Nailing the Perfect Email – How to Professionally Correspond with your Professor
Outside the content you learn in classes and lectures, college allows you to learn and perfect many other skills that’ll set you in good stead for the outside world, especially when it comes to applying for jobs. One of those skills is email etiquette.
Although it’ll take some real-life practice for you to nail the perfect email, this article will give you some hints and tips on the basics and, particularly, what to avoid doing.
Firstly, don’t overdo it. If you are emailing to explain an absence from class, don’t go into meticulous detail about your reasoning. Keep things brief and general. Brevity is vital – professors generally do not have time to read through a lengthy email.
Secondly, don’t hide the truth. An experienced professor will tell if you are concealing the truth about why your paper is late with excuses. Be direct and as honest as you possibly can be. After all, professors know how stressful college can be, and they may surprise you with how lenient and understanding they can be at times.
Thirdly, be as polite as you can be – this isn’t Facebook Messenger! Write in a very courteous manner and express gratitude.
Finally, don’t expect your professor to know who you are. Even if they’ve said your name in class before, they may struggle to place you amongst the sea of other emails they receive daily. Be sure to state who you are and what class you’re from in every email.
State precisely what the subject of the email is at the very start. Don’t beat around the bush! As we’ve said, you’ve got to be direct – state your business immediately!
If you are proposing to meet with your professor to discuss something that cannot be done over emails, be sure to suggest several different times you are available throughout the week – don’t limit your professor’s options.
Check over your course syllabus and ensure that your professor hasn’t already explained what you are about to ask.
Read over your email a couple of times before sending and be sure to check for grammar and spelling. Treat the email as you would an essay!
Do NOT forget salutations! Although brevity is critical, formality is also of utmost importance.
Do NOT put off the email the night before the paper is due. Be sure to give your professor plenty of time to sort out whatever the issue is you are experiencing.
If you keep all the above in mind when writing your first couple of emails to your professor, you should, in no time, be able to get into the flow of email etiquette and be on the fast track to becoming a master of correspondence.