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How to Start an Email to Professor: A Formal Student Email

Formal Email to your Professor

If you have an assignment due in a few days and time is running out, there are many ways to start an email to the professor. You can write your own or even find a template.

Realize that your professor is busy with the school year and trying to get used to each new class while trying to cram in as much work as possible.

They may not be able to respond right away or login until after hours. This article will give tips on starting an email to a professor on your first day in a new class.

How to Start an Email to a Professor

Start your email to the professor by introducing yourself and your project. Ask the professor if they have any recommendations or ideas for you to consider. If not, tell them that you are looking for some guidance.

beginning an email

Write an email introduction explaining why you are contacting them, what their office hours are, and how often they meet with students like yourself.

Be sure to include the name of their course (or program) and any contact information such as an email address or phone number if they don’t use their university email address for personal contact.

The next step is to explain why you chose the professor and what motivated you to choose him or her. Then, briefly explain what you hope to accomplish in this class and any relevant experience or education that could back up your claims.

Finally, end the email by thanking the professor for taking the time to listen and offering suggestions on how you can improve as a student.

Different Salutations to Use Referring to Professor

different titles

In the context of academic writing, it is important to know how to refer to professors in emails and other texts such as essays and essays. You often want to refer to them by their first or last names. 

If you are writing a formal email or letter, you will want to be more formal and use their titles. Here are some examples of different salutations for professors:



Professor Emeritus 


In addition, some words should not be used in emails, such as “Dear,” “Love,” “Yours,” etc., because they are considered informal.

Words to Use in Your Email Beginning

The first line of an email to a professor should be polite and friendly. You need to ensure that your message is delivered professionally, as you want your professor to see you as an exemplary student or employee when reading the email.

personal information

For this to happen, you must include all relevant information about yourself in the first line of your email.

Begin by introducing yourself and giving the purpose of your email. For example, if you are writing an essay on how your family prefers to spend their summer vacation, then include this information in the first paragraph of the email.

If you ask for advice on a paper topic, state why you are meeting with the professor.

Include key details about yourself, including your name, qualifications, and contact details, at the beginning of your letter.

These details will help the professor remember who they are meeting with and make it easier for them to give advice or answer questions based on what they know about you as a student or employee at their school/company/organization etc.

If possible, provide links that allow for further research into what has been discussed or asked about during the meeting (e.g., websites or articles).

Reasons Why Salutations are Important

Your email salutation is very important in conveying the message you want to convey to the recipient. You do this using a comma, but if you are more comfortable with a colon, that is also fine.

It should be noted that the salutation of an email is always written in lower case letters and never upper case letters.

The purpose of a salutation is to communicate the purpose of your email and clarify what kind of information or message you want to convey in the body of your email.

You should also use different salutations for emails, such as formal business emails, informal social media posts, etc.

Example of a Start of an Email to a Professor

Dear Professor,

My name is John Smith. I have been studying under you for the last semester, and have decided to attend your university’s graduate school. I am very interested in attending your university because of the many courses you teach, and I believe it is a great opportunity for me to learn more about your work.

The reason I chose to study under you is because I believe you are an exceptional teacher who truly cares about his students’ education. You always try to ensure that we understand everything we are learning by giving examples from your own life experience. 

You also help us with any questions we may have by providing us with the answers or giving us additional resources to find them on our own.

I would like to thank you again for all of your help and support over the past few months, and I look forward to continuing our discussions about various topics over the next few months until graduation!

Please respond with your thoughts if you are willing to help me. You can reach me at [email protected]  or at (520) 724-2952.

Thank you!

How to End an Email to a Professor

The first thing you need to do is figure out how you want to end your email. No matter how careful you are, people still read the last sentence of an email.

ending a professor email

If you want to end your email with simple “best wishes,” or “thanks for your time,” that’s fine. But if you want to show off your writing chops and make a point, here are some options:

1) Use a question mark. You’re asking a question, not saying goodbye. This is especially useful if you’re ending on a negative note.

2) Use “I.” This is very similar to using a question mark, but it’s more personal than just using an exclamation point (!). It shows that you care about what the professor said and want them to know that it matters to you too.

3) Use “you.” This is favorable because it shows respect (!) and adds an air of intimacy that allows for more direct questions without being awkward or too formal: “When will I see this in my syllabus?” or “How can I get more involved?” The key is making sure it feels natural rather than forced or awkward.