How To Write An Email To A Professor

Written by Pareeshti Rao

"You can make anything by writing" - a great man once proclaimed. On both a professional and personal level, I'd regard it as fuel for my soul.

December 7, 2021

How to write an email to a professor? A lot of students have a hard time deciding how to start an email, what to include in the subject, and how to structure their mail. Whether the mail is just to say an informal hello or to ask how to do a research project, most students look for someone to give them a sense of direction on how to proceed with their content structure. Today, if you’re here looking for a sample for writing a formal email to a professor, this blog will walk you through with the help of examples and samples.

In response to your question on how to write an email to a professor, we recommend that you keep in mind a few things that’ll help you draft a mail. 

  • Firstly, no matter what your mail content is going to be, maintaining a professional tone in your email is very important. Since you’re addressing your professor, make note that he/she has the ability to drastically impact your student life. 
  • How you frame your mail will basically talk about you & the information you put forth in your email will speak volumes about your knowledge of the particular subject. Creating a good first impression is therefore what strongly matters because that will come in handy in the near future.
  • If you’re unsure about maintaining a professional tone throughout your mail or find a problem in framing error-free sentences, there are several tools that could help you correct your mistakes. With tools like Grammarly, you could cross-check your spellings, sentence formations, the tone of your mail, and more. 

Tips On How To Write An Email To A Professor

When Creating An Email Template:

  • Make your subject line concise and succinct.
  • Begin your message with a suitable greeting. 
  • Use an appropriate title when addressing your professor. Look it up if you don’t know.
  • Make use of proper punctuation and language. There should be no jargon or texting abbreviations.
  • At the bottom, include your signature, accompanied by your name and year.
  • Do not add demanding sentences such as “reply as soon as possible.”
  • Proofread.
  • Create a poll to enable scheduling easier.

When Creating Content:

Just like how you may have mastered how to write an SOP, creating content for formal emails requires a particular pattern or structure to be followed. Here are a few tips when it comes to creating content:

  • Give an introduction of yourself: name, class/section, year, etc.
  • Duly note that professors do not have the time to read paragraphs, so get to the point as soon as you can.
  • A polite suggestion is always better than rudely stating your problem. Specify days and times on which you would like to meet the professor to discuss matters.
  • Be courteous.
  • Know the professor to whom you are writing. If you are enquiring about the professor’s lab or wanting to collaborate with them, it will be beneficial to conduct some research about the professor and their research. Form letters do not work.
  • Maintain your accountability. Do not send emails complaining about something for which you have not come up with a remedy.

Some General Tips On How To Write An Email To A Professor

  • Do not anticipate a prompt response. So, if you have a deadline for an issue, write an email as soon as possible.
  • If you want a reference, it is customary to inquire at least many months in advance and to remind no later than three weeks before the deadline. It is beneficial to be organised and to send reminders.
  • Professors get hundreds of emails per day, and your message might easily get lost in the clutter. If you don’t hear back after a few days, it’s fine to resend the email or follow up.

Email Sample For Writing To A Professor

Once you follow the aforementioned tips on how to write an email to a professor, you will get an idea not only of how to get started but also on how to go about it. Below is an email to a professor sample that you could refer to the next time you’re drafting a mail. However, do keep in mind that the content is subject to change based on your requirement or message that you have to convey to your professor. 

Dear (Mr./ Dr./ Mrs. ________)

I am (your name) from (batch/class). I am a sophomore currently pursuing media and communication. I have a keen interest in advertising and would like to obtain expertise in brand research.

I recently read your research paper on XYZ and I would like to bring to your notice that I found it very interesting. Since I want to gain some research experience, I’d like to seek your advice on the same. I’m interested in pursuing a career in brand management and I’m certain that working on my research paper will help me in this regard. I am planning to begin my research the next semester and continue through the summer.

To begin with the project, I would like to ask you for your expert guidance. Would it be possible to set up a meeting with you sometime next week? I am accessible from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

I have included my résumé below for your reference; please let me know if you have any queries. I eagerly await your response.

Thank you,
(your name)
(your number)

The above sample on how to write an email to a professor is about a student who is interesting in pursuing research on brands and requires advice from his/her professor for the same. In your final year, you may wonder about how to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation, but these tips and the above sample should suffice to help you get a hold on writing formal emails. 

Thank you for reading this blog on How To Write An Email To A Professor. If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that might be of interest to you:

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