Simple rules to send a respectful email that won’t get you on your professor’s bad side.
Rule 1 – Answer swiftly
Anyone who sends you an email they’ll want quick responses. The golden rule for email is to reply within 24 hours, and preferably within the same day itself. If your response email is complicated, just send an email confirming receipt and letting them know that you will get back to them. This will ease the senders mind!
Rule 2 – Use a meaningful subject line
When filling the subject line, make sure that you mention what the email is for or in regards to. You don’t want it to seem like a randomly generated subject and end up in your professor’s spam folder. It also makes it easier to search for old emails when the subject line is relevant and specific to the content of the email.
Rule 3 – Read your email before you send it
Prior to sending your email, be sure that you proofread your message. You shouldn’t write your email as though you are texting your friend. Make sure it’s got full sentences, proper grammar, and real spelling. Look out for potential misunderstandings, the tone, and inappropriate comments.
Rule 4 – Abbreviations & emoticons
Be careful using email abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud) in formal emails. Even today, some people still don’t know what they mean, so it’s better to drop them.
Rule 5 – Be concise
Be succinct and keep your message short and to the point. Your professor is going to have probably hundreds of email messages to wade through each day. Just get to the point and politely, respectfully, ask your request. If it has to be long, consider including a synopsis at the top of the email. Make sure you are as clear as possible about what it is you need to ask of your professor without writing a novel.
Rule 6 – Do not write in CAPITALS
IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING!! Therefore, try not to send email text in capitals.
Rule 7 – Use a professional email address
This marks the message as legitimate and not spam. You should always have an email address that conveys your name so that the professor an idea of who’s sending the message. Never use email addresses, perhaps remnants of your grade-school days, that are not appropriate for use in a formal setting, such as “supergirlrocks@…” or “pizzalover@…”.
Rule 8 – Use professional salutations
Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions like, ‘Hi’ or ‘Yo’. Address your professor directly; don’t just launch straight into a request. Examples: ‘Respected Dr. Kapoor’, ‘Dear, Ms. Gupta’, ‘Dr. Sharma, I hope this email finds you well…’.
Rule 9 – Be polite
Don’t make demands, don’t accuse, remember to write please and thank you. Close your email with something polite like ‘Thanks’, ‘Thanks for your time’, ‘See you in class Wednesday’, ‘regards’, etc. Then re-type your first name