How to Professionally Email Your Professor

Concentrate on the Solution!Professors are a key source to excelling at your college career. They offer a wealth of information and advice within your discipline. While professors may often seem superior, they are respectable people who want to help their students.

When communicating with your professor, be sure to be as professional as possible. Emailing is particularly popular as a quick and efficient way to communicate directly with a professor.

Follow the following ten tips to keep a professional and respectable line of communication.

1. Use your school email. When using a recognizable email address, professors will immediately know the email is not spam. College students should not be using their middle school email with cutesy or cleaver addresses; i.e. “crazy4soccer” or “toucanann1234.”

2. Subject the email. Include the course number in your subject and a brief description of your inquiry. This will allow the professor to immediately know what you are emailing about. The subject sets the tone for the rest of the email. Additionally, if a professor can not understand the subject line, they may be inclined to move the email directly to the trash folder without opening it.

3. The greeting. Your professor is not a “bro” or a close friend. Refrain from starting the email off with greetings such as “yo man” or “hey bff.” Professionally begin your email with a “Hello Professor (insert last name). The term “dear” makes you seem like you are writing a letter. Do not call the professor “Mrs.” or “Mr.” if they worked hard to achieve their status as a professor.

4. Think about what you are writing. Your email should show you in the best possible light to your professor.

5. Be polite. Do not demand anything from your professor. They are not required to send you next week’s assignment if you missed class or were not paying attention. Be grateful and appreciative of their help.

6. Do not send an attachment. Professors will lose respect for you if you send them a term paper the day it is due as an attachment. Do not expect them to open the attachment, print it out, and bring it to class.

7. Be professional. Refrain from Caps Lock and too many exclamation points. Caps Lock looks demanding and no one wants to be screamed at through their computer screen. You do not scream at your professor during class, so do not scream at them through an email. Exclamation points draw attention to the wrong points and are simply annoying to many individuals.

8. Thank the professor for their time. Before you add your signature, thank the professor for taking the time to review and respond to your email. When you receive a response from the professor, reply in a timely manner to thank them again.

9. Do not forget your signature. Close an email with a proper salutation including: “best regards,” “cordially,” “regards,” or simply “thank you.” Then, sign the email with your full name, course number, and course meeting time. This will allow professors to quickly recognize you and better understand your inquiry.

10. Proofread. Spelling and grammar are incredibly important. Do not shorten or misspell any words. Leave any text messaging lingo behind; i.e. “yolo,” “gr8,” or “thx.”

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