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Thread: LOR dilemma

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    LOR dilemma

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    I need some help deciding on who will write my LORs for my application cycle this fall.

    LOR 1: My master's program research project advisor and have taken an UG and grad class from her, and done well.

    LOR 2: My grad chair who taught a grad class I did well in.

    LOR 3: This is the tough one. I'm really leaning towards Option 2, but I've known Option 1 for a long-time and he was going to be my advisor, but due to his inability to commit I went with LOR 1 writer as my advisor.
    - Option 1: The professor who I thought I was going to get to RA with but ends up I cannot, and he is very distant from academic commitments in general, like helping supervise independent research and replying to emails. He is semi-respected though, as a micro-theorist, but probably not that well known. I have known him since 2010 and have been emailing and discussing research with him, even in person, since then, but he tends to always want to drop any long-term efforts. He has some idea of the kind of research I enjoy, but I'm not so sure he would want to put those ideas into writing on my LOR. I took grad micro from him and did well.
    - Option 2: The professor I now TA for, who also has appointments at Columbia and NYU as an adjunct professor. He has nominated me for TA of the Year and thinks pretty highly of my TA work, coming up with my own initiatives to help the 133 students improve their grades and maximize their learning. This semester is the first time I've met this professor. I have emailed him before about a now defunct research proposal I had and he gave me some pointers and said it was a good idea. Have never taken any of his classes.

    Would there be any reason to choose Option 1 for LOR 3?

  2. #2
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    Re: LOR dilemma

    From what you've written, I don't see why Option 2 is a worthwhile one? TAing for an adjunct professor, while nice, has no relationship to doing your own research in grad school. Unless this adjunct happens to have published papers or connections within academia, their reputation seems to not make up for their non-tenure track status.

    Another thought is to go to LOR 1 and 2 and ask them what they think. Your MA research project advisor should be pretty invested in your outcomes and therefore be willing to help you craft your application, so their input would be very useful.

  3. #3
    Within my grasp!
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    Re: LOR dilemma

    You should ask LOR 1 and 2 for their advice. They know you and these options better than people on an anonymous message board who do not have nearly enough information to make an informed suggestion.

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