jaaaayciee

To badger or not?

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One of my history professors said that he would be delighted to write me a LOR, and told me to email him a few weeks into the school year. I emailed him a couple days ago asking if today would be fine in the afternoon, and I have gotten no response. So I emailed him today checking to see if later today would work for him. Still have not gotten a response back.

Seeing as how deadlines are still a little while away, this isn't pressing to make sure it happens only today, but if he doesn't respond, I am not sure what I should do. Should I keep emailing him? I don't want to annoy him, however, this does make me nervous since I would like to tell him my goals and show him my documentation which can help him write his letter.

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I don't know when the school year began for you (at some places, it started weeks ago but at others, this is the first week of school, and at still others, school has not yet begun). I think you should not email again until 2 full school weeks have begun, given that you already emailed him twice! (If school started weeks ago, try again on monday morning).

Also, you need to give much more notice to schedule meetings!! It sounds like you just asked for one single meeting time a couple of days in advance. If this is the first week of classes, it can be a very busy time. The next time you email the prof, here is what I suggest:

- Say that you are hoping to meet with him before submitting LOR requests so that you can discuss goals and show him documentation etc.
- Usually a good idea to specify how much time you need (e.g. "Up to 30 minutes")
- Suggest a meeting in the next week, not just one potential day.

If your schedule is fairly open, then I would make a general statement about your availability, identify one preferred time and ask him to pick a time. For example, something like, "I am free to meet with you between 10am and 2pm on any day this week, but if it's all the same to you, could we meet on Friday at 11am?". This will allow the prof to simply say yes or suggest a different time knowing your availability (instead of having a back-and-forth email where he suggests a time, then you suggest another etc.). Just give them your availability up front. Also, if you do choose to suggest a "preferred" time,  make sure it's far enough away that if the prof doesn't see the email for a couple of days, they can still respond.

If your schedule is tight and/or complicated, then maybe pick 3 to 5 chunks of time (e.g. Thursday 1pm-3pm, Friday 10am-noon) to suggest. Don't list every single timeslot available though. And try to have a range of timeslots (i.e. don't make all three of them 9am-10am Wed, Thurs, and Fri). Finally, I'd suggest that the first time slot is at least 2 or 3 days away from the date of the email (e.g. if sending on Monday, suggest times starting on Thursday...Wed at the earliest if sending Monday morning).

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13 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

One of my history professors said that he would be delighted to write me a LOR, and told me to email him a few weeks into the school year. I emailed him a couple days ago asking if today would be fine in the afternoon, and I have gotten no response. So I emailed him today checking to see if later today would work for him. Still have not gotten a response back.

Seeing as how deadlines are still a little while away, this isn't pressing to make sure it happens only today, but if he doesn't respond, I am not sure what I should do. Should I keep emailing him? I don't want to annoy him, however, this does make me nervous since I would like to tell him my goals and show him my documentation which can help him write his letter.

It's possible that this professor feels like you're badgering him already.

As an alternative to @TakeruK 's guidance, I recommend figuring out a less intrusive way (a physical note, not an email) to communicate the information you'd like for him to have, including when the LOR is due and where, and then backing off for four to six weeks. 

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I would also make sure to look up the professor's posted office hours, and see if you can make it work within those windows. While profs are usually willing to see you at other times if need be, they use those slots to maintain some control over their own schedule.

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