academic email etiquette

Here are some things to think about when contacting professors, program administrators, or other university personnel. Future blog entries will feature sample emails.

Keep your emails concise and to the point. You are more likely to get a response if your emails are no more than a paragraph long.

Create a clear subject line.

Keep the tone of your email formal. Avoid slang, emoticons, and acronyms.

Make sure you have a professional email address. Hotlips69@hotmail.com probably won’t set off the best impression. Aim for an email address that incorporates both your first and last name, such as johnsmith@gmail.com or j.smith@gmail.com .

In your first email, always address professors as Professor (insert last name) or Dr. (insert last name). If a professor signs their response with just their first name, then you can address them by their first name in the next email.

Sign your email with your first and last name, as well as your degree and field. If you are contacting someone from another university, include the name of your university as well.  For example:

Melissa Andrada
Cultural Studies, MSc.
University of Edinburgh

Always thank professors and university staff for their time and help.

Check punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Remember this email may be their first and/or only impression of you.

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