How to write an email to a professor asking a question

Wroblewski A short and friendly status request email shows your interest in the position. But some decisions can be slow in coming, sometimes because of circumstances to which you may not be privy. If the date you were promised a hiring decision has passed, write a brief, friendly and professional e-mail inquiring about the status of the decision.

How to write an email to a professor asking a question

They have the power to ruin your vacations with untimely assignments, bore you with a monotone that defies caffeine, or, if you have chosen wisely, switch on some inner light bulb that makes the world -- and your place in it -- suddenly clearer. The challenge facing students today is how to go from being one amongst the blur of hundreds to a recognizable face, especially should you plan to ask for a recommendation or career help.

Office hours play a big role in getting to know your prof, but Facebook-generation students often avoid the one-on-one because they don't know what to say and don't want to look like an idiot not saying it.

Take heart, the face time is well worth the effort. Professors are a vital cog in the wheel around which all university life spins, and most are eager to provide insight on coursework and majors and how those influence life ambitions. So, whether you are meeting up with your professor at office hours, on the treadmill, over a steaming horchata, or even helping him rake leaves, keep these in mind.

Five questions that are best avoided How can I get an A in your class? This question is transactional and makes it seem like all you care about is a grade, not an education, which is a common point of frustration among faculty. Who are the worst professors in your department?

This puts the prof in an awkward position, first admitting there are weak links in the department and then ratting out his colleagues. For a better way to phrase this, read on. Did you see that op-ed by one of your colleagues, and what did you think about it?

Professors hate admitting when they haven't read something, and if she has read the article and disagrees with it, we reiterate the previous point about the awkwardness of undermining colleagues.

Does it bother you what other people say about you?

Orange Crate Art: How to e-mail a professor

What, not everyone loves me? Can I count on you to write me a good reference letter? This question is another that is highly transactional and doesn't offer the prof a polite way to say "no" without sounding like a jerk. Conversely, five questions that are best to ask His answer will give you some keen insights into what he also likes best and least about students, so listen intently.

Remember that awkward question we told you to avoid earlier? This is the flip side that will get you a similar result, not to mention kudos for having a high EQ. Why did you decide to enter your field?

Her answer will reveal highlights of an area of study that may be new to you, as well as give a bit of insight into what makes your professor tick. What can I do to improve my writing?

how to write an email to a professor asking a question

Every professor has a different spin on "writing the perfect paper" and it is an invaluable skill to learn to write to whatever style is necessary to reach your audience. What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were my age? Don't be fooled by the nostalgic softball this question may seem to be -- your prof has been succeeding in academia probably longer than you've known how to write your name, and he will likely have a nugget of wisdom that will make your thirty minutes of small talk well worth the investment.He/She can write out a more detailed plan for you, give you things to read, ask a senior grad student to work with you, point you to software libraries, etc.

Asking the right person can be . Using indirect question forms is an especially polite way of asking polite questions.

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The information requested is the same as indirect questions, but are considered more formal. Notice that an indirect question begins with a phrase (I wonder, Do you think, Would you mind, etc.) the actual question is then placed in positive sentence form.

What’s the reason for your email? Get to the point and make the ask, share the info, or give the update. If the purpose of your email is to make a request, note that larger requests should be preceded by a conversation with your professor (e.g., you’d like them to write you a letter of recommendation or you’d like them to be your thesis advisor).

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If . If you’re asking a question, make that question as specific as possible, one that it won’t take the recipient very long to answer. The shorter your email and the easier it is for the recipient to answer your question, the more likely you are to get a response. How to Write an Email to Your Professor.

Carefully. Maybe even do it twice. When you have a question, look at it again and make sure the answer isn’t in it. When you receive a prompt, read it.

Carefully. Twice. Never send an email asking what you missed in class or your grade in the class. Suppose I need to write an letter (email, actually), addressed to two academicians.

One is a full professor, and the other does not yet have this title.

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