Don’t upset your professors!

Last term, a professor of mine went on a rant about what he finds most annoying when students email him. I found that even I, a self-proclaimed email etiquette pro was doing things that he says all professor hate.

When you email your teacher you usually want them on your side because you are probably giving them an excuse, trying to add their full class or something of the sort.

Here is some basic email advice to follow in order to not be a menace when emailing your teachers.

Use your School Email Address 

Using an @edu email address quickly allows the professor to know that you go to the college they teach at. It is also a quick way for them to see your last name, which can be handy if you are in their class.

If for some reason you cannot use your school email address, make sure the email you use still says your name and looks professional. Your professor will probably not open an email from [email protected]

Create a Useful Subject

The subject line of the email should simply be the name of the class you are enrolled in with that professor. This obviously lets the professor know which class of his you are in. So, for example the subject should be something like “Cultural Anthropology 002.”  The ranting professor I mentioned early said the thing that annoyed him most are subjects that say something along the lines of “hey quick question…”  or “you got a minute prof?”


KISS is an acronym for “Keep It Simple Stupid!”, and one that I thought Michael Scott had made up until I googled it just now.  It is good principle for a lot of situations, especially emails. I like to imagine professors work really hard and have better things to do than read emails. With that being said, they do not want to read your four paragraph email explaining why you missed the midterm. Just say what you need to say quickly, and get out!

GRAMMAR and Stuff…

“hey prof itz ryan form ur 8 o clock english class. hav u posted the lecture notes yet?” < Yeah, do not do that.

Be Nice

You may be emailing your teacher about something that is his or her fault.  However, you should keep in mind he still controls your grade and has the power to drop you, so be respectful and just state your problem. Don’t play the blame game.

Thank Them

My ranting professor also told us that he loves when students include in their emails  ”thank you for your time,” or something of the sort.  This shows, you recognize that the professor is busy and going out their way to help you. I found this to be good advice, I listened.

Professionalize your Signature

Your signature should be really simple. Just “Thank You, Your Name” or “Be well, Your Name” should be fine. You want to look professional in the eyes of your professor. So, get rid of your Journey lyric signature and keep it simple, stupid.