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E-mail professionalism when contacting sources

I came across an article, A Primer on Electronic Communication, at Inside Higher Ed that discusses basically the way you should approach professors when making first contact with them. From some stories I did this summer where I needed expert advice from academia, I don’t think I did too bad following the general guidelines. Also, I think these guidlines are worth remembering for anyone you contact:

  • Write a clear and descriptive subject line.
  • Address the person politely.
  • State your reason for contact.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Explain what you have already done.
  • Restate your question, elaborate if necessary.
  • Say thank you and sign off with a formal signature.
  • Read your letter.
  • Get in touch again in a week if you receive no response.
  • Think about the larger context.

Seems like a few universals for e-mail professionalism, especially when contacting potential sources.

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