Email etiquette can be a challenge at times. During your journey at university, you may be required to email your lecturers with specific questions, so it is important to carefully consider the following tips.
Do you actually need to send an email?
- You should think about whether an email is the appropriate form of communication compared with other forms like office hours meetings, a quick chat at the end of a lecture, etc.
- Avoid asking about information that you can easily find on the course page on Canvas or university website.
Respect and politeness
It is important to show respect in your communication with your teachers. The following tips will help you achieve this goal when communicating via email.
- Use the correct title – Dr, Prof, Ms, or Mr
- Spell the lecturer’s name correctly by checking the university website or course page for their details.
- Start with a formal greeting such as ‘Dear Dr. Smith,’ and sign the email off with phrases like ‘Kind regards,”. It is also advisable to say thanks towards the end of your message.
- Choose your words carefully – be positive. Refer to further useful resources.
- Introduction: Begin by introducing yourself i.e. your name and Student ID and which course/paper you are studying. If you belong to a particular stream then state the stream number. The lecturer had to deal with hundreds of students so it important you tell them who you are.
- Email address: It is preferable to send your email using your university email address and not an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Subject line: this should be brief and specific as it tells the reader what the email is about.
- Content: Explain clearly what you need as your lecturers are very busy people. Keep it brief as you can see them personally during their office hours if you have a lot to discuss.
- Email endings: end your emails in an appropriate manner – see examples
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