How To Start An Email To A Professor

Elements Of An Effective Non

How to Email Your Professor Effectively

Heres a template you can follow in constructing your email to a professor. Each element is explained further below.

Dear Professor Last-Name ,

This is a line that recognizes our common humanity .

Im in your Class Name, Section Number that meets on This Day . This is the question I have or the help I need . Ive looked in the syllabus and at my notes from class and online and I asked someone else from the class , and I think This Is The Answer , but Im still not sure. This is the action I would like you to take .

Signing off with a Thank You is always a good idea ,Favorite Student

Share Some Background Information

It is difficult for your college professors to keep track of all their students, considering that they could be teaching students from different grades, sections, for different subjects, or even assignments.

So, jog their memory and introduce yourself. Help them know who you are by writing down your first and last name as well as the name and section of your class.

How Do You Address A College Professor In An Email

Address your instructors appropriately.

Professor Smith and Dr. Smith are appropriate ways to address your instructors. NEVER use Hey or Yo! or Hey Yo! Also, avoid writing as salutation Hi Professor Smith. Hi is very informal, and some instructors do not like to be addressed in such informal way.

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Emailing A Potential Mentor For The First Time

When you reach out to a new professor that you want to connect with, your goal should be to set up a time to meet and talk in person. Keep your email short and to the point. For example:

Dear Professor So-and-So,Im Jane, a prospective X major particularly interested in Y. I am writing you because I noticed that you teach classes in Y/ I read your paper on Y/ the Student Services Officer in your department suggested I reach out to you. I would love to get your advice on how I can get involved with research on Y during my time at Stanford. Could I come by your office hours? And if so, when are they?Sincerely,Jane Student

If the professor doesnt respond, dont lose hope! The professor might be particularly busy that week, or out of town, or simply missed your message in a flood of other emails. Try to reach out again. You can send a follow up email, or you can stop by in person during the professors office hours to introduce yourself and ask if you can set up a time to meet later.

Don’t Ask The Dreaded Question

email your professor

Though this tip isn’t directly related to email etiquette, it’s been included because it was mentioned by multiple professors without prompting and it does concern the content of your email. Several professors noted a certain question they’re commonly asked that drives them absolutely nuts. Students who miss class will often ask, “Did I miss anything in class on Monday?” Dr. Plug says, “I always want to say, ‘No, we did absolutely nothing, as usual.'”

Dr. Jones notes that the same question is “the great bane of all professors.” She offers this poem that tackles the subject. Why is it such a terrible question, though, and what makes it so inappropriate? Professor Jones offers an answer:

First, it’s insulting to imply that the content of any class might not have been important, or that it can be recapped in a short emailand second, it’s not the professor’s responsibility to offer multiple iterations of the class. If you miss a class without a legitimate reason, it’s your responsibility to arrange for access to notes from another student and/or find out what was covered.

Clearly, it’s best to avoid this question!

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Dont Expect Your Professor To Be Just As Formal

Even if you get the email etiquette down, some students complain that they spend a long time drafting their email only to receive responses that dont necessarily follow the etiquette they practiced. These can include:

While some professors will reply to your email following email etiquette, some professors will choose to forgo this when a simple reply will do. This really depends on the professors level of formality and their preference. However, the safest option would be to stay on the formal side so that you come off as respectful and polite.

What Is The Proper Etiquette For Email Writing To A Professor

Some of the key conventions for the rhetorical situation of emailing a professor are as follows:

  • Use a clear subject line.
  • Use a salutation and signature.
  • Use standard punctuation, capitalization, spelling and grammar.
  • Do your part in solving what you need to solve.
  • Be aware of concerns about entitlement.
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    Stay Brief And To The Point

    Long emails often get ignored until the recipient has time to deal with them, and faculty are extremely busy. Your email should focus on a specific item, such as setting up a time to meet or informing your professor of an upcoming absence. If you need to talk about something more involved, it is probably better to meet in person unless your professor tells you otherwise.

    Email To A Professor About Grades


    Subject: History 1B: Inquiring about my gradeDear Professor Smith,My name is Lexie Brown, from History 1B, Section 1. I was wondering if we could set up an appointment to discuss my grade on .I have checked that your office hours are scheduled on Wednesdays from 2 to 5 PM. If this is correct, please let me know if I can come.I look forward to your reply.Kind regards,

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    Email To Professor Samples

    Once youve learned how to email a professor, its time to practice. Below, youll find a number of email samples for different situations. Please keep in mind that these examples are for reference only, and you should always personalize and tweak them to your needs.

    If you frequently need to email your professor, you can add these templates to Spark and reuse them whenever needed. Learn how templates in Spark work.

    How To Respond To The Professors Answers

    After you have sent your email, you have to wait for several days to give him time to write an answer. Dont try to call or email again if you do not receive a response fast. Just be patient and show your respect to the professor without pushing.

    When you get a reply from your professor, you can write an email to thank him for his answer. Of course, it may be not easy to improve your grade, but remember that your professor will be glad to help a student who feels worried about their grades.

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    To Whom It May Concern

    This greeting is seen as too stiff and vague to be used in a business email. It also gives the impression that you were too lazy to find out to whom the email message should have been addressed.

    As you would when writing a letter, try to find out the persons name before you send your email. Alternatively, opt for a warmer opening sentence.

    For example, lets say youre emailing company X regarding their job application, and you cant find the name of an HR team member. Instead of using To whom it may concern, try using something like To Team X or To the Hiring Manager at Company X.

    Also, avoid using opening lines like Good morning or Good afternoon.

    This has two problems:

  • You didnt bother to find out the recipients name.
  • Theres no guarantee that they will open the email at the intended hour, especially if they are in a different time zone.
  • Email Etiquette For Students: The Basics

    How to Start and End an Email to a Professor

    Students often fail to realize that a professor may not know who they are, especially in the beginning of a semester or in a large lecture class. Instructors may also teach multiple classes or sections, so specifying the class or section number is essential.

    When you email a professor, it’s helpful to begin with something along the lines of, “My name is John Doe, and I am in your ART 150 course this semester.”

    Remember that the instructor or professor you are emailing is in charge of your grade. If you have a request or question, adding a “please” or “thank you” is an easy way to convey that you appreciate their help and time.

    Instructors are often strapped for time, so don’t waste it. Do not send an instructor an essay explaining why you can’t turn in a paper on time. Explain the issue concisely, and if you have a request, get to the point.

    For example, if you know you need to miss a day of class, two sentences is more than sufficient: “I’m sorry, but I will have to miss next Monday’s class due to an appointment. Will this impact my participation points for that day?”

    Instructors are experts at detecting dishonesty and excuses, but believe it or not, most tend to be understanding and accommodating if you have extenuating circumstances. If you are stressed and need extra time on an assignment, be honest about what’s going on and approach the issue directly.

    The instructor may or may not agree to your request, but they will appreciate the directness and honesty.

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    Email Sample To Professor For Acceptance Letter 4

    Dear Dr. Smith,

    My name is David Wu and Im a second-year biology major at UVa. In my introductory and upper-level coursework, Ive developed a passion for science and am extremely interested in pursuing independent research as an undergraduate. An extensive research experience will greatly help me consolidate my future career choice.

    I am personally greatly interested in the molecular biology of stem cells. Recently I read your 2021 paper on the role of microRNAs in the differentiation of muscle stem cells and became fascinated by your work. In particular, I found it amazing that microRNAs can alter the fate of a cell in such a profound way. If possible, I would love to start working on a long-term project in your lab beginning this summer.

    Would you be available to meet sometime this week to discuss your research? I would also be happy to volunteer in your lab for a few weeks before we commit to anything to see if this is a good match. My transcript and resume are attached in case you are interested. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Thank you,

    Element #: Reminder Of How They Know You

    This one is key, especially if its the first time you are contacting your professor. You cant count on them to remember your name from their rosters or to be able to put your face with your name. If theres something distinctive about you that would jog their memory and make them look upon you fondly, include that. For instance, I stayed after class to ask you about the reading that one time, or I sit in the front row and have blue hair, whatever. If you havent met them yet, explain your desired relationship to them, such as I am interested in enrolling in your class next semester. If youre fairly certain they will know you by name, you can leave this out. But some profs are very bad at remembering names, so you might as well throw them a bone here.

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    Email Sample To Professor For Acceptance Letter 1

    Dear Prof. Dr. , I turn to you for the Master position on Chinese Governments Scholarship In the area of Microbiology I am graduate BS with majors in Microbiology from one of the best university of the country,Kohat University of Science & Technology, Pakistan ,In parallel to my thesis work I have published a research paper in the same domain of as a first author in . My journal paper – as a first author is under final review in . Nowadays I am writing a research paper in collaboration

    I turn to you for the Master position on Chinese Governments Scholarship In the area of Microbiology I am graduate BS with majors in Microbiology from one of the best university of the country,Kohat University of Science & Technology, Pakistan ,In parallel to my thesis work I have published a research paper in the same domain of as a first author in . My journal paper – as a first author is under final review in . Nowadays I am writing a research paper in collaboration of my supervisor based on my Master thesis and hoping to submit it soon. I have

    I have A in Master research thesis . I also have already passed local GAT General and Subject similar to GRE international with Total , Percentile. I have read

    I am attaching my CV, Research Proposal and abstract of Master thesis along with this email.I want to pursue my career in research and academia in field of after my PhD in future.

    I will wait for your kind response. Thanks.

    Err On The Side Of Being Too Formal

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    You have to think about the actual name you’ll use to address your professor. Obviously, you want to spell his or her name correctly. There will be no great reward for this, but spelling a name incorrectly comes across as extremely disrespectful. Usually, a last name is included in the email address, so there’s no excuse for spelling the name incorrectly in the body of the email. Dr. Vokes says, “I got ‘Dr. Votes’ just this morning. I understand autocorrect is likely the culprit in this case, but I get ‘Bokes’ and ‘Voakes.'” While he notes that he’s not offended in these cases in the slightest, he also notes, “It leaves the impression that this person isn’t that attentive to detail.”

    In addition, spelling the professor’s email address correctly is vital. Dr. Jones states, “Because my last name is common, I’ve even had emails meant for another professor altogether,” so make sure you check that you have the appropriate address.

    On actually using your professor’s name in the email, Dr. Gilroyed notes that greeting a professor by his or her first name is fine if it’s agreed upon in advance, but doing so otherwise is improper email etiquette. He says, “The first email communication between student and professor is not a good time to begin using the first name.”

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    How To Email A Professor

    Emailing a professor should be straightforward. You send emails all the time! But emailing a professor is different from email a friend or family member. Professional email etiquette is not something that is often taught which makes sending that first email all the more stressful. These tips will help you write an email that is appropriate and gets an answer.

    The Salutation

    Start your email to your professor with a Dear or Hello. This is email etiquette 101 and must be followed in professional emails. Hey is too casual for this situation and some professors also think Hi is too informal.

    The Title and Name

    The salutation must be followed by the professors title and name. This might seem overly formal to you, but it is an important way to show respect for your professor and their position and training. Omitting the title or using the wrong one could inadvertently offend your instructor. Most instructors should be addressed as Professor or Doctor followed by their last name. Make sure to double check the spelling of their name before you hit send.

    Provide Context

    Keep it Short

    Sign Off

    End the email with a sign off followed by your name. A simple Best,Cheers, or Thanks will do followed by your name. If your university email address does not contain your full name you might want to include your first and last name in your sign off. This will make it easier for the professor to find you in their system.

    Use a Clear Subject Line

    Be Professional

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