I had a casual meeting with my professor and he recently learned about a topic and he asked me to look at that topic as well. This topic is not my research topic and it is just a further reading.

I prepared this email and a brief summary of what is that method is about. I want to show my interest and tell him that I respect here suggestion, but I am feeling somehow awkward. How can I write better?

PS. it is not to expand or redirect my research. only for my knowledge.

Dear Dr.X

Thanks for the suggestion regarding that I read and learn about ABC, it sounds interesting and I wanted to follow up on our discussion. and the rest my summary................

Best regards, XY

1 Answer 1


Don't obsess over the wording. "Thanks for the suggestion...interesting... following up". Your summary might be valuable if the professor hasn't actually read the paper and asked for a summary.

But, don't get to deeply caught following "interesting" ideas that aren't related to your own research. If he is asking you to expand or redirect your research, then you need to have a discussion with him. That can be a serious matter.

But a certain amount of this is normal. Your professor wants you to learn, but he also wants to speed up his own learning. That can be good or bad for the student, depending on how much it helps build a relationship as well as an education.

You write better by practicing. To paraphrase another idea: Good writing comes from experience. Experience comes from bad writing.

  • 2
    Writing a good executive summary of technical material is a very useful skill, especially in industry. Sep 7, 2019 at 20:46
  • @ Buffy, I edited my letter do you think it is good now?
    – nikki
    Sep 8, 2019 at 22:22
  • In general yes, but name the article you were given, just to refresh is memory.
    – Buffy
    Sep 8, 2019 at 22:23

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