How To Write An Email To Professor Example
This article was co-authored by Ashley Pritchard, MA. Ashley Pritchard is an academic and school counselor at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, NJ. Ashley has over 3 years of high school, college and career counseling experience. She holds a Masters in School Counseling with a concentration in Mental Health from Caldwell University and is certified as an Independent Educational Counselor from the University of California, Irvine.
How To Write An Email To Professor Example
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Emailing a professor requires more thought than emailing or texting a friend. Your education is the start of your career and you should conduct any interactions, including emails, in a professional manner. For example, you should always use your academic account and open an email with a formal greeting. Think of the interaction as a formal business letter. Be concise and remember grammar is important!
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This article was co-authored by Ashley Pritchard, MA. Ashley Pritchard is an academic and school counselor at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, NJ. Ashley has over 3 years of high school, college and career counseling experience. She holds a Masters in School Counseling with a concentration in Mental Health from Caldwell University and is certified as an Independent Educational Counselor from the University of California, Irvine. This article has been viewed 4,086,402 times.
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To email a professor, start with a formal salutation, such as “Dear Professor Jones” or “Hello Professor Jones.” Then briefly describe who you are with something like “I’m Mike Smith, and I’m in your Drawing 101 class on Mondays and Thursdays.” Then, cut to the chase and explain why you are sending the email. Remember to use a professional tone and language so your email doesn’t sound too casual. When you’re done, end your email with “Greetings” or “Best,” followed by your full name. Scroll down to learn how to check your email before sending! During your college career, there will be times when you need to cold email your professor. If your college experience is anything like mine, most of these moments will happen at 2 in the morning. You won’t have time to draft, compose, edit, and rewrite those emails to make sure they’re worded perfectly.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cold emailing professors, teachers, teaching assistants, and other teachers and lecturers.
We’ll discuss strategies (we talked to several students, professors, and experts to learn the best techniques) and provide professors with examples and templates for specific types of emails.
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Considerations before entering. Please adapt these templates and make them your own. Don’t use them literally. Impersonal emails just don’t work.
Need to cold email a professor? This means: Email professors when they don’t know who you are.
We’ll cover some specific examples later in this article, but here are general tips for cold emailing your professor to give you a benchmark.
How To Email A Professor: Cold Email Strategies, Examples, Templates
Your subject line should clearly state what you are emailing. Even better if you can customize the subject line.
Professors don’t want to read papers. (Unless they assign papers for midterms. Even then, I’m not sure they’ll bother to read them.)
I can’t say it out loud: general mass cold emails just don’t work. You should tailor your message to the professor.
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For example, if you want to join their research group, point out that their work resonates with you, how it relates to your field of research, and what unique or valuable perspective you can bring to it.
Here, personalization should go beyond “I read your post and found it interesting.” Show that you are actually learning now and getting some ideas from their work.
In general, if you’re cold emailing a professor, choose something less generic than “I saw on your website that one of your interests is machine learning.” — Zachary Lipton (@zacharylipton) November 17, 2018
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Dr. Monica Malta, a researcher and professor at the University of Toronto, suggests going a step further. One of Dr. Malta’s best trainees came from a cold email.
“They know what I’m doing, not only by reading my professional page, but also by following me on my very active Twitter. They know exactly what they’re looking for as an intern, what qualifications they have, and what they want to learn. …..this intern did an internship and went on to work on a master’s degree with me.”
You can use up to three sentences to (1) introduce yourself, (2) sell yourself, and (3) make it clear how you are different from everyone else cold emailing this professor and are therefore worth their time . It took work to do all of this…and a lot of editing and rewriting.
Tips For Emailing Your Professor
Get the professor title correctly. (PhD? Professor?) Make sure your email has no typos, shows that you fully understand what the professor does, and that your request is relevant to their work.
Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi, Ph.D., a mycologist at the University of British Columbia, stresses the importance of precision in her work with students on cold email. “Read that email over and over,” he said, “before you hit the send button.”
If you email your professor and say, “I have a paper due tomorrow on [topic], can you send me your research and answer these five questions?” you won’t hear back.
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Send a follow-up email about a week to two weeks after you send your first email. After that, if you still don’t get an answer and are determined to do so, you can try visiting the professor during office hours. Or…accept the prompt and move on to the next contact.
Advanced Strategies for Emailing Professors Don’t send the same request to two professors in the same department.
Professors in the same department talk to each other more often than professors in different departments or schools. If they realize you’re emailing both of them, suddenly your personalized request doesn’t seem genuine.
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Flattery is an art. If your flattery comes from a place of sincerity, it will shine. If you say that a small detail in a report your professor wrote 10 years ago changed your life…it’s not very believable.
Here’s a rule of thumb to seduce any professor when you’re nonchalantly emailing: “Everyone loves being quoted” Once you understand that, you’re good to go. — Oludayo Sokunbi (Deewon) (@Oludeewon) September 16, 2021
If you are interested in joining a professor’s laboratory or research group, please contact other undergraduate or graduate students in the group. Pick your professor’s brain to see what they’re looking for and what messages resonate.
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When is the best time to email a professor? As soon as they start working, they get emails in the early morning.
Also, avoid sending lots of requests during midterms and finals when the professor is busy (if the professor is teaching).
Key points to remember when sending emails: 1. Time your email so it reaches them before business hours (around 8am in their timezone) 2. Use the correct salutation (Dr/Mr/Ms etc) @OpenAcademics @PhDfriendSana @hapyresearchers — Graduate School Counselor 📚🏫✈️ (@sjay_yayy) August 8, 2021
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If you have time to play the long line, you can ask with a cold email…and then, on the way, send a warm email with your big request.
This trick will make the professor reply to your cold email https://t.co/xIaUz9A5nm — Muneer Yaqub 🇺🇸🇳🇬 (@elMunir5) May 24, 2022
For example, you could email a professor to say that you cited their research in a paper you wrote. Ask a clarifying question, ask for a quote, ask if they can send you a copy – any drop requests.
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Now, when they apply to join their research team in a few months, you can mention your previous interaction.
Dr. Malta agrees with the slower approach. “If you happened to meet this person at a cocktail party, how would you approach them? You probably wouldn’t just walk up and start throwing them, would you? … You could do that by mentioning a mutual friend or interest to try to connect with this person, and then you can make your proposal.
It’s easy to think too much about the end of an email. Be sure to end with a thank you – for their time and attention. Avoid saying “Thanks in advance” – it’s quite possible.
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“End on a friendly note, mentioning, if appropriate, that you understand their busy schedule and make sure they are available to respond when they are available,” says Dr. Malta.
As for your “last words,” you can use “Sincerely,” “Sincerely,” “Thank you,” anything formal or semi-formal. (Resist as much as you can, ending with “keep it real.”)
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