About a month ago I asked a professor for a letter of recommendation with 2 weeks notice, he agreed and wrote it. I found out about another opportunity but the deadline is tomorrow; I sent him an email Tuesday night asking if he could write me a letter of recommendation again but he hasn't replied. Could he possibly not be willing to write me another recommendation?

He doesn't have office hours until tomorrow at 2:00 which seems really late to be bringing it up to him. But, I don't want to bother him by sending him another email in case he's ignoring my request on purpose.

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    I doubt he is unwilling. Perhaps he hasn't yet seen your email or other things have intervened in his life. But ignoring you seems to be the least likely option. The short notice makes it hard, of course.
    – Buffy
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 15:46
  • @user119384 to answer the only question in there, "Could he possibly not be willing to write me another recommendation?" Yes, possibly, but thats the same potential situation in every instance you have ever asked anyone anything! Of course they may not want to help. I am not putting this as an aswer as your question here isn't really a question, I guess you are really wondering about whether or not you should contact them again to force a response. Assuming that is the case - then of course you should contact them again, ideally by calling in or on the phone. You have a deadline after all.
    – 10B
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 16:05
  • @10B All true. I'll email him.
    – user119384
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 16:17
  • I would recommend telephoning. It is more personal, more direct and you can be sure he's got the message. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Speaking as a professor who writes a few dozen letters of recommendation a month (it seems like that, anyways), I would suggest that he is not ignoring you; he might be behind on his e-mail or simply preoccupied with other matters.

I would recommend sending another polite follow-up e-mail, and barring that, drop by his office hours.

Usually, the first letter of recommendation is the most work. Sending a second one is a lot easier, as your professor should hopefully just be able to make a few minor alterations and send it off to this opportunity.

  • That's why I didn't hesitate to ask on such short notice, since he'd already written me one. I guess I didn't think he was ignoring me, per say, but maybe that he was trying to think of a way to say no. I'll send him an email.
    – user119384
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 16:16
  • If this submission so important for you, then come to his office at the morning and try to catch him. Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 20:36

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