Email etiquette refers to how we maintain a respectful, proper, and professional tone when communicating by email. To do so, one must use proper spelling and language, address the reader with appropriate titles, and identify oneself and his or her requirements. Email etiquette is particularly important for students who are communicating with teachers via email.
Where to begin
Determine whether or not the question, problem, or comment you have can be answered swiftly by email before sending it. If this is the case, consider meeting with them in person after class or during office hours instead.
Make certain that you are sending emails from a professional address. If you want to send an email to “email@example.com,” it is preferable to “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Most institutions will ask you to create a student email address as soon as you enroll, so this is usually a straightforward process.
Include a subject line that is succinct, precise, and specific (for example, “ENG 300 Exam Question”).
Begin by addressing the email to a professor by utilizing the proper titles in the subject line.
Dr. Yin, Professor Johnson, and others
Introduce yourself briefly, being sure to include the following information:
Your whole name.
The class that you are currently enrolled in.
The hour and/or section of the class in which you are currently enrolled.
When you’re writing an email to a professor, you should…
When writing an email to a professor…
Maintain proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation throughout the whole email correspondence.
Make sure you re-read your email before sending it and check your spelling and grammar before sending it. You can even consider reading the email aloud or having a buddy look it over before you send it.
Make use of a professional tone.
The tone of an email refers to the writer’s personality or mood that is perceived by the reader as a result of the way the email was written. To name a few styles, one can write in an angry, positive, constructive, or polite tone, among others.
To communicate effectively with a professor via email, you want your tone to be calm, upbeat, and courteous.
The tone is aggressive, insulting, and unprofessional: “I can’t believe you gave me an F on that test!!!!!”
Dr. Stevens, thank you for your time. – respectful, optimistic, and professional tone. “Thank you for coming back to me so promptly.”
Remember to be mindful of your emotional state when you are composing the email. Before you send anything, take a moment to reflect.
Make an effort to avoid utilizing internet slang (such as totes or facepalm) or text-based slang (such as lol or brb), emojis, and visually distracting fonts, which may give the impression of being unprofessional.
Always re-read your email before sending it to ensure that it contains no errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation, as well as to check the overall tone and content of the communication.
Please keep in mind that instructors are human beings with hectic schedules as well, so please be understanding and considerate of their time and concern.
- Please email them as far ahead of time as feasible, and avoid emailing them at inconvenient hours (outside of business hours).
Don’t send more emails until you’ve given academics a reasonable length of time to respond (at least one day).
The structure of an email
Please provide a brief description of the problem you are experiencing.
- Professor Ellis, thank you for your time.
Dear Professor, My name is Jen Collins, and I have been having difficulty completing the homework assignments in your MATH 181-Calculus 1 course.
- Explain how you attempted to resolve the situation in question.
My math problems have not improved despite my visits to the Math Center and attendance at all of the lectures there.
Make a strong case for why this problem must be resolved.
I’m not doing particularly well in this class right now, but I want to perform well in it in the future.
Indicate what assistance you may require from the professor and that you are willing to take the required efforts to resolve the issue.