12 Email Etiquette Guidelines For Students

Email Etiquette For Students
Writing professional emails is a skill that you’ll use for the rest of your life. Proper email etiquette defines the rules of acceptable behavior in email communications. Your subject line should briefly hint at what's inside the email. Use formal addresses and formal closing. Avoid slang, abbreviations, and emoticons.

1. Provide A Hint Of Your Message In The Subject Line

A good subject line should be short and specific but hint at what’s inside the email. Avoid vagueness, emojis, and abbreviations. 

If you’re a new student enquiring about a missed class, don’t use vague subject lines like “missed class” or “help.” Instead, use a clear subject line that contains your name and the class you’re asking about.

Example: Brian Mark-Missed Biology Class on Monday

2. Use Appropriate Salutation

Address your professors according to their titles. If your professor has a Ph.D., use Dr. before their name. If they’re an associate professor or instructor, use Mr./Ms./Mrs. before their name. Address your professor by their first name only if you’re their close friend, or they’ve asked you to do so.

3. Introduce Yourself In The Opening

Keep the introduction short. Make sure to mention your class and the purpose of your email. Professors handle many students, and assuming they know you is not wise.

Example: I’m Brian Mark from your Biology class this semester. I missed the first class on Monday.

Always include your student ID for identification if you’re emailing a staff member.

4. Keep The Body Straight To The Point

The body of the email is the meat of your email. Avoid rambling or using too many words. This is where you explain why you’re writing and what you need from your professor

5. Format For Skimming

A readable font size, spacing, and paragraph breaks can help the professor skim your email. Avoid long emails unless you need to explain something in detail. Don’t add images or videos to your email. Thye are distractions that can make your email harder to read. 

6. Avoid Using Slangs, Emojis Or Acronyms

I missd ua class, OMG, LOL, FYI, emojis are inappropriate in formal emails. You want your professor to understand what you mean without asking for clarification. Your emails should reflect your professional self. 

You can use emojis, slang, and acronyms with friends in your social media accounts but not in formal emails as a student.

7. Be Polite, Positive And Friendly

Positivity is crucial in building a positive relationship with your professor. You should be polite in your emails and avoid using negative words, such as “I don’t think I deserve this” or “It’s not going to work this way.” 

Instead, try saying something like: “I was wondering if you could help me solve this problem. Or is there a better way of approaching it?”

8. Use Polite Words To Sign Off

Signing off on an email is as important as the greeting and body of your email. A good sign-off will make your email more professional and give the impression that you are polite and considerate.

Some common ways to sign off include yours respectfully, kind regards, and sincerely plus your full name. A simple thank you is also a good sign-off.

9. Proofread Your Email Before Sending

It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook the importance of proofreading your email before you send it. Even if you think the email is grammatically correct, take a moment to read through the email a second time. You can also ask someone else to proofread it for you. Reading aloud is another good way to catch mistakes.

Grammar checkers like Grammarly and Prowriting Aid are also helpful tools to help you spell-check your emails. Use these tools with caution, though. They will only catch some of your mistakes and may even make completely wrong suggestions.

10. Crosscheck Attachments

Send attachments that are easy to open and recognizable. Cross-check to ascertain that they are the attachments you want the professor to see. Use pdf formats to ensure readability. Your attachments might not be read if you use formats that are not easy to open.

11. Use To, Cc, Bcc Properly 

Knowing when to use To, Cc, and Bcc is essential if you’re emailing several people.

To is for the primary recipient of your email. Cc stands for Carbon Copy. This is for people in the email chain but not your primary target audience. The main recipient will see all the Cc recipients.

Bcc stands for Blind Carbon Copy. Use this when you want to keep someone else’s identity secret from other recipients of the same email.

12. Confirm Professor’s Address 

Before sending your email, confirm if what you have is the appropriate email of your professor. A wrong email address can cause your message to bounce back, or worse, it may land in the wrong person’s inbox.

Email Etiquette: Bad & Good Examples

Email etiquette Don'ts example
How NOT write an email
Email etiquette Do's example
How to write an email

Email Checklist

  • Have you addressed the recipient appropriately?
  • Have you introduced yourself clearly, if necessary?
  • Have you stated the purpose of the email concisely and clearly?
  • Have you provided all the necessary information to the recipient?
  • Have you requested any necessary information or action from the recipient?
  • Have you used a professional tone and language throughout the email?
  • Have you included all relevant attachments or links?
  • Have you closed the email politely?
  • Have you proofread the email before sending it?


Tabitha is a curious and enthusiastic writer who believes in the power of words and the importance of good manners. Etiquette is her passion, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

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