How to email a professor
It should not be difficult to email a professor. Emails are commonplace. Emailing professors are different than emailing friends or family members. It is difficult to learn professional email etiquette, which can make it more difficult to send your first email. These tips will help to write an email that is professional and gets an answer.
Your email to your professor should begin with a “Dear” and “Hello”. This is email etiquette 101. It must be used in professional emails. Professors think that “Hey” is too casual in this case, while “Hi” may be too formal.
The Name and Title
After the salutation, you must include the name and title of your professor. Although it may seem formal, this is an important way of showing respect for your professor’s position and training. Your instructor may be offended if you use the wrong title or omit it. Most instructors should be addressed as “Professor” or “Doctor” followed by their last name. Before you hit Send, double-check the spelling of their names.
Professors may have hundreds of students. They might need context to help you find the right professor and answer your question. This is especially important if you are emailing them the first time. It is the easiest way to help them identify you. If you’re certain that your professor knows you well, you can skip this part.
Keep it short
Professors receive a lot of emails so be concise and direct. Your professor won’t need to read your email several times to understand your question. It is possible to reduce the number of emails needed to answer your question. You can also list the steps you have taken to help answer your question. These include checking the syllabus, asking a classmate, and speaking to the TA.
Sign off the email by putting your name after it. Your name will be followed by a simple “Best”, “Cheers,” and/or “Thanks”. Your first and last names should be included in your sign-off email address if your university email address doesn’t contain your full name. This will make it easier to locate you in the university’s system.
Use a clear subject line
A subject line is essential for your email. A subject line not only helps the professor but also keeps your email from going to spam. Your email subject should be concise and accurately reflect your message. You can use something like “Question about [Class name] paper” or “Meeting request”.
Professionalism is key
Your professor and you have a professional relationship. This should be expressed in your email. When writing your message, you should use correct grammar (including punctuation and capitalization) and spell out all words correctly. Use no emojis. Although they are a common form of communication, they do not belong within a professional email. Before you send an email, make sure to read it carefully.
It is important to avoid including personal information in an email. You don’t have to explain why you missed class. Your personal life does not affect the professional relationship that you have with your professor.
Send it to Your University Email Address
Your university email address will make your email look professional and ensure that it gets through the university’s spam filter. Your university email address signals to professors that you are a student so they will be more attentive to your message.