Even though emailing may seem outdated to some, especially compared to the quickness of texting, it still remains the best option for professional communication. Indeed, with the advent of smartphones, your professor’s inbox is within the reach of a button.
And let me tell you something, this inbox will be FULL! Professors get multiple emails a day. Their inbox is flooded with student inquiries, meeting agendas, and electronic advertisements from Target, Domino’s, and Amazon (you didn’t think you were the only one, did you?). With this in mind, you better make sure your point in the subject line. This will guarantee that your email stands out among many others. In short, make your topic clear and objective.
You can begin with a proper introduction. Actually, it will help a lot to refresh their memories about who are you if you use your institutional email account. Address your professor with a warm greeting. This could be something along the lines of, “Good afternoon,” “Dear Mr/Mrs…,” or just stating their name. This is a sign of respect and will also show that you took time putting the email together, instead of just typing up a quick question on your phone.
Directly introduce yourself! Your institutional email address may be a clue, but it’s not their obligation to know that bb2016 means Bruna from your Tuesday evening class, etc. If you don’t introduce yourself right away, your professors might ignore the email because they have no idea who is contacting them. It’s a good practice to, beyond adding your name, also identifying from which class you are from, as well as your student ID. This way they can know exactly who you are and what you are referring to.
Keep in mind that they have tons of emails to reply to, so they don’t have much time for long letters. Unless the topic is about something demanding that requires a fully detailed description, try to be concise in your text body. The shorter it is, the quicker you will get your response.
Close the email with a polite farewell such as, “Sincerely,” “Hope to hear from you soon,” or “Best.” This will leave a good impression and is a professional way to end correspondence with someone.
After the farewell, state your name again below, and if you find it appropriate, include any other important information, such as your phone or major, so it is easy for them to locate you.
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Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences
MET-International Boston University