Professional e-mails (those going to a professor or to a prospective employer) are different from personal e-mails or text messages in several ways.
- Include a descriptive and detailed subject line for the e-mail. See the following examples:
- Poor: I have a question
- Better: ENG1101 Homework
- Best: ENG1101 Homework due 9/6/2011, Problem 3.5
- Address the person you are e-mailing (e.g., Hello Dr. Smith,).
- Use full sentences.
- Use capitals and punctuation.
- Do not shorten words (i.e., use “you” instead of “u”).
- Spell check the e-mail.
- Sign the e-mail.
- Thank you,
- Your Name
- Your Contact Information
Here are some tips for e-mailing questions to a professor or an academic advisor.
- Explain who you are and what you need help with. Include any important background information.
- List your questions in a numbered list rather than paragraph format. It is easy to lose questions in a paragraph.
- Sign your full name, course, day and time of course, or your full name and major.