Tips for Emailing Instructors
Use Your OCCC Student Email
Be sure to use your OCCC Student Email Address when contacting your instructors. They may not be able to answer your email with the requested information otherwise, or might not respond at all.
You can access your OCCC Student Email here: OCCC Student Email
Add a Descriptive Subject
Add a descriptive subject line to let your instructor know the general topic of your email. This will make it easier for your instructor to prioritize their inbox and will result in faster replies.
Include a Greeting
Unless your instructor has asked otherwise, always refer to them using their title and last name. If you don't know which title to use, "Professor" is always a safe choice.
Use Correct Spelling and Grammar
Use complete sentences, and proper spelling and grammar. It can be easy to misunderstand written communication, but following grammar rules can help keep things clear.
Keep It Simple
Avoid using hard to read fonts, bright or contrasting colors, or excessive formatting in your emails. These things can make your email difficult to read, and may obscure your message. Keep it simple!
Include the Important Details
If you are writing your instructor with a question about a test, for example, be sure to let the instructor know which class you are in, which test in the class you are referencing, and what your question is.
Don’t Include Too Much
If you include too much information in your email, your main points may be lost. If your questions are complex or if you have several questions, meeting your instructor during their office hours may yield better results than sending an email.
Be Clear and Precise
State your question or issue clearly. If the instructor does not know what you want it is harder for them to reply. A specific question about course material is much more likely to get a helpful response than a vague or open-ended question.
When finishing up the email, include a proper closing salutation, such as "Sincerely," or "Truly," followed by a comma and your name. It is a good idea to include your class information here as well.
Allow Time for a Response
Just like students, instructors are busy as well. Don’t expect an immediate response to your emails. Your instructor should give you an estimated response time in the course syllabus.
Below is a sample email to an instructor. Select the blue "i" icons to view tips for emailing your instructors.