Sample Emails To A Professor Asking For Favor

You urgently need a favor from your professor and need to email them right away. You don’t want to spend the next hour trying to figure out how to go about it.

Fear not, we got you covered. We’ll put together some samples you can modify for the purpose. We’ll also include some tips to keep in mind whenever you’re emailing your professor.

So, let’s get started.

Tips For Emailing Professors

Professors are humans like everyone else. So, there’s no need for you to worry too much when communicating with them.

That said, you may want to avoid anything that could potentially rub them the wrong way.

Use Proper Title

You should avoid using informal titles when addressing them. Keep in mind you’re addressing their station and using their official email address.

No one wants their school to think they’re over-friendly with one of their students. School administrators have access to these emails so you should address the professor properly.

Additionally, professors put in a lot of effort to achieve their titles. So, you should address them as such.

If they aren’t yet professors, address them as Dr. if that’s what they are. Addressing a professor as Dr. could end up causing problems.

Students may not consider it a big deal but professors appreciate it when students use the title, they worked their hardest to earn.

Dear Professor {{Last name}}
Dear Dr. {{Last name}}

Use School Email

Every tertiary institution provides its employees and students with official email addresses for communication. You should always contact your professor through their official email addresses.

Not only does this help you the student but it also helps the professor. The school would be able to moderate any conversation between staff and students and the emails can easily be retrieved in the event of any investigation.

Contacting a professor through their personal emails is a good way to get them into trouble or receive no response from the professor.

They expect work-related emails through their official email addresses. Contacting them through their personal email addresses could end up annoying them.

Formal Tone

It doesn’t matter how close you may be to the professor. You should always use a formal tone in your emails. Refrain from using emojis and other slang that are considered informal.

Keep in mind that the professor is not one of your peers. Using formal language is a sign of respect for the professor and their station.

You’re writing to the professor at their formal station. Ensure that you use a formal tone when communicating with them. Additionally, any sign of over-friendliness between students and professors could lead to questions.

Correct Grammar

No one likes reading bad vocabulary and this includes professors. They expect students at that level of education to have good writing skills, especially when writing simple emails.

To avoid common grammar errors, students can use tools like Grammarly to identify and rectify such mistakes. These tools are completely free and integrate well into your favorite email client.

That said, it’s worth noting that these tools aren’t perfect. So, it’s advisable to go through your writing even after Grammarly corrections have been made to avoid any mistakes.

Be Polite

It doesn’t matter how entitled you may be feeling, you should always be polite in your emails, especially to people in authority. Even if you dislike the professor, you shouldn’t show it in your email.

Try your best to be polite in your email, unless you’re looking for a negative or no response. The professor would most likely skip over your email if your tone isn’t polite.

Identify Yourself

Don’t give the professor unnecessary work to do. They have busy schedules and the last thing they want to do is spend the next few hours looking through their student list to identify who you are or which class you may be in.

Introduce yourself, your class, and section (if applicable) in your email or add it to the email signature.

Clear And Brief

Don’t write them an entire essay, it isn’t an assignment. Keep your message as short as you possibly can, while maintaining all necessary formality.

Professors receive emails from different sources daily and wouldn’t have the time to read through your long email. So, it’s advisable to keep your email short and to the point while maintaining a polite tone.

Explain Your Situation

Explain what you need from them as politely as you can. Don’t just demand something from them as if you’re entitled to it. They would simply ignore your email and focus on more pressing matters.

If you’ve already discussed what you need from them earlier, you can politely remind them in a single sentence. You don’t need to remind them of the time you met and everything that occurred.

Don’t Forget Attachment

If your request would be easily understood with the help of an attachment, do not forget to attach it. Can’t remember the number of times I’ve written an email to someone asking them to find the file they needed, attached only to receive a reply that the attachment was missing.

Unfortunately, this is quite common especially when you’re having a stressful day. It’s an easy mistake to make but can be costly when your email is time sensitive.

To avoid making this mistake, verify that the file has been successfully attached and that’s the right file. Trust me, it could save you a lot of headaches.

Wait Patiently

Don’t pester the professor with follow-up emails every hour. If your request is time sensitive, you can go to their office if you don’t receive feedback from them.

Keep in mind that what you may consider urgent may not appear the same way to the professor. They may have more urgent issues than yours on their desk.

So, you can visit their office if you don’t hear back from them, in cases where your request is urgent. Bombarding them with email reminders will not help your case.

Sending a reminder isn’t bad but you should be considerate in how, when, and the number of times you send them.

You can send them a reminder if you don’t hear from them after 24 hours or a few days depending on the time-sensitive nature of your request.

Act Early

Don’t wait till the last minute to contact your professor. If you need them to do something for you, it’s advisable to reach out to them as soon as possible.

Don’t wait till the deadline is up to put pressure on them. They’ll most definitely ignore your request if you’ve waited till the last minute.

Contrary to what some students may believe, professors have lives outside the workplace. Don’t expect them to stop everything they’re doing just to work on your urgent need, especially when you could’ve sent it earlier.

Clear Subject Line

Always remember to include a subject to your email if you want a response. Professors receive loads of emails from their peers, students, and various academic and non-academic sources daily.

Your email will simply get lost if it doesn’t have a subject line. A typical subject line you can use to ask a favor from your professor can be:

Request to use lab equipment

End Formally

Sign off by saying thanks for their time in reading your email. You can add your full name, class, and section numbers when signing off if you didn’t include them in the first paragraph.

Thank you
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section}}

How To Find Your Professor’s Email

So, now that you’re ready to send the email, where do you find the professor’s email?

School Website

Your school website is a good place to find your professor’s official email address. Most schools have faculty pages where you can find information about individual faculty members including their contact details.

You can also check the overview page of the professor’s course on your learning management system.

Course Syllabus

Another place where you can find the professor’s official email address is on the course syllabus. The course professor’s contact details and attendance policies are usually included in their course syllabus.

Other Students

Chances are, you’re not the only student who had to email the professor at some point. You can ask your peers for the professor’s email. If none of them has the email, you’ll most likely receive a tip on how or where you might find it.

Sample Email To Professor Asking For Favor

Template 1: Asking Professor To Use Lab Equipment

Email Subject 
Request To Use Lab Equipment

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}} and I’m in your {{Class title}} class that meets on {{Meeting days}}. I am reaching out to ask for a favor.
I am working on an independent project that requires the use of {{Lab equipment needed}} and was wondering if it would be possible for me to use the equipment during your lab's open hours.
I know the equipment is valuable and in high demand, and I would be happy to work out any necessary arrangements, like providing additional assistance during open hours or taking additional safety precautions.
I would greatly appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you soon.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 2: Requesting Research Opportunity

Email Subject 
Request For A Research Opportunity

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}} and I’m in your {{Class title}} class that meets on {{Meeting days}}. I was impressed by your research on {{Research topic}} and I’m looking for an opportunity to get involved with your lab.
I have a strong passion for {{Field name}} and I believe that working with you would be an excellent opportunity to gain valuable research experience.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 3: Requesting Professional Advice

Email Subject 
Request For Professional Advice

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}} and I’m in your {{Class title}} class that meets on {{Meeting days}}. I am reaching out to ask for your professional advice and guidance.
I’m considering a career in {{Field name}} and was wondering if you would be willing to meet with me to discuss the field and any advice you may have for a new entrant.
I understand that you have a busy schedule and I’m willing to work around it. I would greatly appreciate your guidance and look forward to hearing from you soon.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Template 4: Requesting Mentorship From Professor

Email Subject 
Request For A Mentorship Opportunity

Dear Professor {{Last name}},
I hope this email finds you well. My name is {{Your name}} and I’m in your {{Class title}} class that meets on {{Meeting days}}. I was impressed by your experience and expertise in {{Field name}} during our class on {{Topic}} and was wondering if you would be willing to mentor me.
I’m very interested in pursuing a career in {{Career field}} and believe that your experience and knowledge would aid in my professional development.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
{{Your full name}}
{{Class and Section Number}}

Hi there and welcome to UnitWriter. My name's Chris, an expert in crafting effective email templates for all occasions. I created this blog to share my knowledge, by offering tips and templates to help get you started on your emails. Hope it's been helpful

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