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Communication, Email Writing

Academic Emails: 4 Useful Pointers to Consider When Contacting a Professor

For college students, establishing a good relationship with instructors can lead to a better learning experience, higher grades, and internship or research opportunities.

These days, courses are incorporating more online components than ever, and writing emails to professors is a fantastic way to ask a quick question or touch base without needing to attend office hours.

Educators are just like anyone else, but there are some unwritten rules to be aware of when communicating with them. To compose a suitable academic email…

Address the recipient correctly.

The first step to nailing the message is to get the instructor’s title correct. In most cases, this will be ‘Professor’ or ‘Doctor’, if they hold a PhD degree, followed by their surname. These titles can also be shortened to ‘Prof.’ and ‘Dr.’ in writing. Using first names and casual greetings such as ‘hey’ is not recommended. Similarly, ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ are not appropriate either.

Keep things brief & to the point.

The professor likely has a busy schedule and many other students to correspond with. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense to restrict your sentences to important details only. Excessive small talk or irrelevant information wastes the teacher’s time, leaves a bad impression, and reduces your chance of receiving a helpful response.

Don’t communicate from a personal account.

There’s a reason why nearly every university provides official email addresses to the entire student body. Always send messages from your ‘.edu’ address so that the professor can be certain of your identity and verify your enrollment in their class.

Double-check the syllabus before hitting send.

In-depth info on the class and answers to frequently asked questions can usually be found within the syllabus. Prior to asking about a due date or the grading policy, make sure to give the course documents a careful glance. You might be pleasantly surprised to find exactly what you’re looking for!

For this, TextRanch can definitely help! Submit your email on our website and get it corrected by our team of professional editors!

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