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I know there are a lot of discussions about this topic in this forum and I read all of them but my situation is slightly different. I took a class with my professor and I worked in his research lab and I know him for a while. When I asked him for a letter of recommendation he told me send you CV plus draft of your letter of recommendation. In this forum a lot of people said do not do that it is unethical. I understand this and I understand why it is unethical but what should I say to him should I say this is unethical and I cannot do that or should I forget about letter of recommendation from someone who I worked in his lab.

marked as duplicate by EnergyNumbers, Peter Jansson, scaaahu, David Richerby, earthling Oct 24 '14 at 9:47

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You might tell the professor that you feel uncomfortable writing a letter for yourself, but that you'll be happy to provide the CV and a list of the things about you that you would be happy if they emphasized in the letter.


First, I think it's important to get this letter of recommendation. Letters coming from professors who have first-hand experience of your research experience are incredibly important in STEM fields.

When it comes to getting strong letters of recommendation, I generally advise students to submit their CV and a comprehensive list of what they did in lab from start to finish. I would keep it to a page or less and include class work, but this is standard at my University. It sounds like this professor just wants the letter-writing process to be easier for him or her. Letter writing can be difficult, and these two items make it significantly easier. If it were me, I would go forward almost as if he didn't ask directly for a draft.

You also might ask for advice from another professor in your department. Professors are known for their quirks, and I'm sure you aren't the first to notice this professor makes unusual requests. I would make sure that you can trust the faculty you ask for advice, but you would be surprised at the quality of the advice professors have for dealing with other faculty.

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