Please Help With OCS Application Essays! - English Forums

A: Yes. Email is good for brief, factual questions. Don't expect an immediate reply; 2-3 days is typical during term-time, and a week (or sometimes longer) is typical during the summer. If you want to discuss your plans in general, or you want feedback on an application, come see us during office hours. We will give essay feedback via email only during the summer time and only if you are unavailable to meet in person or on the phone. Questions regarding elligibility or other details of particular grants are best directed to the grant body (in many cases OCS).

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Please Help With OCS Application Essays! - English Forums 12 Apr 2007 I'm applying for Office Candidate School (OCS) so there are two essays I need to Essay: I have ...


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A: Just email your professor or ask her in person. (Asking by email is just fine; there's no need to wait until you can speak in person.) If appropriate, remind her the context in which she knows you (e.g., "I took your Science A-45 course last spring"), explain what you're applying for, and let her know the deadline. Once your referee agrees, it may be helpful to send a copy of your resume, transcript if appropriate, and a draft of your essay and/or proposal. (Some recommenders find that very helpful; others won't use it at all.) Include very clear instructions regarding when and where to submit the letter. If the letter is to be submitted directly to the fellowship committee, it is very helpful to provide a stamped, addressed envelope (this also makes sure that the address gets filled in correctly). For fellowship competitions administered by OCS, you can just get a University Mail envelope from the superintendent's office or your department secretary. Sometimes, a professor will just put her letter in an envelope, seal it, sign across the seal, and return the letter to you to submit along with your parts of the application. This is a common practice, so it won't be unusual if a professor hands her letter to you in an envelope (they trust you not to open it), and don't feel bad asking for it.

It is polite to request your letter at least two weeks before she has to submit your letter. 3-4 weeks is preferable. If you ask less than two weeks before the deadline, be very apologetic and realize that you are calling in a favor (the exception to this is when the professor has previously written you a letter and can use the same one with little to no modification).

Have your professor notify you when the letter is submitted! It is definitely acceptable (and usually very necessary) to remind your professor several times during the days prior to the deadline. A few faculty do these well in advance, but most don't.