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Sending an email to an expert in your area can be challenging. Knowing good academic email etiquette can help you create a solid first impression, whether you’re a postgraduate student seeking a supervisor for your dissertation or an industry professional looking for a joint job opportunity. In this article, we’ll offer some advice on email decorum, preparation, and eliciting your desired reaction.

Conduct research before sending Email

Before starting, spend some time figuring out your objectives and making a list of scholars whose interests and areas of specialization align with them. Review some of their previous work and publications, noting anything you find intriguing. When composing your email, you can utilize these facts to show your dedication to your work. Lastly, identify their current areas of focus. Projects completed by scholars are under the influence of both internal and external factors. It can be required to establish whether they are still active in your area of interest, depending on your aims.


Introduce Yourself

It’s time to explain yourself and the reason for your email after creating a snappy subject line and salutation.

The information you offer in this section will vary depending on the aim of your email, but proper email etiquette advises that you add a few words about yourself. It would be sufficient to give your name, occupation, and affiliation along with the rationale for your request for straightforward requests, such as requesting a copy of a scholar’s published work. In some circumstances, it could be advantageous to commend the receiver on their area of expertise to make it clear why you want to speak with them rather than someone else.

More information is required for more complex situations, including applying for a residency or an employment post. You want to persuade the scholar that you are the best person for the job. You could accomplish this by mentioning your prior work experience, publications, and career goals.

Make a closing statement

It’s time to wrap up your email after introducing yourself and your goal. This is the last thing a scholar will read, and it may influence whether or not they respond to you immediately. In addition to thanking the reader for reading your email, the final line should also contain a call to action. This clarifies your expectations and aids in starting new conversations.

In the context of professional email etiquette, expressing gratitude can be as simple as saying “Thank you for your time and consideration” or “I sincerely appreciate your guidance.” It’s an opportunity to thank the scholar for assisting you with a task or considering you for a position. A little politeness goes a long way!

The type of your call to action depends depend on your goal. Building a rapport might not be necessary for straightforward requests, but it might be in the future if you want to delve deeper into the scholar’s field of study or are genuinely interested in their work. This connection would allow you to demonstrate your commitment to the issue and enthusiasm for additional discussion in the case of more complicated demands. In other words, decide how much you want to put into this (possible) relationship and tailor your call to action to reflect that.

According to basic email etiquette, the situation and relationship should determine what is appropriate. It might be preferable to ask them to phone you or respond to your email so you can talk more about your request when you first meet someone. If you know they’ll be there, you may invite them to a professional gathering like a conference. But don’t offer to visit them at their house or extend an invitation. Here are some examples of suitable and unsuitable concluding sentences.

  • Appropriate call to action:

I would love to discuss this position more with you. Please feel free to email or call me at your earliest convenience.

  • Inappropriate call to action:

I would love to discuss the art of fencing with you further. I keep some very interesting sabers at my home, which I believe you would be fascinated to see. Would you be available to meet me there at 7:00 p.m. this Friday? It’s secluded and can be a bit difficult to find, so I have included some directions below.

Finish with an academic email signature

After your closing line, it’s time to conclude your email. Include a valediction, your full name, your current role, and your contact information.

When writing an email, there are a variety of valedictions (or “sign-offs”) to pick from, and they all have various purposes. For instance, you can use “cordially” when you know the person you’re writing to, whereas “sincerely” is a straightforward way to end a business email. We are emailing an industry professional that we do not know in this situation. Thus we should use a professional sign-off that is not also personal.

Examples: Sincerely, Regards, Yours sincerely, Kind regards

In commercial and professional contexts, you should refrain from using informal sign-offs like “Cheers,” “Take care,” and “Love.” In general, you shouldn’t use language in a professional academic email that you wouldn’t use in a note to a close friend.

Your Name and Professional Title

Use your complete name when you sign out, especially if it’s a common name like “Jane” or “David.” This will clear up any confusion and aid in their memory of you. Your chance of getting a response and the likelihood that your email will be lost in a spam filter can both be improved by including your full name in your email signature.

Although it isn’t always required, we advise including your professional title or current position in your email signature because it clarifies what you do. If a scholar recognizes your affiliation with a prominent employer or school institution, they may be more likely to respect your request or take you seriously.

Provide Additional Contact Information

Make sure to include your contact information lastly. Even if the scholar will receive your email address via email, it’s helpful to include additional contact information, like a direct phone number. Giving the recipient options for communication is also great because different people have different communication preferences.

Kind regards

Venessa Stewart

Ph.D. candidate

Department of Psychology Studies

Yale University


It doesn’t have to be stressful to email a scholar, even though it sometimes is. You may reach your goals by writing a professional message for your target audience with a little planning. Professional correspondence greatly benefits from following proper academic email etiquette.

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