- Professors with whom you did a reading course, a special project.
- Ph.D.'s you worked for in a company, perhaps in a summer job.
Try to find the most senior and best known persons:
- They are more likely to be known by the admissions committee.
- They are more likely to write better, more informative letters, if
only that they have read more recommendation letters.
- Approach potential reference as far in advance as possible.
- Ask each in person. Once individual has agreed,
emailed second requests may be ok, depending on the person.
- Make sure each realizes how many different letters are required. If a
single letter with different addresses is o.k. that is not a problem.
But if each application requires a quite different letter,
make sure the reference realizes this.
For any reference
- Make sure each knows for what you are applying. For example, supply
a copy of the job announcement, fellowship or prize.
- Supply a complete copy of your application materials. Then the
letter writer will have your current information to spur memory
and to shape the letter toward your goal.
To cite this page:
[Thursday, 19-Jul-2018 05:53:40 EDT]
Edited by: firstname.lastname@example.org on
Friday, 03-Feb-2006 09:54:49 EST