About E-Mails

The basic thing to remember about sending e-mail is that it should be treated as professional correspondence, particularly when you’re contacting someone for the first time. For some good guidelines on corresponding with professors via e-mail, read this posting from Inside Higher Ed or this advice from Wellesley College.

Why haven’t you answered my e-mail?

I check and respond to e-mails ONLY during my office hours. If you send me an e-mail at at time that falls outside of office hours, I will respond to it within two working days.

Did you get my e-mail?

I get irritated by this question, particularly when I’ve already responded to your e-mail. Please check your e-mail before asking this question. If you need an immediate response to a question, I prefer that you ask in a way that enables me to respond to you directly (in person, on the phone, or via video chat).

What should I include in an e-mail to you?

I expect that you will treat every e-mail to me as a professional correspondence, which means that you should include a greeting and a signature. I also expect that you will write the e-mail as if you’re writing to a professional contact whom you are asking for information. WikiHow has posted a short guide to writing e-mails that is helpful.

I teach multiple classes per term, so I need help identifying which class you’re taking. At the very least, you should include your name and course information. I recommend sending all e-mails through Blackboard because it includes the information I need and because you get a copy of the e-mail.

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