Asking Faculty for a Favor

Answers and Suggestions from Karen Kelsky. Browse The Professor Is In here.

Question: How do I write an email to someone I don’t know, asking them for something? Be it a research paper, an interview, or the opportunity to collaborate in their research, I am struggling with how to reach out to people I don’t know and ask them for favors. How much do I tell them about myself, so that they are interested in me and want to help? Should I just get to the point? Any recommendations in this regard would be truly appreciated.

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