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How To Tell Your Prof You're Not Coming To Class

11/04/2011 08:56 am ET | Updated Jan 04, 2012

We've all done it--just as you press "send," you realize that you spelled your Professor's name wrong. The culture of email is inherently casual, yet we are in a delicate position when we are emailing our professors. CM talked to a few professors and got a sense of tips to consider and things to avoid like the plague.

Structure

"I inherently find myself thinking about the student as an organized person based on the structure of their emails. One student even went to the extent of color-coding their lengthy email to help me stay organized. Some might find that distracting, but I thought it was extremely helpful."

Professor Tsong > Economics > Cornell

DO stay organized in your email. Stay on topic and ensure that you are being both relevant and friendly; there has to be a balance between seeming put-together and sounding like you are bossing them around with requests.

DON'T ramble on in a long email about the various excuses that caused you to miss class. They might not care or worse, think you are lying. A simple "I couldn't make it to class" should suffice for most teachers if you demonstrate you are willing to meet and make up what you missed.

Language

"I almost threw my keyboard out the window when one of my students used 'gonna' in an email to me. Me, of all people!"

Professor Frasier > English > Tufts

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