Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tips for E-mailing Your Professor

Jeremy Hyman and Lynn Jacobs, both college professors, offer some sound advice for e-mailing your professors with questions and comments.  Check out their piece, "18 Etiquette Tips for E-mailing Your Professor."  I am not going to comment on all eighteen tips, but a few of them did catch my eye. For example:

#4: Professors might not open mail sent from  I will probably open the e-mail out of curiosity, but I prefer that student e-mail be sent from a university address.

#6: Salutations matter.  Lately I have received e-mails with no salutation whatsoever.  Some of these e-mails even begin with words like "hey."  I usually reply, but remind the student to write more formally.  This usually does the trick.

#7:  Clear and concise is bestI try answer every student e-mail I receive, but I am more likely to answer a short and succinct e-mail immediately.

#8: Always acknowledge.  This is a nice touch.  A quick thank you from a student is always appreciated.

#10: No one really likes emoticons and smileysActually, I don't mind them if they are used judiciously.

#15: Spelling mistakes make you look like a dufusWe all make typos, but it is hard to not think negatively about a student who does not proofread an e-mail.

Have a great semester!