University of Wisconsin–Madison

Hints for Writing a Good Email

  • Introduce yourself: “Hi, My name is _________.”
  • State your purpose: “I am planning to go to grad school in chemistry and am looking to gain some research experience in a lab before I apply.” OR “I’m thinking about becoming a chemistry major and would really like to get involved with research in the department.”
  • Give some background: “I’m a sophomore chemistry major with an overall GPA of 3.4, and a chemistry GPA of 3.8. I have taken 103/104 and am currently enrolled in 311 and 343.”
  • Talk about your interests: “I’ve always been interested in polymers and would really like to understand their environmental impact.”
  • List a specific project: “I saw on your website that you were conducting research with biodegradable co-polymers and would love to learn more about this project.”
  • Ask if they are taking students: “Thus, I was wondering if you are taking any undergraduate researchers this semester.”
  • Ask to set-up an appointment: “If so, may I set-up an appointment to further discuss your research and this opportunity?”
  • Make sure to say thank you: “Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you.”

 

Remember these points are guidelines, you also want your own personality and enthusiasm to be present in your email, so arrange them however you see fit and feel free to add information that is particularly relevant to why you want to do research