A Plea to Students: When to and not to email professors.

Following these guidelines will help me and your other professors. We often get hundreds of messages a day. We want to help you and learn from you, and we can better do so if we don’t receive certain kinds of email. 

Please do email me if you come across an interesting article or video (etc) you think I might like. 

Please do not email me to say you are going to be absent because of a family emergency or because you are sick (etc) unless it is going to cause more than one absence. My sympathies always. 

Please do email me if you have a question or comment in class that I can’t address right then and I say send me an email about that and we’ll discuss it. 

Please do not email me to ask a technical question about technology used for the course. Contact the appropriate help desk instead. 

Please do email me to say hello, better introduce yourself, and to stay in touch. 

Please do not email me to ask about deadlines, requirements, policies for the class. The syllabus is a small book (hyperbole!) for a reason. If you still have a question and it is not urgent, ask in class so everyone can benefit. 

Please do email me if you would like to make an appointment to visit or if you need help.

Please do not email me to ask for extra credit or to protest a grade. 

Please do email me if I send you an email asking a question. 

And please, please use sentences, include your class/day and time, your full name, an email subject, and text in the body of the message. 

Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

6 replies

  1. Great advice… the problem is that you can tatoo these ‘rules’ on your forehead – and still the students will not read them nor remember them! I’m such a softie, but I finally just got to the point where I did not respond to any emails that went against our ‘rules’ – and when a students would whine that I didn’t respond, I’d ask the class why… There was always someone in the class who knew the answer and loved to blurt it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. are sure about this one?
    “Please do email me to say hello, better introduce yourself, and to stay in touch. ”
    if I ever dare to send such an email, then I will surely be scolded! :O

    Anyways, I always try to avoid sending emails to my professors, and when there is no other way but sending an email, I end up writing something like “please, excuse me, would you mind, if it’s possible, I’m so sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused you …etc” all together! just to be scolded later on! LOL -_- seriously!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. A Letter to My Students | Andrew Joseph Pegoda, A.B.D.
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