Having trouble wording an email to a professor? Need help, but don’t know how to ask? Check out this guide to emailing your professor!
Step 1: WHAT?
Let your professor know as much as you can in the subject of the email you are sending them. Do not write out your whole question, but: “EDMS451 Section 2 Homework 8 Questions” lets your professor know which class you are in and gives them a general idea of what they should expect out of the email.
Step 2: Dear WHO?
Make sure that you address your professor professionally and most importantly, correctly. If you don’t know what they want to be called, err on the side of formality- It’s more polite to accidentally call your teacher, “Professor Johnson” when she wants to be called Susie rather than call her “Susie” when she wants to be called Professor Johnson.
Step 3: WHY?
Tell your professor why you are emailing. Don not just start- Question 6 doesn’t make sense!!! Also, make sure to use appropriate punctuation. Pretend you are writing to a potential employer in terms of formality. You might want to start your email, “I was having trouble with a couple problems on this week’s homework and was wondering if you could help me out?” If you are asking for a favor, like an extension on a homework assignment or a grade reconsideration, make sure to take full responsibility and make it clear that you understand they are not obligated to make an exception for you. Acting entitled does not get students anywhere with their professors.
Step 4: SIGN OFF.
If you do not have an automatic signature, include a thank you, your first and last name and an email you regularly CHECK. It might look something like:
Step 5: PROOFREAD.
When emailing your professor, remember that is is important to make sure that your email has no grammatical or spelling errors. You want them to take you seriously.
Step 6: SEND
After you send the email to your professor you should reasonably continue to check for a response and respond promptly to the response.
Subject: JOUR199 Section 5 Holiday Absence
Dear Professor Smith,
I hope that you are doing well. I am writing you to let you know of a conflict I have with an upcoming exam date. Unfortunately, I will not be able to take the exam scheduled for July 4th as my family has planned a trip out of town during the holiday. I was wondering if I could take the exam earlier, maybe the Sunday before?