Email Etiquette For Students
The times, when you needed to talk to your professor face-to-face, discussing details of the assignment or asking for a piece of advice, have long gone! Now you can simply send an email and reach your professor in a blink of an eye (of course if he allows).
In order to avoid misunderstandings and awkward situations, it is important to know the peculiarities of email etiquette. To simplify the process, we have collected the best tips for students of all academic levels and background. Just use them and become an email guru.
To Send or Not to Send?
Situations, when you can email the tutor or other college staff:
- You have faced an urgent problem, which should be solved without delays but the receiver is not in the office;
- You have a solid excuse for not attending the office in person. For example, you are out of town or ill;
- The question is very simple and requires a very brief answer;
- Your assignment can be sent via email.
When you shouldn’t email your tutor or college staff:
- The problem is too difficult to be solved via email;
- Delivering assignment to the tutor, who made it clear that he doesn’t want to receive an electronic version of the paper;
- Asking for prolongation of the assignment;
- The topic of the letter is time-consuming and requires quite a long conversation.
Appropriate Email Address
If you want to get in touch with your professor, it is necessary to use a college email (if you have it) or make sure that your address is professional and appropriate if you are using another email provider. This will prevent you from feeling awkward, because contacting a tutor, using an email like email@example.com may is not the best idea.
If your email address consists only of initials, you need to identify your personality in the letter. If your class is really big, you also need to specify details of the division and class to make sure the professor knows the sender. For example, this is Anna Kent from Chemistry class 9.30 – 10.30, division 002.
Always Use the Subject Line
Never neglect to fill in the subject line, as you will surely seem unprofessional. Writing an email, you need to make sure the subject line contains all the information on what your letter is about.
If you don’t fill in this section, your email may end up in a spam folder. The system will simply recognize it as a random content and will find it not relevant.
Contact Your Tutor Directly
Instead of immediately starting the letter with your request, it is better to show your respect and set a professional tone for the whole email. Start your letter with ‘Dear Dr. Jones’ or ‘Good morning Dr. Richards.’
Not depending on the reasons why you are writing the letter to your tutor, you must remain polite and calm. Never demand anything, don’t accuse your professor and don’t forget to use words like please or thank you. When working on the email, stick to professional academic style. Instead of slang, use a broader vocabulary.
You need to remember that there are thousands of students in your school or college, so it is entirely possible that your professor gets tens or even hundreds of letters every day. He doesn’t have much time reading long and confusing emails, so it is important to make your letter brief and straight to the point. Make sure you concentrate on a single subject without any confusing details and irrelevant topics.
It is quite easy to be wrongly interpreted, especially when you are sending an email and not talking face-to-face. That is why you should avoid using negative words and expressions not to seem depressed, scared or blaming professor for something.
However, emoticons, smiley faces or winks are not appropriate if you are sending an email to your tutor or college staff.
Mention Attached Files
Most likely your tutor will open the attachment either way, but it will still be more professional to indicate what you have attached. Include the name of the file, its format and program’s version to the description.
For example, It is attached: ‘Mr.SmithEssay.doc.’ This file is in MS Word 2016.
The best format to send your attachment is PDF, which is compatible not depending on the operating system your professor uses.
Letters of Problems and Complains
Ideally, all of the negative aspects should be addressed during a personal meeting. However, if the problem can’t wait and your tutor is not in the office, you can write an email being very careful and attentive.
Remember that you shouldn’t write the letter when you are angry, so before pressing the send button and regretting afterward, try to take some time to cool down.
Never press the ‘send’ button right after writing the last sentence of your request. To make sure that your email is professional and appropriate, you should always end it in a respectful manner. Use such ending, as Thank you, Kind regards, Respectfully, Sincerely and add your full name.
Every email provider has a Signature feature in the setting menu, where you can enter the text, which will be added automatically to every letter.
Proofreading and Editing
Before sending your letter, make sure you reread it a few times to eliminate grammar and spelling mistakes. Your email must be academic and professional, and not as if you were sending funny puppy videos to your classmates.
Once again check whether your email consists of full sentences contains no slang and abbreviations. When your email is edited, you can hit the send button.
To establish and maintain positive relationships with your tutor and college staff, you need to pay careful attention to the etiquette, when writing emails. Mentioned above tips will surely help you with creating a professional, polite and specific email to reach any goal you may have.