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Writing Centre Online Resource Guide


Writing Emails to Faculty

Notifications of absences, requests for reference letters, clarifications on assignments, and expressions of thanks for supervision on your thesis are common reasons for writing to instructors. Most professors use e-mail either within Brightspace or through other accounts. The syllabus or departmental website will provide you with the correct address. The general rules are keep your remarks concise and always be polite. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Write a clear subject line (Can’t Make It to Class might be better than Class Attendance or My Schedule);
  • CC only those involved, such as a team member if your actions impact on them;
  • Use an appropriate salutation (a way of saying “Hi”);
  • Write complete sentences and spell out words rather than use abbreviations;
  • Introduce your topic rather than jump into a continuing conversation that the professor may or may not recall;
  • Refer to the course number, when appropriate;
  • Give only the pertinent details;
  • End the note with a polite closing.

Subject: Missing Monday’s Class Due to Swim Meet

CC:  Sam Sani, Teaching Assistant

Hello Professor Smith,

            As we discussed at the beginning of the term, the swim team periodically travels to meets during the week. I will miss our Monday class (BUSI 340) because of a meet in Montreal. Since I have the syllabus, I will complete the readings and assignments before I leave, and I will send them to the marker electronically. Thank you.

F. Lebrun


Resources for Letter/Email Writing