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Classroom Communications

Emailing your Instructor

The way you communicate in your emails reflects the type of person you are: your professionalism, work ethic and attention to detail. Writing clear professional emails minimizes the chance for misunderstandings and conveys an image of competence. 

Start by creating a professional email address
  • Avoid cutesy or risqué. It would seem like commons sense, but you would be surprised what some instructors see.
  • Choose simple and straightforward. Use variations of your first, middle, and last name. (ie.

Subject line
  • Be clear about your subject. The title will let your instructor immediately know what the message is about before opening it. Often messages aren't opened when there is no subject or it looks like spam. 
Email body
  • Greet your instructor in a formal manner. Professor Smith or Hello Professor Smith are both appropriate ways to address your instructors. Never use "Hey" or "yo".
  • Be short and to the point. State your problem, politely ask the relevant question and be patient for the reply.
  • Keep your tone professional. Think carefully about your words and how someone else might read them. Avoid negativity, sarcasm or being overly emotional. Be careful with humor as it can be misinterpreted.
  • Use proper spelling and grammar. Avoid writing like you're texting and make use of your spellchecker. 

  • Keep it brief (ie. Kind regards or Thank you)
  • Use your full name, student ID. It is also helpful to add the course name.

Example of What Not to Do

Picture example, How not to write and email

Example of What to Do

Picture example, how to write an email

General Guidelines & Tips

Keep fonts, sizes and colour simple. Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman fonts in black 10 - 12 point. No matter which font style you choose, be consistent throughout your messages in both style and size. Switching between styles and sizes is jarring for readers.

Proofread before sending. This tends to be a step that many people skip, and can cause unnecessary miscommunication. Check your spelling, grammar, punctuation and that your message is clear.