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How to Email a Professor

How to Email a Professor

HOW TO EMAIL A PROFESSOR

Emailing a professor should be loud and clear. Even though we email people all the time, emailing a professor is quite different from that. You state your email being very formal and maintain adequacy. It is not the kind of email you would send your family or friends.   So it is very important to know how to properly email a professor.

Salutation or Greetings

It is important for you to greet in an email before sending it. Salutations and greetings are considered to be the root of adequacy. It’s a very kind gesture to start your email with “Hello” or “Dear sir”. You have to also keep in mind that a casual “hey” is a big no when sending an email to your professor or any other formal events.

Using Names and Titles

Even though using titles or names of the professor might seem overly formal but it is very important to use titles and names of the respective professor. The name and title of the professor must be followed by the salutation or greetings you used at the beginning of the title. It shows that you are paying respect to the professor o the instructor. Excluding the title of your professor will offend your professor. Make sure to recheck your email before sending it. The instructor must be addressed as “Professor” or “Doctor” followed by their last name. It is also very important to use the correct grammar and watch out for spelling mistakes on email.

Keep it as Brief as Possible

Unlike most of us, Professors and Instructors are considered to be known as very busy people. They usually have a very short of amount of time in their hands while checking for an email. You have to make sure that your email is kept very short, simple and the information required is provided. By briefly listing the steps you have already taken to try and answer your question, you can reduce the number of emails you are sending to lower the risk of getting your email not received by the professor. And these may include things like checking the syllabus which is a must before sending any professor an email. You can go ahead and ask a classmate or even talking to the TA will give you much information.

Signing Off

Sign offs are usually the things we write in the end to conclude a letter or an email. Such as “Thank You”, “Cheers”  or “Best Regards” can be written at the very end of an email followed by your name. It makes the email seem more put together. It’s a lot more professional and ends your email in the most formal way. Also, not to mention that you need to write down your First and Last name along with the full name of your university, college or any other university.  This will help the recipient or the professor to identify you more efficiently.

Using Subject Line

Adding a subject to any email makes it easier for the recipient to identify your email and get a clear vision about the subject. Not only does it help the professor but also, it keeps your emails from the spam emails.  Using a subject line such as “Question about [Class Name] paper” or “Meeting request” is appropriate enough to reflect upon the content of your email.

Try to Be as Professional as possible.

Your email should be very professional when sending emails on important topics. Surely, you and your professor share a very formal relationship. Therefore, it must reflect on your email as well. You must greet your professor at the beginning of an email and your information should be clear enough to understand. You should also be checking out for typos. Any form of grammatical errors or misuse of capitalization and punctuation shows unprofessionalism when writing an email. Over the past couple of years, emojis have been a trend nowadays and the majority of the people use emoji as a regular way of communication. Even after that, using emoji’s on an email is highly restricted unless it is being sent to a family member or a friend. Using emoji’s on an email makes your email look very casual and rather impolite.

You should also important information for instance if you have missed a class or would like to get a clearer idea of a particular subject.

 

The email must be sent from your university email address

Using your university email will make sure that your email seems a lot more professional and guarantees you to have your email filtered through the other spam emails. Also, emailing from your university email address will also help your professor to identify you much quicker alongside your name and your details provide your university name.

The following list shows what you would need in your email:

  • Your email should have an informative subject line
  • Your email needs to be concise
  • You should make sure that your email is formal: Dear Dr. Smith; Sincerely, Your Name
  • Never use Mrs. or Ms. when emailing your professors.
  • Make sure your emails does not have any slangs, abbreviations, or emoticons

The following list what are the things you should follow if you are applying for an opening :

  • You should address any qualifications the professor is looking for
  • You must demonstrate your experience
  • If you are asking for a research opportunity:
  • state specifically your interest in that research group. You also have to make sure to keep updated with the professor’s website.
  • You must explain why research is important for your goals.
  • For applying for an opening, you should first ask to schedule a meeting or let them know that you will be coming to office hours.

Your Email should look very professional and informative.

 There is a list below for you to take an example from on how to write an email to your professor:

e.g. / i.e:

Subject:  Meeting to discuss undergraduate research opportunities in topic

Dear Dr. Professor,

I am a year student at university majoring in major.  How you found out about the professor’s research.  Expression of interest in specific paper or topic.  I would appreciate the chance to talk with you about your research on the topic of interest and about possible undergraduate opportunities in your lab.

My experience in research experience or class, confirmed my intention to develop my research skills and goal. I know you are very busy. We could schedule an appointment or I can drop by your office hours on day and time.

I have attached my resume and unofficial transcript.  Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide. I look forward to talking to you soon.

Best,

Name

See Also

Here is another sample is taken from a student who wrote to his professor.

Subject: Prospective Ph.D. student for Fall-2017

Dr. Last_name,

Greetings, I am writing this letter to express my interest in working with your research group. I am currently teaching at X University, Bangladesh as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

I have visited your university webpage and I am glad to know that your research area includes wireless networks and mobile communications, on which I am also interested in working. I also have gone through some of the recent publications from your Google Scholar webpage and the conference paper titled “XXXX XXXX XXXX” seemed to me very much intriguing to explore further in my Ph.D. We can also work on Software-Defined Wireless Networks. In fact, I was looking for a prospective research topic to work in my Ph.D. And, I think there is a huge research scope on the mitigation of the security threats of SDWN.

I should be much obliged if you could select me as a graduate student to work with your research team. I am eagerly waiting for your response as I intend to work in the Fall, 2017 session. My resume is attached herewith this email. Please find the attachment.

Sincerely yours,
Full name

When you see that there is no reply from your professor, you need to wait for 2days. After that, you can mail him again. The mail will be as followed.

Dr. Last name,

I sent you an e-mail two days ago. Perhaps, you could not read due to your busy schedule. Would you please kindly have a look at the email?

I am looking forward to your kind response.

Sincerely,
your name

So, here is everything that you need to know about emailing a professor. Following these guidelines and the sample will add professionalism to your email. Always remember that informal emails will cost you big time. Professors are to be treated and wrote to with respect. Any lacking of that will go against your way. More tips about the professor’s email assistant coming up soon on this website. Stay updated by visiting us regularly.

 

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