Communicating to your professor through email is sometimes not easy with the choice of words or format to be used proving to be a challenge.
Professors prefer communication through emails to avoid giving out their contact numbers to students and for easy access and communication.
Steps to Follow when Writing an Email to a Professor
Emailing a professor can be very simple if you follow the following steps:
Step 1: Have Something Meaningful to Communicate
Always make sure that what you want to tell the professor is meaningful and worth their time.
For example, sending an email to ask a professor a question that you can easily answer using your class books is wasting their time.
Also, instead of emailing professors on things such as assignments and deadlines, ask your classmates who may have got the information communicated properly. Apologies, late assignments, and grades are some of the reasons worth emailing professors.
Step 2: Use Your School Email
School emails look professional and immediately tell the professor that the message contained in them is mostly academic related. These emails are easily opened and read by professors compared to personal emails.
Therefore, if you do not have an educational email, you must create one for easy communication with professors through email.
Step 3: Use a Clear Subject Line
A clear and concise subject line that is straight to the point plays a big role in ensuring that the professor will open your email.
It should tell them what your email is all about and they are ready with a response even before reading the full details
Step 4: Use a Proper Email Greeting
A respectful salutation is a must when emailing your professor. Use the title, “professor” and follow it up with their last name.
The whole salutation then should be followed by a comma. An example of a proper salutation to start your email is; “Dear Professor Paul,”.
This does not only show respect but also shows the professors that you know them.
Step 5: Remind the Professor Who You Are
A professor deals with a lot of students and your email cannot easily make them identify you. Therefore, an efficient way to start your email is to introduce yourself with your full class name and not nicknames that your friends use.
It is also important that you include the professor’s class you attend for easy identification. This easily saves the professor the time of trying to figure out the student who sent the email and ensures you get a reply fast.
Step 6: Go Straight to the Point
Emails to professors do not require you to include a lot of stories. If it is a question, ask it without using a lot of words. Write it in its simplest form.
If it is a request get straight into it and avoid giving a lot of reasons. A straight-to-the-point email is easy for professors to comprehend and easily prompts a quick response from them.
Step 7: End the Email Politely
After conveying your message, make sure that you thank the professor for sparing time to read your email.
Sign off with phrases such as “Best Regards” or “Sincerely followed by your full name just like in official letters. This makes sure that your email looks formal.
Step 8: Proofread the Email
Go through the entire email before sending it to detect any mistakes in it. Pay attention to the spelling of words, grammar, and punctuation. Also, ensure that the tone of your words is formal.
Check the spelling of your professor’s name and avoid abbreviations such as FYI and ASAP. Proofread one more time pretending to be the professor and establish whether the email is polite and respectful. If it is then you can send it.
Examples of Emails you can Send to Your Professor
1. Inquiry Email
Subject: Grades Inquiry
Dear Professor John Peters,
This is Clifford Wedgeman from the Law and Torts class. I missed the class where you issued performance sheets due to a University function I was required to organize. Kindly, let me know the grades I scored on respective tests since there are no further classes this semester
I’m will be thankful for your help.
2. Late Assignment
Subject: Late Assignment Submission
Dear Professor Sarah Light,
This is Nicholas Brown from the Criminal Justice System Class (SCR, 204). Regretfully, I will not be able to hand in my hard copy assignment on the Justice System in Russia. I have an abrupt doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Attached is the soft copy document of which I will submit the hard copy immediately after I’m back from the hospital.
Subject: Class Lateness Apology
Dear Professor Jane Jennas,
This is John Paul from the Organic Chemistry class. I’m writing to apologize for arriving late for class today. I know your stance on class lateness and I promise that it will not happen again. I do not want to give any excuses because I know I should be doing my best to arrive at class early.
Thank you for your time
4. New Class
Subject: Information for the New Class
Dear Professor Matt Morris,
This is Maxine Monroe, the class representative for the second-year Criminology class. The schedule from the department shows that you will be taking us through Law, Society, and Public Policy class. The students would like to know the way forward and what to do before our first class session.
We look forward to your response
5. Research Project
Subject: Difficulties in Selecting a Research Topic
Dear Professor Marshal Smith,
This is Joe George, a 3rd-year student in your Field Research Class. I have experienced some difficulties in selecting a suitable topic for research. I would appreciate it if you provide me with further guidance so that I can complete this important task.
Thank you for your time.
6. About Grades
Subject: Improving my Grade
Dear Professor Amanda Dickson,
This is Catherine Nicole from your Calculus class. I have noted that I have not been performing well in your classes. I’m deeply committed to ensuring that I change this trend and would like you to offer me help and advice to turn my grades around. I look forward to hearing from you
Subject: Request for an extra class
Dear Professor Arthur Neville,
This is Victoria Ryan, the class representative for 3rd-year students in your Government and the People Class. We would like to request an extra class if you find time in your busy schedule. Most students have questions about many aspects of the topics and we do not want to use your class time because we understand the short time available to complete the Unit. We look forward to your feedback.
8. Academic Advice
Subject: Advice for NCLEX exam
Dear Professor Jennifer Wong,
This is Alex White a representative for final-year nursing students. Our nerves are running high ahead of the National Council Licensure Examination. Anxiety is also creeping in and we would like some expert advice ahead of this exam so that we can all be ready. We request that you find time in your busy schedule to advise us on this important exam. We will appreciate any help that you offer us.
Thank you in advance
Nursing Students Class representative.
Email to Professors Template
Content of the email
Thank the professor for his time
Attach any required documents.