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Educational Resources - Email Communication Tips

Have a problem that requires you to email someone?  Not sure how to write a professional email?  Here are some great tips!

  • Always include a subject on your email.  Professional staff members receive tons of emails every day, and you don’t want yours getting lost in their inbox. Below are some examples of subject lines.  It’s good to include the specific class that you’re in (professors teach numerous courses), your room or hall number (if you’re emailing residence hall staff), or other details or identifying information (if you’re emailing about your records).
    • Absence on 10/12- English 212
    • Make-up exam for POS 120
    • Roommate issue- Oxford 122
    • Financial Aid- John Smith ID# 0674532
  • Always use a greeting and a closing, just like on an old-fashioned letter.  Email isn’t like texting- you need to treat it like a letter.  Always open with a greeting (as simple as “Hello”) and always end with a closing (as simple as “Thanks”).
    • Below are some sample emails that you can feel free to copy and paste!
  • Punctuation and spelling still count!  Your emails are a reflection on you.  If you want to be taken seriously, make sure that your email comes across as professional and pulled together.
    • You can set FirstClass up to automatically spell check your messages.  Under “FirstClass” choose “Preferences” then “Content”.  You’ll see a tab labeled “Spell Check”.  Choose any of the rules that you want to apply to your email account, then click “Apply” at the bottom.
  • If you are responding to an email from a faculty or staff member, reply with quote.  This allows you to include the sender’s message in your response email.  Again, professional staff members receive tons of emails every day, and you want to be sure that they remember what you were discussing.
    • To reply with quote in FirstClass: Open the email to which you want to reply.  Next to the “Reply” button is an arrow pointing down- click on this and you will see several options, including “Reply with Quote” at the top.  Choose this and a response email will open with the sender’s text highlighted in gray.
  • Keep it short and to the point.  If you can’t say what needs to be said in a few sentences, you should probably go talk to that person in person.
    • Below are some sample emails that you can feel free to copy and paste!
  • Give the other person 48 hours to respond.  It may take the receiver some time to get to your email.  He or she may need to get other information, consult their schedule, etc. before responding to you.  If you don’t get a response in 48 hours, you can follow up again.

Sample Emails (feel free to copy and paste!)

Dear [insert your professor/lecturer/TA's name here],

I will be absent from class today because I have come down with the flu. If you would like to see a doctor’s note, I can bring one to the next class. Would you be willing to send me the powerpoint slides for today’s lecture?

Thank you,

[your name here]

 

Dear [insert your professor/lecturer/TA's name here],

I will be absent from class on __________ because the [insert your team/club/organization here] is going on a trip to __________.  Would you like our advisor to email you regarding my absence?  I also noticed that we have a homework assignment due that day.  I wanted to see if you would like me to turn it in early.

Thank you,

[your name here]

 

Dear [insert your CC's name here],

My name is __________ and I live in [room and building].  I am having issues with my roommate.  I have talked to my RA [insert name here] a couple of times but am not sure that my roommate and I will be able to work out our differences.  I wanted to know if I could meet with you to discuss my options.  I am available each day after 2pm. Please let me know when you will be available to meet.

Thank you,

[your name here]

 

Dear [insert name here],

I saw on FirstClass that you are looking for a research assistant in your lab.  I am very interested in __________, and though I do not have much experience, I am a hard worker and very eager to learn new skills.   I have attached my resume for you to review.  I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my interest in this position, as well as my qualifications.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[your name here]

 

Hi!

I found a flyer in my hall about __________ and saw that you were listed as the contact for this [event, club, service opportunity, job opportunity].  I am very interested in receiving more information.  Would you be able to email me more details, or is there some place where I could get more information?

Thanks for your time!

[your name here]

 


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