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The Art of Email

Posted on 2/1/2018 9:06:16 PM by Julia Cattani

In college, you tend to use email much more than you do in high school. This is your direct line to your professors at any time of day to ask questions, clarify homework, or simply submit work. As a tech-savvy generation, we tend to address email in a relaxed manner, however, it is important that you address your professors respectfully through this medium, marking yourself as a professional young adult.

1. Subject

Before you even write out your email, it is important to add a subject into the tagline of the email, so your professor knows whether or not this is a time sensitive matter. For example, if I had a question regarding homework for a class, I would put the course number and a brief description in the subject line of the email.  Professors teach multiple courses, and if you’re like me and take multiple classes by the same professor, this allows them to understand exactly what you’re looking for.

2. Professionalism

While we may not always speak in a proper manner, it is important to address your email to the recipient and be clear and concise in your message. A lengthy message can be overwhelming if you have a simple question, so don’t feel pressured to make the email longer than necessary. Always open and close your email properly, thanking the professor for taking their time to answer your questions. The more frequently you are in contact with your professor, the more they are willing to help you.

3. Time Management

If you wait until the last minute to ask a question regarding an assignment, the less likely a professor will be able to answer before the class. It is important to remember that they also have multiple classes and other commitments, so while they do check their emails frequently, they may not be on top of it the day before an assignment is due. Review your assignments and ask your questions as soon as you get them, that way the professor has time to respond and you have time to complete the assignment properly.

4. Revise!

There is nothing worse than emailing a professor while misspelling his/her name, or other words within the email. Re-read your emails before you hit that send message. ESPECIALLY when you are including an attachment. I have a terrible habit of writing out the email saying “The assigned homework is attached in this email” and failing to actually attach the document before sending the email.


Professors receive an incredible amount of emails daily, so make sure yours is proper and prepared for them to read in a timely manner. This way, you can successfully build a professional relationship with your professors and be on track with your assignments.