David Dalpiaz

David Dalpiaz

Letters of Recommendation


If you are reading this, you have requested a letter of recommendation. (Or for some weird reason you are reading my website.) Tentatively, I will do so, but I would like to make you aware of a set of policies that I adhere to when navigating the letter writing process. Please read all of the following carefully. Letter writing usually happens during breaks or the busy parts of the semester, so you will need to communicate effectively and quickly. Please keep email communications concise. Bullet points are better than paragraphs. When emailing:

First, you need to know a little bit about me. I am a Teaching Assistant Professor. Importantly, this is a non-tenure track position, where I spend the majority of my time focused on teaching, as opposed to research. You need to know this because it (negatively) effects the strength of my letter. It also makes a letter from me less appropriate for PhD programs.

Next, the most important thing you need to know: I will only write about information that I obtained myself. That is, I will not take suggestions from the applicant about what to write. I may request some information from you, but it will mostly be used to help my memory. It is possible that the only information I know about you is the course you took with me, the grade you received, and how you ranked compared to your peers. I will often be asked to submit the information seen in the image below. Unless we discuss otherwise, I will likely select “No Basis for Judgement” for many or possibly all categories. I am willing to write a letter that says this, but this is not a strong letter.

Also, unless we have directly worked together beyond a student-teacher relationships, a letter from me will likely not be individualized to specific programs. Instead, I will use the same letter for all applications. If you have worked on an individual research project or served as course staff, you can expect a much more detailed letter that may be tailored to individual programs.

Finally, in order for me to agree to write a letter, three conditions must be satisfied. (Exceptions are possible, but must be discussed in person well in advance of application time.)

If you have any questions about the above policies, you should come see me in person if at all possible. (In reality, it would be best to ask me for a letter in person.)

If you have read the above and would like to proceed, please read on.

Things I need from you ASAP as a reply to this email:

Things you need to know while adding me to applications:

After I have been added to all of your applications, send an email letting me know that you have done so, with the following information:

Some closing thoughts: