How to Email Your Professor (without being annoying AF)

10 Elements of an Effective, Non-Annoying Email

Element #1: Salutation

Element #2: Honorific

Element #3: Name

Exceptions to #1–3 (do not attempt until you have leveled up to pro emailer status)

Element #4: Meaningless Nicety

Element #5: Reminder of how they know you

Element #6: The real reason for your email

Elements #7 and 8: This is where you prove you’re a wonderful person

Element #9: Super polite restatement of your request

Element #10: Sign-off

The hidden Element #11: The follow-up

Why any of this matters

Laura Portwood-Stacer

Written by

Developmental editor and publishing consultant for academic authors at More about me at

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