General Guidelines:

  1. Use a professional email address!
    DO: use your school email address
    DO NOT: use the email address you created when you were 12
  2. Write a short, meaningful, specific note in the subject line.
    DO: BU101 Paper Question
    DO NOT: HELP! I have an important question!!!
  3. Be aesthetically professional.
    DO: use fonts like Times New Roman (not Comic Sans)
    DO NOT: use slang, profanity, or emojis

Writing Guidelines:

  1. Open with a professional greeting
    DO: make sure you use the correct title… Professor vs. Dr. vs. Mr./Mrs./Ms.
    DO NOT: say “Heyy” or “Hi!”
  2. Introduce yourself if necessary.
    DO: provide context. Even if it’s someone you know well, it can still be helpful. This is an absolute must when emailing someone you’ve never or only briefly met before.
    Ex: I will not be able to make it to E250 today. (Instead of: I will not be able to make it to class today.)
  3. Keep it to the point.
    DO: be brief and prioritize the most important information.
  4. End with a professional closing.
    DO: use examples like Sincerely, Cordially, Best, Thank You
    DO: sign off with your first and last name.

Before You Hit Send:

  1. Include any necessary attachments. It’s always awkward when you send a follow-up email explaining that your forgot to add the attachments.
  2. Proofread for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. It reflects poorly on you to have these in an email.

Formal Email Formula:

Professional greeting + to-the-point message + professional wrap-up = good email