Whether you have a quick question or are seeking advice, consider these tips when writing an email. Your professor will appreciate your thoughtful consideration.
Emails should resemble a formal, written letter
1. Include a salutation: " Dear _______"
· Make sure that you have your professor's title correct.
· When in doubt, use the title of "Professor".
2. Your body paragraphs should be direct and easy to read.
· Quickly introduce yourself and your relation to the professor (i.e. what course you are taking, your similar research interests, etc).
· Get to the point and mention your intentions for writing the email.
· Paragraphs should be broken up and easy to read (consider bullet points or numbers).
· Make sure your expectations for the professor are clear (i.e. would you like to schedule a meeting or receive an email in reply?).
3. Include a closing: "Have a nice day," or "Sincerely,"
4. Sign with your first and last name.
5. Include contact information.
· This includes your email, but sometimes your phone number may be relevant.
Review the email before sending
1. Read the email to make sure your questions and intentions are clear.
2. Make sure the tone is appropriate and professional.
3. Check the spelling and grammar.
Do not expect a quick response
1. Avoid sending emails at the last minute.
2. Do not expect a response within a couple of hours. If it is an urgent matter, calling your professor's office may be more appropriate.
3. If you do not receive a reply within 24 to 48 hours, understand that your professor may be extremely busy. Try calling his or her office.