All Truth on How to Email a Professor

How to Email a Professor

Most students try to keep their distance from the professor because they take this person as an idol. They can’t cope with their own fears when it comes to communication with a tutor after the lectures. At the same time, the interaction with a professor has a great impact on the academic achievement and student’s attitude towards a definite subject.

In most cases, young people are frustrated and worried about clarifying some issue with a professor. They do not know what to start with, what phrases are more suitable, and what are extra requirements for such communication. How do you communicate with your professor? Email is one of the most common ways to get in touch with a tutor, and It aims to help you solve a certain issue. Hence, you should include only relevant information, be specific, and sound professional. If right now you need to contact your tutor, keep reading and find out effective tips and other important information.

3 Top Reasons to Email a Professor

While some young people can easily start an email even if they need to send it to the professor, others spend hours in front of a screen, trying to find suitable words to start. There are lots of reasons why young people may need to get in touch with a professor immediately. Let’s look at the main of them, and consider a few great examples to demonstrate how each reason should be explained properly.


Sickness is one of the most common reasons why students have to write an email to a professor. Everybody can get sick and hence has no opportunity to do the assignment or attend the classes. It would be great if you get in touch with a professor and explain what has happened. Knowing a clear reason, the professor will feel less suspicious and even may extend a deadline. It is recommended to email in advance so that the tutor understands that you are not lying, trying just to escape not to do the task. How do you address a professor in an email? Just write Dear professor and add a name.

Look at the example below:

Apology for missing the class

Dear Professor <name>

I want to apologize for missing the latest class.

I am ill and stay at home.

I hope that soon I will be able to return to the class. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

<Your full name>

Late submission

Before you start to email the professor, it is recommended to review a late submission policy. As a rule, it describes penalties that you will face if you do not prepare the task on time. Even if you understand everything and have no questions, it is highly recommended to get in touch with a professor. First of all, you should mention how much time you need to finish the task, making an emphasis on your hard work at it. Also, you may include extreme circumstances that prevented you from on-time assignment delivery (funerals, extraordinary events, etc.). This way, you may expect a less strict penalty from the professor, or at least do not spoil your reputation. However, do not choose unrealistic reasons as they may play a bad trick on you. For example, you said that you went to funerals, while other people could see you at a football match. Finally, you are recommended to accept being guilty (e.g., you postponed a project) rather than deny it. Consider a good example to catch the overall idea:

Requesting to accept my apology for missing a deadline

Dear Professor <Name>

I want to express my apology for missing the deadline. I was expected to prepare a project in two days, but unfortunately, I can’t manage to do this. I realize my mistake about planning my own time.

However, I can’t present the low-quality paper, so I decided to write this letter and request you to accept my sincere apology…


<Your full name>

Hometask clarification

Clarifying home assignments is another common reason to learn how to email a professor. First of all, you need to ensure that other students do not understand the instructions as well. If nobody can help you, then it is recommended to email a professor without any hesitation. Also, you may do it to help other students with clarifying some points about the project if you can’t muster up the courage and do it on their own. Anyway, you are expected to write a letter like this:

Date of a project presentation

Dear Professor <Name>

I am writing to you to clarify the issue about the project deadline.

The task was scheduled for Tuesday, but yesterday you told the class that we are not going to present them until Friday.

Could you please clarify this?

Best regards,

<Your full name>

How do you email a professor about your grade? You should place a relevant subject line and include the main information in the email body.

Things to Mind When Writing to a Professor

Email is quite a formal type of correspondence. How do you write a professional email to a teacher? You should mind a few things to include:

Always put a relevant subject line. It should contain a short but clear phrase to inform the professor about your aim to write the email. You should do your best to pick up a phrase that will totally describe the content. It is a must-point-to-do because the professor gets plenty of different emails every day. So if you do not want your letter to get lost in dozens of others, then mind including the appropriate subject line that is both clear and catchy.

Greet the professor properly. This is the second thing that you should include in your email after a subject line. The letter without proper addressing looks quite strange and unnatural. If you do not feel comfortable with writing, dear professor, you can start your email with Professor and then add the name.

Finish the email with an appropriate ending. Put “Sincerely”, “Best Regards”, “Respectfully” or any other similar word to finish the letter. Do not forget to include your full name. Check carefully what info is included in your signature, especially if you are sending a letter from a mobile device. Sometimes, it contains unnecessary ending formulas that you are recommended to remove so as not to confuse the professor.

Mind grammar and spelling rules. Check your email a few times to make sure that it has no grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. Mind the general voice and avoid sounding informal as it is the worst mistake that you can do. Do not place emoji, colored text, or any other things that you may add to an email that you usually write to your friends. Always proofread the text before clicking on the button “Send.”

Simplify things as much as possible. Not to waste time, you are recommended to add links to the relevant documents, add screenshots of the pages that you are talking about as email attachments. This way, you will let the tutor catch your idea at once and provide you with a quicker reply, instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you mean.

Final Thoughts

Do you want to clarify a certain question or let the professor know that you can’t manage to prepare the task in time? Email is the right way to settle everything down, and do not wait until you see the tutor face-to-face. As you can see, writing an email to a professor is not difficult at all. The main thing is that you should clearly understand the purpose of a letter, and follow the above-mentioned tips. Mind the tone of the text and do your best to sound professional and clear. Also, try to stay calm and do not worry about disturbing the tutor. It is better to clarify a necessary issue at once instead of suffering from unwanted consequences afterward. Look through the best examples and try to write a similar professional letter.

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