Online Learning: Email Etiquette When Communicating With the Professor

In an online learning platform, the communication is almost always virtual. Hence emails assume a lot of significance- they reveal a lot about you to the professor. To those who intend to create a good impression on the instructor, here are a few pointers to help you:

Online Learning

Do not use the Instant Messenger or social media language:

Emoticons, lols, and dudes have no place in formal correspondence. You cannot address him by first name unless he has allowed you to. And remember to always start your email with the proper salutations- Dear Professor [last name]. If you are using Mr., or Ms., that’s fine as well, but do not address a lady professor by Mrs.

Do write a subject on the subject line:

The subject line is there for a purpose. Sending an email without the subject is considered bad manners. Your professor may get several emails every day- the subject tag saves him time and also helps him prioritize his work. And remember to never ever include demands like –urgent response needed. Request such as these are sure to go straight to the recycle bin.

Keep it simple and sagacious:

Explain your views clearly and concisely. Focus your email on the issue at hand. Arrange paragraphs logically and frame questions or bullet points appropriately. Stay on the point and whenever possible keep the email short.

End with a thank you:

At the end of the email, thank the professor. You can either use ‘best wishes’ or ‘regards’ to end the email. And for heaven’s sake, please do not add cute quotes or similar statements after your name. They’re as childish as childishness can get.

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