How to Write a Good Research Follow up Email to Your Professor

Do you need help figuring out how to write a research follow-up email to your professor? You’re not alone!

Many students struggle with this task because it can be nerve-racking to communicate with their professor and ask them for advice. However, it doesn’t have to be intimidating if you take the right approach.

Here are some tips on crafting an effective research follow up email that will help you with the direction you need from your professor.

What Is a Research Follow up Email?

A research follow-up email is an effective way to track your progress on a project. It ensures that you get the guidance you need from your professor. This communication channel is also essential to stay connected with your professor and creating long-term relationships.

A research follow-up email aims to keep the conversation going about your project or paper. It also provides updates on your progress, get feedback, or ask for additional resources.

How to Write an Effective Research Follow-up Email

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Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Introduce Yourself

When writing a research follow-up email, you must introduce yourself. This helps your professor to remember who you are and what project or class you’re connected to. This can include mentioning any previous discussions or meetings you had with your professor or even just briefly describing the project you’re working on.

Explain Your Research & Ask for Help

Next, explain what research you’ve done and why you need additional help from your professor. Try to be concise and provide as much information as possible.

For example, if you’re researching a particular topic, mention the sources you’ve looked at and any questions that remain unanswered. This will give your professor an idea of what assistance they can offer.

Be Specific in Requesting Assistance From Professor

When requesting help from your professor, you must be specific about what assistance you need. This could range from asking for reading recommendations to seeking advice on data analysis techniques.

Providing an accurate description of the help you need will ensure that your professor can give the best guidance possible.

Close With Gratitude

Finally, it’s always polite to close with a thank-you note expressing gratitude for your professor. This is for taking the time to read and respond to your email. A genuine “thank you” will help in showing appreciation for their help and effort.

Tips to Remember When Writing a Research Follow-up Email

Before writing an effective research follow-up email, there are some things you should consider:

1. Make sure you have all the necessary information. This includes the topic of discussion (e.g., your paper), questions you want to ask, and any materials or resources you need from your professor.

2. Keep the email concise and to the point. Your professor will likely receive many emails daily, so make sure yours is short and straight to the point.

3. Be polite and professional in your language and tone. Ask questions clearly and address them directly so your professor can respond quickly.

4. Show appreciation for their time by thanking them for taking the time to read your email.

5. Include deadlines if there are any, especially regarding a project submission date or feedback due date (if appropriate).

6. Proofread before sending. This should go without saying, but double-check for typos or grammar mistakes that could affect the message you’re trying to convey.

Sample Template

Subject Line: Request for Assistance With {project/paper Title}

Dear Professor {Name},

I hope this email finds you well. My name is {name}, and I am a student in your {Class Name}. I am working on a paper/project titled “{Project Title}” and would be honored if you could put me through on the following points.

{List questions or topics you need help with here}.

I have already consulted various sources such as {list sources consulted}. However, there are some areas that I need more guidance on. Could you please provide me with additional resources or tips?

Thank you in advance for your help, I look forward to your response


{Your Name}

In Summary

Writing a research follow-up email can be an effective way to get the guidance and advice needed to successfully complete a project or paper.

By introducing yourself and explaining what research you’ve done already, being specific in your request for assistance. And by expressing gratitude for your time, you will be well on your way toward crafting an effective research follow-up email that gets results. Good luck!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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