This is Professor Brown from Rumie University.

Professor Brown

Professor Brown loves hearing from students when they have questions or problems. When they really need help, the professor is wanting genuinely to help.

Tom Cruise help me, help you

But the professor teaches 4 different classes with about 50 students in each class. They need a few things from you, the student, when you want to get in touch by email.

Most Importantly: Think Before You Send

The professor will tell you: "Any good writing is a process."

One simply does not write and send

Follow these steps before you send:

  1. Checking

  2. Planning

  3. Writing/Drafting

  4. Revising/Editing

  5. Sending

Step 1: Check For Answers Already Provided

Professors spend a lot of time preparing for their courses by creating:

👀 Syllabi — documents that show info about the flow of the course, its objectives, grading details, a weekly outline of topics, textbook info, and lots more

👀 Rubricsshow youhow the professor will mark the assignments

👀 Course Outlines — a breakdown of each week's study topics & assignment due dates

👀 Assignment Briefs — prompts that tell you how to do an assignment

Can one of these answer your question before you start writing?

Remember: 200 students can make for a lot of emails. Do you need to send yours?

Toast to those who read the syllabus

Step 2: Planning

Once sure of your needs, you'll need include some essentials so your professor can best help you.

🤔 Before you write, think about:

  1. The Subject: This is what Prof. Brown will see to decide whether to open the mail or not. Summarize what you need in 5 words or less (ex. Extension on PSY140 Assignment) Shocked Squirrel GIF

  2. The Writer: Professor Brown has nearly 200 students in 4 classes and at least needs to know your name and which class you're in. If you have a student number, that's helpful too. Harry Potter says who are you

  3. The Purpose: Why are you writing or what's the problem? The professor is listening

  4. The Request/Next Steps: What do you want the professor to do about it? What do you need?

Step 3: Writing/Drafting

Make sure your email has the following:

  1. Correct email address for your professor

  2. A polite and appropriate greeting with proper title (Dear Prof. Brown or Dr. Brown)

  3. and...


✔ Type the correct email address

✔ Have a concise subject (5 words)

✔ Have a polite greeting

✔ State who you are clearly (include name, class, student number)

✔ State your purpose for writing concisely

✔ Politely include your request/next steps for the professor

Close politely


❌ Misspell the address

❌ Leave a blank subject

❌ Spell their name wrong

❌ Assume your email address and name is enough

❌ Be too wordy or vague about why you're writing

❌ Assume the teacher knows what you want them to do

❌ Send it before you go to the next step

Step 4: Editing/Revising

Don't rush this ⚠️ Warning!!! Leaving out this step can result in an ineffective email.

  • Read your email and check your spelling and grammar.

  • Think: Is there a way I could say this better or more clearly?

  • Think: Will my professor know who I am and what I want?

  • Not sure? Then, go back to step 2 and make changes.

Quiz: What Is It Missing?

Read the following email and choose the correct answer to the quiz


Subject: Assignment Extension


I'm Bobby from your Psyc class on Tuesday.

can i have until friday at 5pm to finnish my assigmnet?

I really need more time cuz i was 🤢🤮

Bob #20210001


How can Bob improve his email?

The Final Step: Sending

WAIT! Not yet!

stop sign Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Before you hit send:

  • Have you read it at least twice?

  • Have you made edits for more clarity/conciseness?

If NO:

Go back to Step 2 or 3 and check your masterpiece of communication


Hit "Send" and relax, then wait for a reply (and trust that your prof will get to it).

Take Action

A person touching their cheek in thought Before you start writing your email, ask yourself:


Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte