Email Etiquette Pro-Tips!

1. The greeting

When drafting an email to your professor, always greet them with “Dear”. Because of the formal basis of your relationship, some professors could consider it rude to simply say “Hey” or even “Hi”.


2. How to address your professor

Never address your professor as Ms., Mrs., or Mr… They worked hard to get where they are, so it’s respectful to always address them as “Dr.”, “Professor”, or “Prof.”


3. The subject material

Being that most emails are time sensitive, always make sure to include a relevant subject heading! If you’re asking about an assignment, put it in the subject. If you’re going to miss class, add it to the subject heading. A relevant heading could be the difference between getting a reply within minutes or hours, or even getting a reply at all!


4. The introduction

Chances are when you email your professor for the first time they won’t know who you are. Teaching large/multiple classes tends to have that effect. Always introduce yourself to your professor with your first and last name, what class of theirs you are enrolled in, when it meets, and what section it is. This helps your professor be able to narrow down who you are and what you’re trying to speak with them about.


5. Get to the point!

Be direct! Don’t waste any time or energy giving your professor excuses on why you couldn’t do an assignment or why you have a certain question. Chances are, they’ve heard it all, and simply want to answer your question and move on for the day!


6. The end

Always make sure to end your email on a kind note. You can do that a number of ways, but my personal favorites are as follows:

  • Thank you for your time!
  • Best, (insert signature here)
  • Regards, (again, insert signature here)

 Professors receive multiple emails a day, so a little kindness could go a long way!


7. Common mistakes

            ALWAYS make sure to check your syllabus before emailing your professor with a question. No one likes to repeat themselves. ALWAYS make sure you reread your email to make sure you have no obvious grammar mistakes or autocorrect screw ups. NEVER, EVER use any kind of text talk, abbreviations, slang, or emoji’s. NEVER, EVER send an email under the influence.


8. Automatic signatures

 Automatic signatures are the easiest and most convenient way to make sure that any relevant information you want known about yourself is shared without a second thought.


Some helpful things to include are:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your major
  • Any club titles you hold
  • Your class year


Be careful to not include any sensitive information such as ID numbers, phone numbers, etc.

Good luck and happy emailing!