Communicating with Instructors: Email and Office Hours

Created by Shannon Roux, Kian Ravaei, Taylor Harper

As students, you will often need to get in touch with your instructors. Whether it is a TA, professor, or faculty advisor, a little bit of etiquette can go a long way to making sure your communication is efficient and effective for everyone involved.

When contacting instructors via email, include a clear subject line, an appropriate greeting, a concise body, and a thank you. Be sure to use a respectul tone throughout and include complete contact information for yourself.

To prepare for office hours, email your questions in advance, start the conversation with your most important questions, and be honest about what you know already. In-person meetings get easier with practice!

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About this tutorial


Shannon Roux, Kian Ravaei, Taylor Harper


Whitney Arnold, Allison R. Benedetti, Jeannie Chen, Juan Díaz, Thomas Garbelotti, Janet Goins, Beth Goodhue, Leigh Harris, Simon Lee, Liz Galvin Lew, Kate McAllister, Diane Mizrachi, Tara Prescott, Renee Romero, Shanna Shaked, Dana Cairns Watson, Amber West, Doug Worsham

Learning Outcomes

  • Send effective emails to instructors and faculty.
  • Include a clear subject, appropriate greeting, concise information, and a professional signature in instructor and faculty emails.
  • Prepare for and make the most of office hours and meetings with instructors and faculty.