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How to start reference request email to professor?

How formal should I be when asking a professor to be one of my references for a part time undergrad job? I believe I will only need their contact info, and NOT a letter. Should I preface the email with "Dear Professor..." or "Hello Professor..."

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  • Frank
    Lv 7
    4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am a retired professor and have had requests for many such reference letters.

    It depends a little on the nature of your relationship. If it is just a student/professor relationship, you probably should use the salutation: "Dear Professor." But, if an informal friendship of any sort has developed between you, it is okay to say something more informal like Hi Professor his name or Hello Professor.

    From there get right to the point and say something like: "This is to request the favor of a letter of reference from you for a job for which I am applying." Then, describe the job. If you have taken more than one class, with this professor say that and name the classes. You might do the same if it has been only one class. You could say: "I am currently enrolled in your class and give class name. The reason for doing that is professors often have so many students that, even one they remember very well might not be one they can connect to specific classes. And, he or she may want to refer to the classes you have taken in his or her letter of recommendation. Incidentally, if it is a recommendation letter for which you are asking use that term rather than the term reference. The more he or she can say about you (like what classes you have taken with him or her) the more meaning the recommendation letter will have to the person receiving it. Good Luck!

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  • 4 years ago

    You need to be proper & professional in your approach. The proper form, even for email, is:

    Dear Professor Z:

    [body of letter]

    Sincerely,

    Name

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