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Author Topic: TA vs. Prof.  (Read 1613 times)

prospectivelaw27

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TA vs. Prof.
« on: August 03, 2009, 11:52:53 PM »
I know this topic has been touched upon before, but I wanted some insight to my particular situation. I'm a current undergrad at a pretty large University. I haven't had much one on one exposure with professors due to large class size. Therefore, I asked a history TA of mine who I met for ofice hours and had recitation each week for my course to write a rec for me. He happily agreed. I was wondering whether having a TA write a rec would be a terrible idea considering I'm shooting for T-14. His rec will not be "OMG he was the best student I ever had." But he will be able to hopefully reference my work and what I did in his recitation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ninja1

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Re: TA vs. Prof.
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 11:59:52 PM »
*Tag to see what everyone else thinks.

Personally, I think this would work. I think a prof would still be better, but I don't see why a TA that could actually speak for the quality of your work would be bad.
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Re: TA vs. Prof.
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2009, 12:29:02 AM »
My only concern is that many TA's are not as refined as professors.  Many tenured faculty members just have a better idea of what to write and how to write it - and thus produce better LOR's.  A lot of TA's are graduate students and do not write nearly as well.  If the TA seems very mature and probably as able to write well as a prof, definitely go with him.  I think schools are much more concerned with the content of the LOR than the title of the writer.

prospectivelaw27

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Re: TA vs. Prof.
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2009, 04:20:58 PM »
Hey, thanks all for the advice. I'm confident that this TA would take the time to craft a well-written letter of recommendation. My case is sort of interesting in that it's not as if the TA is going to write me a beautiful rec and the professor would write me a horrible rec, rather both the TA and prof. would write good things about me, but the TA would reference specific instances he interacted with me.

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Re: TA vs. Prof.
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 04:46:45 PM »
Hey, thanks all for the advice. I'm confident that this TA would take the time to craft a well-written letter of recommendation. My case is sort of interesting in that it's not as if the TA is going to write me a beautiful rec and the professor would write me a horrible rec, rather both the TA and prof. would write good things about me, but the TA would reference specific instances he interacted with me.

This is the most important part.  My advice is that you should go with the TA.

lawlawlaw77

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Re: TA vs. Prof.
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2009, 03:39:11 AM »
Yea, awesome.  TA.

Just level with him and tell him you really need it to be awesome. 

When I was a TA I would have personally approached my professor about this and asked him to give me some pointers and proof my letter.  But I had a very good relationship with my professor.

Maybe your TA could do the same?  I'm not sure how you could tactfully suggest that...  That's what I would do.