How to Email your Teacher - Classes with Kevin

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Online Education with Kevin O'Brien

How to Email your Teacher

Students!  It doesn't matter how smart you are.  If you write like an idiot, people will think you're an idiot.


Here are some tips for emailing your teacher, if you have to reach out to him for help with something.

  • You are writing an email, not a text or direct message.  Emails between students and teachers should be formal.  Don't use text speech or abbreviations, such as, "how u mr obrien this is ed frm yr class i need help with assignment ikr lol"

  • Spell the teacher's name correctly.  Begin with, "Dear Mr. O'Brien," in my case.

  • Tell the teacher who you are and which class you are in, including the day of the week and the time the class meets.  For instance, I am currently teaching four class sessions of The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings, and I have over 100 students in those four class sessions.  I would have no idea which class session you're in if you don't tell me.

  • Use complete sentences with no errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation.  By the way, this is the 21st century, and almost every program that allows you to write an email includes a spell-checker and grammar-checker than underlines mistakes.  Gmail not only does this, but also provides suggestions for what the word should actually be, if you hover your mouse over the underlined mistake.  With this kind of technology, there is no excuse for ever sending an email with errors in it.

  • Read the email before you send it.  Correct any mistakes you notice.  Make sure it sounds good.

  • Be specific.  If you say, for instance, "I love what that one character said in that chapter you talked about in class that one time!  Do you agree with that?" the instructor will have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.