We’ve all been there. You have to email a professor or your RO officer, and you just… don’t even know how to begin. And that’s okay, we’re here to help.
There’s a relatively simple pattern you can follow with emails.
- email address, subject line
- introduction and reason for the email
- clarifying your request/question
Email Address, subject line
- Create a professional email address. Your 12-year-old self might have thought that firstname.lastname@example.org was amazing, but professors might just throw your email in the trash.
- Don’t forget the subject line – without one, your email might not even get opened.
Don’t forget to greet the person you’re emailing appropriately. If they have a position, include that as well. For example:
Dear Dr Dóra Reglődi,
If your email has multiple recipients, you can either greet all of them at once, or one by one.
Dear Professor Gábor Pethő,
Dear Dr Éva Mikó,
Don’t start your email with Good Morning, especially not Hi or Hello. It’s just not polite, and professors really don’t like it. If you’re not sure about someone’s gender, check on the university website! You don’t want to email a female professor and call them a Mr in your email. Starting any email with Dear FULL NAME is a safe bet.
At Hungarian universities academic ranking differs from that of other European or American universities.
”Professor” is the highest ranking, the Hungarian equivalent is ”egyetemi tanár”. In letters/e-mails they are addressed as: Dear Professor FULL NAME. The other ranks can be addressed as: Dear Dr FULL NAME, egyetemi docens=associate professor; egyetemi adjunktus=senior lecturer; egyetemi tanársegéd =assistant professor.
Introduction and reason for the email
This is important when you’re emailing someone you don’t know. Tell them who you are and why you’re writing, like so:
I am XY (NEPTUN CODE), a second-year student in General Medicine. I am writing to you because REASON.
Please note that you’re not supposed to use contractions.
Once your recipient knows who you are, you can elaborate on your request or question. This can be anything, depending on the situation.
You can close your email by thanking the recipient for their answer before you sign off. You can do this as simply as writing ”Thank you for your answer”.
Don’t forget to sign off!
Yours sincerely, or
Yours faithfully, or
ALWAYS sign your email, using your full name, and if you have one, your position. If you are a group leader or group representative, you can add that too.
XY (NEPTUN CODE)
Group leader of Dentistry 1
We hope this will help you writing emails in the future.