TeenHelp
Support Forums Today's Posts

Get Advice Connect with TeenHelp Resources
HelpLINK Facebook     Twitter     Tumblr     Instagram    Hotlines    Safety Zone    Alternatives


You are not registered or have not logged in

Hello guest! (Not a guest? Log in above!)

As a guest on TeenHelp you are only able to use some of our site's features. By registering an account you will be able to enjoy unlimited access to our site, and will be able to:

  • Connect with thousands of teenagers worldwide by actively taking part in our Support Forums and Chat Room.
  • Find others with similar interests in our Social Groups.
  • Express yourself through our Blogs, Picture Albums and User Profiles.
  • And much much more!

Signing up is free, anonymous and will only take a few moments, so click here to register now!


Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  (#1 (permalink)) Old
bitesize Offline
Member since April '07
Outside, huh?
**********
 
bitesize's Avatar
 
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Location: Ireland

Posts: 3,943
Blog Entries: 321
Join Date: January 7th 2009

Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 1st 2012, 05:39 PM

Writing a simple email to a college professor or tutor always takes me absolute dayyyyyys, because I'm such a perfectionist and I find it impossible to just slap down what I want to say and have it sound appropriate enough, even if I can speak completely casually with them in person. I take ages trying to come up with the right way of phrasing things, and yet I doubt they themselves sit at their computers taking at least ten minutes to come up with a two-line email to me. Am I alone??


Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror, years ago
.....
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door
...
...
Níl a shíltear mar a bhítear.
Things are not always what they seem.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Adam the Fish Offline
The Skittlemeister.
I can't get enough
*********
 
Adam the Fish's Avatar
 
Name: Adam
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Location: Bristol

Posts: 2,343
Blog Entries: 6
Join Date: August 24th 2012

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 1st 2012, 06:06 PM

In the words of Michael Jackson, "you are not alone".
I find it difficult to write to my teachers too.

I suppose, just keep redoing it until it sounds OK, but don't think about what to write what you mean the edit it until it looks good.


Skittlify me up...
Adam the Fish | 26/08/12 | 08/10/12 | 02/12/12 | 09/02/13 | 01/06/13 | 30/08/13 | 25/11/13
...spreading happiness and joy around the Internet!
...well, I try, anyway. .......................
private message.visitor message.profile.email
"May we always remember that we are the rainbow."
   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Kate* Offline
Newsletter Tips Writer
Outside, huh?
**********
 
Kate*'s Avatar
 
Name: Katie
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Location: Ohio

Posts: 4,720
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 1st 2012, 06:33 PM

It can be intimidating, it's striking that delicate balance between saying what you need to say while still sounding respectful and somewhat professional. Maybe write what you want to say, the way you would casually speak it to them and then go back and change some of the words to make it sound more "professional" The more you do it, the easier it will be. When I had to e-mail my former professors for recommendations it took me days to figure out exactly how I wanted to word them!


Member Since: September 19, 2007
LHO: March 31, 2008- October 13, 2012

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." Jean Paul Sarte
   
1 user(s) liked this post or found it helpful.
  (#4 (permalink)) Old
Lorelei Offline
Resident Nerd
Senior TeenHelper
*******
 
Lorelei's Avatar
 
Name: Laura
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: in my own thoughts

Posts: 801
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 3rd 2012, 12:17 AM

It was stressful for me at first, but now when I'm in doubt I use this method:
-Try to talk to them in person first, and only use email if you need to or if they direct you to. If you contact them face-to-face and they know what you will be emailing them about, it makes the process more straightforward.
-Send the email at a reasonable hour. It's a bit weird to get a professional-type email from someone that was timestamped at 2 in the morning.
-Don't bother emailing them at the last minute. Just don't. They probably won't want to help you, and it won't endear you to them at all.
-Use a relevant subject heading. ("Question??" probably won't cut it. "Psych 10A Problem with Homework Question" is probably better.)
-If the professor has sent an email to you before (either a mass email to the entire class, or otherwise), use that as a template. You should use the same tone in your message as they use in theirs. (This will help you figure out if you should start with "Dear...," "Hello...," or just "Hi...")
-Address your professor with their proper title (when in doubt, call them "Professor So-and-so") unless they have specifically asked you to call them by their first name.
-Keep it specific to one topic only, and keep it short and sweet. Describe your problem or your request in simple terms so that they won't have to keep track of a laundry list of things you are asking.
-Say thank you, and then sign your first AND last name, class time, and maybe even class ID number. They have a lot of students to work with, and may need to be reminded of exactly what syllabus you are following.
-Proofread at least twice to make sure that you haven't misspelled anything, and that you have stated your question as clearly as possible.

I don't know that this is true for everyone, but most of my profs have been less fussy about this than I have expected them to be. They have always seemed to prefer promptness and honesty over decorum. It's okay to be a little nervous, but don't worry too much!


"How dare I? Because it is the truth." -Jane Eyre

"You do what you love, and f#%* the rest." -Little Miss Sunshine
   
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
semiunbalanced Offline
Member
Regular TeenHelper
*****
 
semiunbalanced's Avatar
 
Name: Kimmi
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Location: California

Posts: 455
Blog Entries: 4
Join Date: June 25th 2011

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 3rd 2012, 05:53 AM

OMG right?? I am so with you!! I talk to them all casually and joke with them but when I write an e-mail to them I'm always like so proper and obnoxious.
   
  (#6 (permalink)) Old
PSY Offline
Hugh Jackman ♥

TeenHelp Veteran
*************
 
PSY's Avatar
 
Name: Robin
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Location: Southern California

Posts: 10,034
Blog Entries: 35
Join Date: June 12th 2009

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 4th 2012, 09:20 PM

I used to fret about what I would say to professors/supervisors, both in-person and via e-mail. After receiving countless one-word responses of "okay" and "thanks," though, I stopped sweating the small stuff. The vast majority of these people just want to get the gist of what you're saying - they're not expecting an elegant message, and frankly, they probably don't care and won't bother to do the same in return. Just be clear about what you want to say (whether it's a question or announcement of some kind), and you're good to go. =)





   
  (#7 (permalink)) Old
Wildflower ♥ Offline
Soakin' up the way of life
I've been here a while
********
 
Wildflower ♥'s Avatar
 
Name: A Team
Age: 27
Gender: If you're a bird, I'm a bird
Location: Runnin' barefoot, bloomin' in a summer shower

Posts: 1,832
Blog Entries: 145
Join Date: February 3rd 2011

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 7th 2012, 03:18 AM

It can be stressful, but what is really helpful and easy to do is proofreading, not you proofread it, but have either a friend or an older sibling proofread it for you. At this moment actually I sent my older sister an email and I'm waiting for her to get back to me because she said there were some grammar errors, that I probably would have never seen myself. I'm sure if you wanted, people here will proofread for you, I'm not gonna say myself because I have dyslexia and miss mistakes, but I know I send my work sometimes to other THers who will read and edit it for me before handing it in.


  Send a message via AIM to Wildflower ♥ Send a message via MSN to Wildflower ♥ Send a message via Skype™ to Wildflower ♥ 
  (#8 (permalink)) Old
L'espoir Offline
Member
I can't get enough
*********
 
L'espoir's Avatar
 
Name: Jen
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Location: England

Posts: 2,020
Blog Entries: 777
Join Date: January 7th 2009

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 9th 2012, 07:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei View Post
It was stressful for me at first, but now when I'm in doubt I use this method:
-Try to talk to them in person first, and only use email if you need to or if they direct you to. If you contact them face-to-face and they know what you will be emailing them about, it makes the process more straightforward.
-Send the email at a reasonable hour. It's a bit weird to get a professional-type email from someone that was timestamped at 2 in the morning.
-Don't bother emailing them at the last minute. Just don't. They probably won't want to help you, and it won't endear you to them at all.
-Use a relevant subject heading. ("Question??" probably won't cut it. "Psych 10A Problem with Homework Question" is probably better.)
-If the professor has sent an email to you before (either a mass email to the entire class, or otherwise), use that as a template. You should use the same tone in your message as they use in theirs. (This will help you figure out if you should start with "Dear...," "Hello...," or just "Hi...")
-Address your professor with their proper title (when in doubt, call them "Professor So-and-so") unless they have specifically asked you to call them by their first name.
-Keep it specific to one topic only, and keep it short and sweet. Describe your problem or your request in simple terms so that they won't have to keep track of a laundry list of things you are asking.
-Say thank you, and then sign your first AND last name, class time, and maybe even class ID number. They have a lot of students to work with, and may need to be reminded of exactly what syllabus you are following.
-Proofread at least twice to make sure that you haven't misspelled anything, and that you have stated your question as clearly as possible.

I don't know that this is true for everyone, but most of my profs have been less fussy about this than I have expected them to be. They have always seemed to prefer promptness and honesty over decorum. It's okay to be a little nervous, but don't worry too much!
Wow, I didn't know anyone put this much thought into emails. Is your college really this strict? At mine I just email my teacher saying "hi ruth/emma/karen... i was just wondering if .... " or "for our homework should i write .... " and then at the end just put "thanks ". No problemo. I didn't think teachers really are all that bothered over the tone of an email and all that


PM // VM
   
  (#9 (permalink)) Old
Lorelei Offline
Resident Nerd
Senior TeenHelper
*******
 
Lorelei's Avatar
 
Name: Laura
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Location: in my own thoughts

Posts: 801
Join Date: January 6th 2009

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 13th 2012, 02:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L'espoir View Post

Wow, I didn't know anyone put this much thought into emails. Is your college really this strict? At mine I just email my teacher saying "hi ruth/emma/karen... i was just wondering if .... " or "for our homework should i write .... " and then at the end just put "thanks ". No problemo. I didn't think teachers really are all that bothered over the tone of an email and all that
I don't see how any of this is strict. It's not like my college requires it; that would be stupid. I just consider being clear, concise, and professional to be a good way of communicating. Notice how most of what I said was just about being easy to understand? That's because professors will be able to help me better if I give them the information they need. It usually takes me <5 minutes to write, proof, and send a message.

Most of my profs are informal and I am informal with them, but some are formal and I respect that. The whole adding on my full name and class number, etc., is just because they have a lot to do and I don't want them to waste time trying to figure out what assignment I'm talking about, or who I am.


"How dare I? Because it is the truth." -Jane Eyre

"You do what you love, and f#%* the rest." -Little Miss Sunshine

Last edited by Lorelei; September 13th 2012 at 02:51 AM.
   
1 user(s) liked this post or found it helpful.
  (#10 (permalink)) Old
bitesize Offline
Member since April '07
Outside, huh?
**********
 
bitesize's Avatar
 
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Location: Ireland

Posts: 3,943
Blog Entries: 321
Join Date: January 7th 2009

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 13th 2012, 11:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by L'espoir View Post

Wow, I didn't know anyone put this much thought into emails. Is your college really this strict? At mine I just email my teacher saying "hi ruth/emma/karen... i was just wondering if .... " or "for our homework should i write .... " and then at the end just put "thanks ". No problemo. I didn't think teachers really are all that bothered over the tone of an email and all that
When I say college, I do mean university, and not like 6th form college in the UK, if that clears anything up They're not 'strict' about it - although come to think of it I have seen something written somewhere about writing emails in an appropriate manner. It's more to do with respect and formality.


Honey, you're familiar, like my mirror, years ago
.....
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door
...
...
Níl a shíltear mar a bhítear.
Things are not always what they seem.
   
  (#11 (permalink)) Old
Always * Offline
Member
I can't get enough
*********
 
Always *'s Avatar
 
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Location: Hogwarts

Posts: 3,169
Blog Entries: 2
Join Date: April 12th 2012

Re: Wording emails to professors...the stress!! - September 14th 2012, 01:36 PM

I used to get nervous about it too, I was always worried that I would over/under share on the topic that I was writing about. It is most certainly intimidating to get used to knowing how to write these.
If you are new to university, you probably don't know your professors as well. I find now that I am in my 4th year there are a number of profs or faculty employees who I have become familiar with and am quite comfortable contacting in a less formal manner. On top of that it does get easier.

*Using a Jane/John Doe thing from here on*

Any ways, at a university (at least in Canada) everyone has a Ph.D for the most part (the odd one is finishing up a Ph.D or something, which makes them a doctor of SOMETHING. So often times to START the letter you should refer to the prof it concerns as Dr. Doe OR Professor Doe, eventually you start catching onto which profs prefer to go by which. But for me, I find that most profs will accept either and I go with Professor Doe the majority o the time, but that might vary by department.
Then just think of it as if you are telling them as if you were saying it in person. I find the most important thing is to make sure it is grammatically correct and all. Make sure it is reasonably formal, but that just means don't do things like saying "I think that the subject is like stupid", in which case using like is inappropriate, and even if it COULD be there it needs commas on either side of it. You don't need to make it as strict as making a paper or something. Also, if you know that the prof may not recognize you by name, let them know what class you are in, and when you finish it with "Hope to hear from you soon/thanks/Have a good day/what ever it is, YOUR NAME" you might want to put a student ID beside your name. I usually just point out what class I am in, but I have been in school for several years and my classes are usually like 50 people tops and I usually make sure I start talking to my profs and introduce myself early on, plus in a smaller class when you answer stuff you aren't one of like 300 people haha, but that's harder to do in the 1st year or so cause of typical class sizes.




Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
   
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
emails, professorsthe, stress, wording

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All material copyright ©1998-2019, TeenHelp.
Terms | Legal | Privacy | Conduct | Complaints

Powered by vBulletin®.
Copyright ©2000-2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search engine optimization by vBSEO.
Theme developed in association with vBStyles.