Proper Student Email Guide

Subject : "ENGL 101: Shock, Wu: Proper Email Example"

  • The subject should identify the class, include your name and summarize the content of the email in as few words as possible.

Greeting : "Hello, Dr. Smith,"

  • Appropriate greetings can be "Dear" or "Hello" and are always followed but the person's name and title (Mr., Mrs., Dr.). Inappropriate greetings include "Hey", "Howdy", "Yo", or not having one at all.

Introductory statement :  "My name is Wu Shock and I am a student in your ENGL 101 class*. I am emailing you to demonstrate proper email etiquette**. "

  • *An introductory statement is not needed it you already know the person well, but is needed if they don't know you.
  • **Explain why you are emailing at the beginning of the email so the recipient does not have to look for it.

Email content : "Emails are not like test messages or instant messages, as they are more formal and require more thoughtful consideration of what is to be said. A proper email should always contain an appropriately titled subject, a greeting, and introductory statement, the actual content of the email, a respectful close, and a salutation. Signatures which come after the salutation are optional, your name is not."

  • Follow your introductory statement with the rest of the content of your message, which might include some details to further explain what you need or are looking for.

Attachments : "Attached, you will find a a scanned .pdf copy of this guide."

  • If you are attaching a document, it is wise to reference the document in the email with a statement, such as this example.

Schedule or appointment : "I would like to confirm our appointment on Monday, August 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. in Neff Hall, room, 115." 

  • If you are confirming an appointment via email, it is wise to fully expand the date and time so you will not be misunderstood.

Closing : "Thank you for your valuable time."

  • It is wise to close with a respectful statement thanking the person for taking time to read or respond to your email, question or request.

Salutation : "Sincerely, Wu"

  • Salutations such as "Very Respectfully" and "Sincerely" are always acceptable, however more casual salutations may be used with people you know on a more personal level.