How do I approach potential letter writers? First, make a list of professors and/or supervisors who will be your best advocates. Then, set up an appointment to discuss your request in person. Do not make the request via email. Be prepared to articulate your interest and reasons for attending graduate school. Letters of recommendation are written strictly on a voluntary basis. The best approach is to ask potential letter writers if they are willing to write you a strong letter. If you sense reluctance or the answer is no, ask someone else.
The best way to write a letter of recommendation is to start out with a formal greeting, or using "To whom it may concern" if you don’t know the recipient. Follow the greeting with 2-3 sentences of praise for the person you’re recommending.