I recently asked someone who observed my teaching to write me a letter of recommendation. She replied enthusiastically that she would be happy to help but was pressed for time. She asked me to write the letter and then send it to her so she could make edits.

I'm confused by this since I've received 7 or so other letters over the years speaking to my strengths in research. Is it acceptable to write the letter on behalf of the person you're asking for a letter from? If so, how do you even go about the task of writing such a thing? I'm a bit too... shy to ask her if there was some misunderstanding, so I'm asking here first.

1 Answer 1


Yes it is quite common for letter writers to ask for a draft if they do not know you so well or if they are particularly busy.

You can take the advantage and write a draft that will point out the strengths that you want to promote, and ask the letter writer to add their opinion too and add the final touches.

  • 1
    Followed through with that. Was far less painful than I anticipated, and your comment helped me a lot. Thanks for answering. Commented May 5, 2023 at 7:13

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