I am a master student trying to approach potential PhD advisors in Canada. Unfortunately or not, I believe I have solved an important problem in my field. I have submitted my work to a journal, awaiting a response. If this does not look cranky enough, I also had bad grade in my thesis, and my undergraduate major is not in that field.

The real question is, should I attach my manuscript in my email to the professors to show that I am not a crank (or the opposite)? Because I can't put it on arxiv (a signal that I am a crank), so the only way for professors to verify that I have potential is to show I have research experiences.

  • Why do you think it is "cranky"?
    – Buffy
    Dec 1, 2021 at 21:16
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    Arxiv is not for cranks, that's vixra. Dec 1, 2021 at 21:19
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    @Buffy I assume the work done by someone who is not experienced and claim themselves solving important problem are cranky
    – Ken.Wong
    Dec 1, 2021 at 21:26
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    The words "crank" and "cranky" are also funny in their relationship in that the latter is not the adjective of the former. If you're a crank, you're a quack. If you're cranky, you're a grouch. Dec 2, 2021 at 0:13
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    Can't you get advice about the quality of your paper from your Master's thesis advisor?
    – justauser
    Dec 2, 2021 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


Most cranks actually assume that they are not. I don't think you should judge yourself too harshly until you get feedback from the referees.

But, I wouldn't send the manuscript in a first contact. You want that contact to be very short so that it is easy to respond to. Say something about your area of interest and that you have been working on some interesting problems. Offer to send a manuscript, but don't attach it unless asked.

It is too easy to discard blind emails if they seem to require any difficulty to analyze and answer.

Here is something about me. I'm interested in xyz, as you are and would like to discuss whether you can serve as my advisor. I can send along some recent work if requested. Thank you.

  • If I attach my resume, they will still find out, is that going to hurt my chances?
    – Ken.Wong
    Dec 2, 2021 at 13:39
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    Impossible to say. But if you are awaiting response then the paper is just "work in progress" and should be classified like that.
    – Buffy
    Dec 2, 2021 at 13:42

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