How to Type an Email to your Professor: 10 Tips that Work (2023)

What if you come across an article that is very relevant to what your professor is teaching in class, and you want to share it with them or you want to request your profession for a recommendation letter?

Situations like these will arise during your years in college.

It could be anything -- questions regarding essay topics, extra credit requests, queries about projects, or even just to build a professional relationship with your professor.

Next thing you realize, you don't know how to type an email to your professor or where to start.

How to Type an Email to your Professor: 10 Tips that Work (1)Original: SourceIn this article, you will learn more about how to send a well-written email to your professor.

  • 10 Tips to Consider While Typing an Email to Your Professor
    • 1. Be grammatically correct
    • 2. Use a professional email address
    • 3. Address the concern in the subject line
    • 4. Use an appropriate salutation
    • 5. Niceties go a long way
    • 6. Share some background information
    • 7. Write a well-structured email
    • 8. Ask for advice, not answers
    • 9. Polite restatement of your request
    • 10. Sign off with gratitude
  • Example of a Professional Email to Your Professor
  • Original: SourceConclusion: Type a Professional Email to Your Professor

10 Tips to Consider While Typing an Email to Your Professor

Sending your professors poorly worded emails can make you appear unprofessional and as someone who lacks attention to detail. They may choose to decline your request or worse, not respond to your emails in the way you’d like them to.

Most students are clueless about drafting professional emails because they were never taught how to do it in the first place.

It’s important to brush up your email writing skills because it will be an integral part of your professional life down the line.

Let’s take a look at ten tips you should keep in mind while typing an email to your professor.

(Video) 8 Email Etiquette Tips - How to Write Better Emails at Work

1. Be grammatically correct

It is very important to have a firm grasp of the English language when you compose an email to your professor.

The email needs to be spelled correctly with no grammatical mistakes, written in a formal tone of voice. If the email is riddled with grammatical errors, it will make you seem sloppy, lazy and unprofessional.

For example, you can’t be writing “Can u help with my paper, idk what 2 write abt”, you should phrase your sentence correctly without using short forms.

The correct way to write it is: “I’m writing to ask you about the topics that were discussed in your class. I am having some difficulties in understanding them, could you please assist me in the right direction?".

2. Use a professional email address

Always use your college email id to send emails to your professor. You have one for a reason.

Sending an email from your college account will also help your professor receive the email in his inbox and not land up in the spam folder.

If you do not have a college email id for some reason, be very conscious about your personal email address. Don't send emails to your professor using email addresses like “turtlelover2356@gmail.com”. They will not know who you are, and will conveniently ignore the email.

Be professional, make an account with your first and last name in the email address for easy identification.

3. Address the concern in the subject line

The subject line of an email is the first clue a teacher gets about what is stated in your email, so make it a concise, clear and strong subject line.

It should address your main requirement and your grade/section, which will help the professors categorize their important emails and make a to-do list.

(Video) How to write professional emails in English

Let’s say you’ve been asked to write a movie review. So, a perfect sample of a clear subject line would be -- “ENG201/Section B: Query about movie review assignment”. Simple, and easy to understand, isn’t it?

Don't start your subject line with “Hey” or “Need Help!” and never send an email with a blank subject line. That is just plain unacceptable.

Always remember, the sooner your professors understand what you require out of them, the sooner they will be able to help you out.

4. Use an appropriate salutation

A salutation is very easy to overlook as it consists of only a few words, but these few words are extremely important as they form the first sentence of your email.

If you’ve messed up your salutation, the professors will not even look into the email any further. So, you’ve got to get this right.

Address your professor by their proper title and their last name, such as “Professor Smith” or “Prof. Smith”. If they have a Ph.D., refer to them as “Dr.”, but it's always safer to go with “Professor”.

Another very crucial element to remember is to know how to spell the name of your professor correctly. Don't write emails to them on a first-name basis, unless the professors want you to call them by their first name. The thumb rule still remains: use their last name while addressing them.

5. Niceties go a long way

It never hurts to express some acknowledgment or some niceties regarding how the person receiving this email is doing.

This holds all the more true during times like this when we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Write something along the lines of “I hope you are doing good, and keeping safe during these stressful times” or just go with a “Hope you had a nice weekend.”

It doesn’t take much of an effort but it shows that you are empathetic and that you see them as people who have a life outside of college.

(Video) 5 Steps - How To Write A Perfect Email? Tips For Effective Communication & Email Writing Skills

6. 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.

7. Write a well-structured email

Sequence your email properly. The content should have clarity, which is vital if you want your professors to respond to it positively. State your questions/suggestions clearly and get to the point. Don't offer innumerable excuses or make excessive demands.

If you need to talk to your professor face-to-face, book an appointment with them to clear your doubts, and never resort to using emojis, slangs or short forms. It's okay to use them to write to your friends, but it is highly unprofessional to use them to write to your professors.

8. Ask for advice, not answers

Don't expect your teachers to directly give you the answers to your questions. They are here to help you, to advise you, not to spoon-feed you.

Try to find a solution before you write to your professor. If you have a question about homework, reach out to your fellow classmates, or check the syllabus before you ask your professor.

This will make you look resourceful and show that you are taking initiative in figuring out how to solve the problem on your own, and coming to the professor for assistance as a last resort.

9. Polite restatement of your request

In the email, if you are asking your professor a question that you need an answer to, politely restate it by writing something along the lines of “It would be great if you could assist me at your convenience” or “I would really appreciate your help.”

State what you would require out of your professor clearly, be it filling a form, writing a recommendation letter, or anything else that will require them to take action on something.

10. Sign off with gratitude

A simple “Best Regards” will do the job of a proper sign-off followed by your first and last name, your course name/major and your graduation year.

(Video) 10/30/22 Rakan, Nautilus, Braum Support! -- League of Legends

Before writing your sign off, you should end your email with “I hope to hear from you” or a “Looking forward to your reply” or even a “Thank you so much for your time and patience”.

Here’s a useful video by Bloomberg on the best way to sign off emails


Example of a Professional Email to Your Professor

Here’s an example of a simple, strong and cohesive email you can send to your professor:

Subject: American History (202) Senior Thesis: Query

Good afternoon Professor X,

I hope you are doing well and keeping safe.

My name is Adam Nichols and I am from your Wednesday-Friday (morning) American History class (AMHS 202).

I have a question regarding the Senior Project thesis that we are required to submit on the 21st of August.

Do you require us to use all the points and arguments from the reading materials that you have given to us in class, or could I incorporate some of my own research materials that I found on the internet, keeping in mind that it makes sense and is parallel to my thesis topic?

I look forward to hearing from you.

(Video) 10 Tips for Writing an AWESOME BUSINESS EMAIL

Regards,
Adam Nichols
American History (AMHS 202)

How to Type an Email to your Professor: 10 Tips that Work (2)Original: SourceConclusion: Type a Professional Email to Your Professor

Just like writing a stellar college essay, it’s important to put in the effort while typing emails to your professor that are professional and well-structured. Doing this leaves a positive impression and helps you strike a connection with your professors in the process.

So, the next time you’re wondering how to type an email to your professor, make sure you keep these 10 tactics in mind. It’s sure to get your professor to sit up and take notice of what you have to say.

FAQs

How do you write a good email to your professor? ›

Emailing a Professor
  1. Proper salutation. Always start out your email with a polite “Dear” or “Hello” followed by your professor's name/title (Dr. ...
  2. Introduce yourself. Even if your professor knows who you are, it can never hurt to give a brief introduction. ...
  3. Use correct grammar and spelling. ...
  4. Use a formal closing.

How do you write a sincere reply to a very positive response from a professor? ›

Thank you for your reply, Professor X. I am happy to hear that you're interested in taking on a PhD student for next year, I will definitely be putting in an application for the position. I look forward to hearing more about the project in the future. Regards, me.

What are the five steps for writing an email to your instructor? ›

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.

How do you email professionally? ›

10 Tips for Writing Professional Emails
  1. Start with a meaningful subject line. ...
  2. Address them appropriately. ...
  3. Keep the email concise and to the point. ...
  4. Make it easy to read. ...
  5. Do not use slang. ...
  6. Be kind and thankful. ...
  7. Be charismatic. ...
  8. Bring up points in your previous conversation.

What Should I start an email with? ›

6 strong ways to start an email
  1. 1 Dear [Name]
  2. 2 Hi or Hello.
  3. 3 Hi everyone, Hi team, or Hi [department name] team.
  4. 4 I hope your week is going well or I hope you had a nice weekend.
  5. 5 I'm reaching out about . . .
  6. 6 Thanks for . . .
  7. 1 To whom it may concern.
  8. 2 Hi [Misspelled Name]
2 Jun 2022

Do professors like thank you notes? ›

Many professors really appreciate a heartfelt thank you letter. This kind of letter is generally longer and more formal than a quick email.

How do you respond to professor feedback? ›

5 Tips on How to Respond to Criticism and to Turn It Into Something Good for You
  1. Don't take it to heart. ...
  2. Take your time to process it before you react. ...
  3. Ask for clarification and how to improve. ...
  4. Try to understand your professor's point of view. ...
  5. Determine for yourself if it's constructive feedback.
3 Oct 2021

How do you reply to a professor email template? ›

Hi Professor (name), I recently messaged you about (insert details). So I'm emailing you to remind you that I'll need a reply before (insert date). I understand you are very busy, but I would appreciate a reply when you have time.

How do you write an academic email to a professor? ›

How to Email a Professor Regarding Research
  1. have an informative subject line.
  2. be concise.
  3. be formal: Dear Dr. Smith; Sincerely, Your Name.
  4. not use Mrs. or Ms.
  5. NOT have slang, abbreviations, or emoticons.
  6. if applying for an opening: address any qualifications the professor is looking for. ...
  7. if asking for a research opportunity:

How not to write an email explain with 5 examples? ›

Top 5 Things NOT To Do When Writing a Professional Email
  • Don't write like the reader is your best friend. ...
  • Don't assume the reader knows who you are and why you are emailing. ...
  • Don't use informal language and emoticons. ...
  • Don't ramble on and on and on. ...
  • Don't forget to proof read for spelling and grammar mistakes.
7 Nov 2016

How do you ask for a solution in an email? ›

How to ask for help via email
  1. Use a clear, direct subject line. ...
  2. Greet your reader. ...
  3. Establish your credibility. ...
  4. Put the question in the first or second sentence. ...
  5. Use a call to action to clarify the next steps. ...
  6. Make your email easy to read. ...
  7. Give your reader a deadline. ...
  8. Close the email politely and thoughtfully.

How do you point out mistakes politely in an email sample? ›

Try this: “Thanks so much for being so open to my feedback. Feel free to let me know if I can help you out at all with these revisions. I'm happy to assist!

How do you request to resolve an issue? ›

Even though I am injured but still I am in a situation to handle my office works but I can't come to the office physically, but I can finish my works from my home. So here I am requesting you to please allow me to do work from home for the next 30 days and I will get back to my work immediately after recovery.

What are the 3 parts to writing a professional email? ›

Are you looking for the secret of how to write a professional email that is sure to impress not only your bosses' but other colleagues when they read it check out the three parts of email that are crucial when it comes to writing. They are the subject, body, and finally the signature.

How do you start an official email sample? ›

Some examples of suitable formal email opening lines include:
  1. I am writing to request some information from your company.
  2. I am contacting you to invite you to my event.
  3. I appreciate your interest in our company. I am attaching the information requested.
6 Sept 2022

How do you start the first sentence in an email? ›

If You Need Something Formal
  1. Allow Me to Introduce Myself.
  2. Good afternoon.
  3. Good morning.
  4. How are you?
  5. Hope this email finds you well.
  6. I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
  7. I hope you're doing well.
  8. I hope you're having a great week.
1 Mar 2022

How do you start a formal email without knowing the name? ›

The salutation of a formal email is similar to the salutation of a letter. When writing to someone you do not know by name, you put “To Whom it May Concern.” When applying for a job, you would address the person by, “Dear Hiring Manager.” If you do know the recipient's name, you put “Dear Mr./Ms.

Do professors have favorite students? ›

They Do Have Favorite Students

If it feels like your professor plays favorites, you're probably right, to some degree. Quinnipiac professor R says that she definitely gets to know and like certain students more than others.

What do you say to a great professor? ›

You are always very kind, patient, helpful and truly care about your profession and your students! Thank you for a fun semester! I always enjoy having you as a professor and I appreciate how approachable you are. It means a lot to me that you check in with how things are going, because school can get pretty stressful.

How do you respond to good feedback email? ›

“Thank You for Your Feedback” Quick Response Examples
  1. Thank you for reaching out and providing us with valuable feedback. ...
  2. We appreciate you sending us your feedback. ...
  3. We're so happy to hear from you! ...
  4. It is our pleasure to hear your valuable feedback. ...
  5. We love hearing from you! ...
  6. Thank you for your valuable feedback.

How do you respond to academic feedback? ›

You need to respond to feedback in a positive way.
  1. View comments as specific to assignment rather than a personal judgement. ...
  2. Recognise that comments can be subjective. ...
  3. Understand what the feedback/feed forward is saying – if in doubt seek clarification.
  4. Give yourself time to understand the feedback.
30 Aug 2022

What is the appropriate response to feedback? ›

I appreciate your feedback and that you've taken the time to speak with me. It means a lot to me that you can come to me respectfully and trust me with your perspective. Because of this, I'd like to give what you've said serious consideration and reach out next week to plan a sit-down meeting.

How do you reply to a formal email? ›

You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.

How do you write effectively? ›

Habits of Effective Writers
  1. Habits of Effective Writers.
  2. Organize and argue. Good writing is about raising important issues, making persuasive arguments, and marshalling evidence. ...
  3. Be concise. ...
  4. Write what you mean. ...
  5. Write with force. ...
  6. Write for a reader. ...
  7. Revise and rewrite. ...
  8. Avoid common errors.

How do you start a formal email to a university? ›

Salutation. Email greetings are generally more relaxed than letters, though if you want to be formal then it's still fine to start your email with “Dear Mr Smith” if you're emailing a named individual or “Dear Sir or Madam” if you're emailing a generic email address such as admissions@pretenduniversity.com.

How do you introduce yourself to a professor examples? ›

Include a brief introduction and explain why you are taking the course. Include any questions you have about the course. End with a positive address, such as "sincerely." When you talk to your professor later, she is likely to remember your email. If she doesn't, remind her.

How do you write professor in short? ›

Prof. is a written abbreviation for professor.

What is the biggest mistake in email writing? ›

What are some common email mistakes?
  • Not using a greeting or closing.
  • Being too formal or informal.
  • Not adding the subject or adding a bad subject.
  • Sending your message to everyone on your email list.
  • Making spelling or grammatical errors.
16 Sept 2020

What are the four things to be avoided in an email? ›

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Email
  • Forgetting attachments.
  • Sending to the wrong recipient.
  • Choosing a bad subject line.
  • Using the wrong writing tone.
  • Sending at a bad time.
  • Replying to all (all the time)
  • Neglecting your signature.
  • Working with too many (bad) Fonts.
1 Aug 2017

What is unprofessional email? ›

Being too casual

While the tone of your message should reflect your relationship with the recipient, Haefner says, too much informality will make you come across as unprofessional. She advises being judicious in your use of exclamation points, emoticons, colored text, fancy fonts, and SMS shorthand.

How do you write a professional email asking for help? ›

How to ask for help via email
  1. Ask yourself if email is the right way to go. ...
  2. Use the subject line to your advantage. ...
  3. Greet your reader before making demands. ...
  4. Introduce yourself (if needed). ...
  5. Be clear about what you're asking for. ...
  6. Don't write a novel. ...
  7. Close professionally and politely—with a clear call to action.
26 May 2022

How do you politely ask for something? ›

Here are some better phrases to make polite requests in English:
  1. “Do you mind…?.”
  2. “Would you mind…?
  3. “Could I…?”
  4. “Would it be ok if…?”
  5. “Would it be possible…?”
  6. “Would you be willing to…?”

How do you politely correct a teacher? ›

So I would simply ask about the problem, and let him explain the relation to your problem, or why the problem is in no relation. If you still don't see why he is right, do what students (should) do. Ask him for clarifying it so you can understand it.

How do you say you are wrong professionally? ›

  1. You're wrong!
  2. No, you've got it wrong.
  3. No, that's all wrong.
  4. That's wrong.
  5. You made an error.
  6. You made a mistake. Expressions 1 to 6 are very strong. ...
  7. If you check your information/the file/the meeting minutes/with the auditor, you'll find that …
  8. I don't think you're right about that.
31 Jul 2020

How do you say sorry for typing mistake in email? ›

How to say sorry at the end of an email
  1. ...My greatest apologies.
  2. ...My most sincere apologies.
  3. ... I am deeply sorry.
  4. ...I am sincerely sorry.
  5. ...I am sorry for my mistakes.
  6. ...I am so sorry for the inconvenience.
2 Feb 2022

How do you write an email to a college professor? ›

Your email should:
  1. have an informative subject line.
  2. be concise.
  3. be formal: Dear Dr. Smith; Sincerely, Your Name.
  4. not use Mrs. or Ms.
  5. NOT have slang, abbreviations, or emoticons.
  6. if applying for an opening: address any qualifications the professor is looking for. ...
  7. if asking for a research opportunity:

How do you start a formal email to a university? ›

Salutation. Email greetings are generally more relaxed than letters, though if you want to be formal then it's still fine to start your email with “Dear Mr Smith” if you're emailing a named individual or “Dear Sir or Madam” if you're emailing a generic email address such as admissions@pretenduniversity.com.

How do you introduce yourself to a professor examples? ›

Include a brief introduction and explain why you are taking the course. Include any questions you have about the course. End with a positive address, such as "sincerely." When you talk to your professor later, she is likely to remember your email. If she doesn't, remind her.

How do you politely ask a professor to respond to an email? ›

Good afternoon Professor* [Last name], I hope all is well. I wanted to follow up on my email from [when you sent it] about [what your concern or question is]. I understand you have a busy schedule, but I wanted to see about [whatever you are following up on].

What are 5 things you should remember when emailing your instructor in college? ›

7 Things to Remember When Emailing Your Professor
  • Address them by their correct name. Don't say Dr. ...
  • Tell them who you are. ...
  • Thoroughly explain what you need. ...
  • Don't forget: professors are people, too. ...
  • Close your email politely. ...
  • Proofread. ...
  • Professors are busy.

How do you write a formal email? ›

Here are the steps to follow if you want to send a formal email that makes a professional impression:
  1. Confirm your email address is professional. ...
  2. Write your subject line. ...
  3. Use a formal salutation. ...
  4. Introduce yourself. ...
  5. Communicate your message succinctly. ...
  6. Close with appreciation. ...
  7. Proofread and send your email.

How do you start a letter without dear? ›

Here are a few good alternatives:
  1. "Hello, [Insert team name]"
  2. "Hello, [Insert company name]"
  3. "Dear, Hiring Manager"
  4. "Dear, [First name]"
  5. "To Whom it May Concern"
  6. "Hello"
  7. "Hi there"
  8. "I hope this email finds you well"
7 May 2019

How do you start a mail when you don't know the name? ›

If you don't know the person's name, use 'Dear Sir/Madam', or 'To whom it may concern'. Top Tip: Remember to always include a comma after 'Dear [Name]'!

How do you end an email? ›

Check out these email closing lines thank you:
  1. Kind regards.
  2. Thank you for reading.
  3. Looking forward to meeting you.
  4. Please contact me for additional help.
  5. Best.
  6. Sincerely.
  7. Regards.
  8. Cheers.

How do you email a professor for the first time? ›

How to Email a Professor
  1. The Salutation. Start your email to your professor with a “Dear” or “Hello”. ...
  2. Provide Context. ...
  3. Keep it Short. ...
  4. Sign Off. ...
  5. Use a Clear Subject Line. ...
  6. Be Professional. ...
  7. Send It from Your University Email Address.
4 Dec 2018

How do you respond to a professional email? ›

How to write a response email
  1. Respond quickly. ...
  2. Start with a greeting. ...
  3. Reply to questions or concerns in separate lines. ...
  4. Ask for confirmation of understanding. ...
  5. Include closing remarks and your signature.
13 Apr 2021

How do you respond to an academic email? ›

Develop polite but minimal responses to common email requests. For example, if a student emails to ask any question that can be answered by the syllabus, respond with: Thanks for your message. That question is answered in the syllabus; a copy of the syllabus is on the course website if you need it.

How do you write a follow up email after no response? ›

How to Write a Follow-Up Email After No Response
  1. Ask yourself if you included a close in your first attempt.
  2. Resist the urge to re-send your first email.
  3. Don't follow up too quickly.
  4. Write a truthful subject line.
  5. Start the message with a reminder of your last touchpoint.
14 Mar 2022

Videos

1. How to write a formal letter 📝 | All you need to know!
(Learn Easy English)
2. Emails in English - How to Write an Email in English - Business English Writing
(Oxford Online English)
3. How to write formal emails
(Learn English with Cambridge)
4. How I Type REALLY Fast (156 Words per Minute)
(Ali Abdaal)
5. Transitioning from Fellowship to Faculty – Tips and Tricks Day 2: Job Offer through Contracts
(American Society of Transplantation)
6. Write Better in English ✍️ Teacher's Tips!
(mmmEnglish)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Last Updated: 12/11/2023

Views: 6337

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Refugio Daniel

Birthday: 1999-09-15

Address: 8416 Beatty Center, Derekfort, VA 72092-0500

Phone: +6838967160603

Job: Mining Executive

Hobby: Woodworking, Knitting, Fishing, Coffee roasting, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Kite flying

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Refugio Daniel, I am a fine, precious, encouraging, calm, glamorous, vivacious, friendly person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.