There is a similar question posted here, but the answers don't exactly fulfill my needs, as will become obvious in this post.
I just graduated from an undergraduate program in engineering and in September will be beginning my Masters program at the same university. The Masters program is advertised as coursework-only, with the official website saying that students can "contact professors for research opportunities to augment coursework."
That's all well and good, but I'm not sure how exactly to contact a professor. I had a high undergraduate GPA, completed internships in industry, not academia, and took one course each with the professors I'm interested in - I did well in their courses, but they probably don't remember me since I didn't often attend office hours (other commitments).
There are certain topics I'm interested in researching, and I've casually read some PhD theses produced by students of the labs I'm interested in, but I've clearly never done formal research work.
So, the general question is, how should I contact a professor about joining his/her lab? It's currently the summer, so should I email him/her? Should I wait until September to talk to him/her in-person? Do professors generally just look at resumes, or do they expect prior research experience? Should I indicate the topics I'm interested in, even though my knowledge is gated by the courses I've taken and papers I've read?
I haven't decided about whether I'd like to do a PhD, so does my indecision make it harder for me to get a position at a lab for the 1-2 years it'll take for my Masters program?