You want to write to your professor and ask him an important question? You have opened your e-mail program and don’t know which form of address is the right one for your professor?
Then you are exactly right here.
In this article, I’ll tell you the appropriate salutation to use in an email you send to your professor. I also help you to, the 5 biggest blunders when addressing your professor to avoid.
How to write to a professor?
Why addressing your professor or lecturer correctly is so incredibly important?
Quite simply, it is the first impression you give when you approach him or her with your request.
If you want to write to your professor and then come around the corner with an incorrect or inappropriate salutation, the likelihood of a satisfactory response drops precipitously…
Let’s keep it short:
When someone holds multiple academic titles always the highest Used in the salutation of an email or letter. In addition, the title "professor" is always written out in a salutation.
Of course, if you are writing to a professor, you should write "Frau Professorin".
The situation is different with Address on a letter or any other official document. Here, the title of professor is not spelled out.
If you want to address more than one professor in an e-mail, you should always mention the person with the highest academic title first.
If you want to delve further into the topic, even in a professional context, I can recommend this book in good conscience: Duden Ratgeber – Writing letters and emails well and correctly
Now that we’ve chosen the right salutation for our professor or lecturer, let’s move on. Of course, that was just the beginning. There’s more you can get wrong in a single email than you think!
Therefore, here you get 4 dripping faux pas, into which you should not step with your e-mail under any circumstances.
Get the complete solution to writing an outstanding term paper now:
You are using a private email account #1
Faux pas number one: Never use your G-mail, GMX, or Hotmail account to send emails to your professor.
There are several reasons for this:
Lack of professionalism
For one thing, such an e-mail address does not necessarily exude professionalism. Even if the e-mail address contains your real name, you should always use your university e-mail address.
Emails from [email protected] will most likely not be opened by any professor. Although, who knows..
Your email ends up in the spam folder
Another reason against using a private mail address is that your message could be declared as spam. When that happens, it ends up in your professor’s spam folder and will probably never be read. Mails from an official university account, on the other hand, are never marked as spam and thus cannot get lost.
Flippantly writing to the professor #2
Faux pas number 2: In any case, refrain from using a buddy-like form of address. No matter how nice the professor comes across, formalities still count in e-mails. So avoid "Hi there", "Hey there?" or other inappropriate salutations.
But I am sure you would not have done that anyway. True?
Hard to believe, but professors receive emails every day that are below the belt. Some of the expressions used by students may amuse some, but annoy others.
So play it safe and don’t risk your reputation with the professor here.
You’re referring to the current time of day #3
The 3. Putting your foot in your mouth: Professors are busy people. Your email may be very important at the time, but it can take a few days to respond, depending on the individual. Therefore, the salutation "Good morning…" or "Good evening…" is completely irrelevant.
Always write your e-mails in such a way that they are appropriate for any time of the day.
This is also how you can avoid giving the impression that you expect a reply by return of post. Only if you need something really urgently, you should politely wrap it up here that a response by a certain time would be quite wonderful.
Asking how long your professor will take to answer your request, are also not recommended. Even if your email has been out for a few days, still wait. Only if it is really obvious that there is no answer, ask again or talk to the person in question personally after the lecture.
Your email to the professor contains "spam" #4
The grease spot number 4: Never ask your professor a question that you can answer yourself. As stupid as it sounds, you don’t want to test your professor’s patience.
This faux pas goes a bit over the professor’s salutation, but is no less important. If you ask your professor or instructor to solve a problem for you, you should explain what you are asking as quickly and as concisely as possible. Therefore, always get straight to the point in your email and refrain from sending irrelevant stuff.
The farewell and greetings in email #5
The bonus fat: The farewell is as much a part of the e-mail as the professor’s salutation. Almost the same rules apply here as for the salutation. Remain formal and thank you best in advance for answering your question.
What you can do wrong … unbelievable. But if you stick to the little email etiquette from this blog post, you will be well prepared and will be able to send your emails to your professors with confidence.
Even if the content should be relevant: Don’t be afraid to write to your professor. While many professors complain about receiving too many emails from students, teaching is still a big part of their job. And this also includes answering YOUR email.