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    So I'm scribbling out draft emails to send to my tutors to ask if they'd be happy giving me a reference come MA-application-time (the MA is for History). I wondered.. is it as simple as 'Would you be happy to do this?' or is there a sort of etiquette to it?

    Glad of any advice, as usual!
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    (Original post by hannah_h88)
    So I'm scribbling out draft emails to send to my tutors to ask if they'd be happy giving me a reference come MA-application-time (the MA is for History). I wondered.. is it as simple as 'Would you be happy to do this?' or is there a sort of etiquette to it?

    Glad of any advice, as usual!
    No real etiquette, just be sure to be ultra polite in your request and thank them profusely if they agree - remember they are busy people and all that! It might be worth linking them to some information about the course if you feel you want to, but nothing other than that.
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    Just keep it polite - if you've had emails from your tutors before then follow the format they use - uni emails are usually slightly more formal than normal ones. But otherwise don't sweat over it too much.

    It's really useful for them to have some information about the course you're applying for as they can target your reference but it will be course specific so you can only do that if you already know which courses you're going to apply for. Give them the information in the email - don't link to another uni website where they have to search it out themselves as you'll just irritate them - and keep it short. If you don't know the specific courses yet then just say you'll be happy to provide more detailed information when appropriate.
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    Thanks to you both for your help - I've sent off a couple of requests today so we shall see how it goes!
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    I have a question that also belongs in this thread. How many unis is it still okay to apply for? Considering that each of them will contact my referees and they will have to upload my reference to each of them. I don't want to seem rude to them by inundating them with requests, but I want to apply to as many unis as I can (10ish).

    I'd also like to ask one of them for a reference for a volunteer placement (besides the masters references), do you think it's still okay?
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    (Original post by Solya)
    I have a question that also belongs in this thread. How many unis is it still okay to apply for? Considering that each of them will contact my referees and they will have to upload my reference to each of them. I don't want to seem rude to them by inundating them with requests, but I want to apply to as many unis as I can (10ish).

    I'd also like to ask one of them for a reference for a volunteer placement (besides the masters references), do you think it's still okay?
    10 references is a bit extreme in my opinion... Why do you want to apply for so many different courses? Is it because there is funding attached to them or are you just worried about maximising your chances of getting an offer?:confused:
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    If you can it may be worth going in to ask, you can gauge it more then (not that emails are particularly bad!). Also then they might feel honoured

    I'm feeling optimistic, I went to ask a lecturer for a reference for my PGCE yesterday expecting them to say I should really ask my adviser, they were like Yeah sure! straight away. Be very thankful if they say yes, and make it easy for them; be as flexible as possible. Meet and give them all the info you can to help them.

    I know you've sent some emails anyway but I'd go with formalish but not too much. No really casual speak but sound realistic.

    At the end of the day if they're nice, which they probably are if you're asking them, they seem to be chuffed that you have picked them to give you one, so unless they have some massive commitment then they'll probably say yes.

    xxx
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    10 references is a bit extreme in my opinion... Why do you want to apply for so many different courses? Is it because there is funding attached to them or are you just worried about maximising your chances of getting an offer?:confused:
    I want to maximise my chances. Almost all jobs in the field I want to work in require a postgrad degree, and I don't want to take another gap year. How many courses do people usually apply for?
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    (Original post by Solya)
    I want to maximise my chances. Almost all jobs in the field I want to work in require a postgrad degree, and I don't want to take another gap year. How many courses do people usually apply for?
    Unless those are all absurdly competitive courses you won't need to apply for anywhere near as many just to get offers.
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    (Original post by Solya)
    I want to maximise my chances. Almost all jobs in the field I want to work in require a postgrad degree, and I don't want to take another gap year. How many courses do people usually apply for?

    I applied to 4 and that seemed fairly normal, although I know plenty of people who only applied for 1.
    Rank the courses you're applying for in order of preference, and only apply to a few at a time.
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    Don't do it over e-mail...arrange to meet them. Obviously make it clear that it's for the purposes of a reference but just say you'd like a quick chat about it. Go and see them -- outline your plans, give them your CV or anything else that you think will help them know you, and your work, better. This way they're likely to write you a more personalised reference rather than "I taught this person and they did well on my course".

    Lecturers are used to it -- obviously be polite, but not 'cringeworthily' polite.
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    It depends upon the nature of relationship you have with them. I was quite close to my referees so I asked them in person, which meant instead of just agreeing to do it they discussed which programmes and universities I was considering applying to etc.. An email, especially for an academic, is very easy to ignore.
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    I e-mailed both of my references- 1 is my diss supervisor, we are quite close, and send very relaxed informal e-mails to each other so I was less concerned about it. The other was my tutor, to whom I wrote a more formal e-mail, giving the context of why I thought I was good for the course I was applying for, and why I thought I was up to par academically for it. Both agreed to write the references. I'd tailor the request to whoever you're asking- if you aren't too sure, probably best to go see them in their office hours and ask them face to face.

    What I didn't quite appreciate, having re-read the reference sheet about 10 thousand times over since, is how much work references are for some uni apps (LSE's is quite hefty.) So make sure you ask ASAP if you are applying for the open of applications (for example 10th October at LSE) as your lecturers need to spend a bit of time on them to make them good (and sell you) so don't spring it on them! I asked mine 2 weeks ago and I'm still waiting for an e-mail from them to tell me to collect the docs. Good luck with your applications! :-)
 
 
 

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