Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of your laptop aimlessly, unsure of how to format an email meant for your professor?
If you’re anything like me, you have to work up the nerve to email your professor. I am always so concerned about how my message will be perceived. As such, I have gathered a few pieces of etiquette for emailing a professor. These four easy steps will ensure that you contact your professor in a professional and proper manner.
1. Make sure you know your instructor’s official title, spelling included. Believe me, your teacher will notice if you unwittingly call them “Professor” instead of “Doctor”. They’ll also notice if you couldn’t be bothered to check that you spelt their last name properly. Why should they take the time to meet with you when you couldn’t take the time to get their name right?
2. Keep your email brief. You want to be clear and concise. Let your professor know what it is that you need. Professors have hundreds of students to manage. Don’t tell them your life story. Either explain what specific problem you need help with, or ask to set up a meeting and have a few dates and times in mind.
3. Please, please, PLEASE double check your spelling and punctuation. A student who is serious about their studies will know how to articulate. To be blunt, it looks bad when you use slang words or abbreviations in a formal email. You want to avoid being too casual. Your professor is your higher up. They are not your “main man” or “homeboy.”
4. Close your concise, perfectly punctuated email by signing your full name. Include the full title of the class and the section number. More often than not, professors teach the same course at varying times, or even multiple courses within the same subject. Providing your course title and section number will refresh the professor’s memory so they are aware of the assignment you are referring to. Don’t make them dig for information just to help you.
Have you ever been unsure of how to address your professor? Let us know at #AskTheGeeks !