how to email a professor about a group member - prioritylearn

How To Email A Professor About A Group Member

No one likes a snitch but there’re times when it’s necessary, especially in the field of education. Students are expected to learn and participate in any required academic work to complete their courses.

Unfortunately, there’s always that one student who hardly shows up for group meetings, and only comes with excuses when they do show up. Other members go through the trouble of finishing the group work and they expect all their names to be included in submissions.

Nobody likes a snitch, but when it becomes a habit, this conduct can be rather bothersome. And while it’s generally preferable to speak with the student directly before contacting the professor about their behavior, there may be instances in which the student disregarded repeated warnings.

Group members in such cases may be left with no choice but to bring this to the attention of the professor. However, such emails should be carefully structured as a show of concern instead of outright snitching on them.

This article will provide general guidelines for emailing professors and sample templates that will give you an idea of what to include in an email about a group member.

General Tips For Writing To Professors

Before you even begin writing your email to your professor, is essential to keep these tips in mind.

Use School Email

Educational institutions recommend that students contact professors through their professional emails. This ensures that emails do not end up in spam folders while also protecting both professors and students.

Clear Subject Line

The subject line is another thing to consider when emailing your professor. Ensure that your email contains a subject and it’s appropriate. A typical example:

{{Course title}} {{Group number}} member contribution concerns

Formal Address

Use the instructor’s appropriate title when addressing them. It may seem like a simple mistake when you address a professor as a Dr., but academics can be quite keen about their titles.

Avoid addressing professors as doctors as the title means a lot to them. Recognize their position and make sure you are familiar with their official titles. Use their official titles (Dr., Professor) when addressing them to avoid making a bad impression.

Identify Yourself

While the subject line may provide an idea of where the email is coming from, it’s still necessary to identify yourself. Professors may teach multiple classes so it’s advisable to state both your name and class.

Don’t expect your professor to go through their list of students to identify which class you might be in. They’d most likely ignore your email and focus on other pressing matters.

Formal Tone

Never use slang while sending a professional email to your professor, regardless of your relationship with them. Avoid using acronyms, emojis, and other lingo in your email. Do not bring up personal information that is unrelated to the conversation or topic.

Correct Grammar

Professors have a responsibility to educate their students, and they expect that students at that level of study will be grammatically proficient. If you write an email that’s challenging to read, the professor will delete it.

If you’re unsure of your writing, have a friend or family member carefully read the email before submitting it. You can also make use of software like Grammarly to find mistakes in your writing. Remember that these tools aren’t flawless, therefore it’s best to proofread your writing to identify any issues.

Clear And Brief

Avoid sending a lecturer an essay-length email. They receive multiple emails from various sources, including students, parents, coworkers, and others daily. To avoid wasting their time, it is advised that you keep your email concise and easy to understand.

Try to concisely and clearly express your particular demand. Given their busy schedules, professors won’t have time to read lengthy correspondence. Additionally, refrain from using too many words in your phrases that require a dictionary to understand.

Be Polite

Being polite in your email can go a long way toward scoring points in your favor. Ensure that the tone of your email is polite and the necessary respect is being conveyed. No matter how you may feel about the professor, it is best to treat them with respect in your correspondence.

End Formally

At this point, you should express your gratitude to the professor for reading the email all the way through. Simply express your gratitude for their time and conclude your email by signing off with “Sincerely” or “Best regards” and your complete name.

How To Find A Professor’s Email

The first step to emailing a professor is finding their email address. If you don’t know their email, how do you find it?

School Website

The first approach would be to try looking for the professor’s email address on the school’s website or their personal website. If you’re a student and the school has a learning management system, you’ll find the professor’s official contact details on the overview page of their course.

For schools with simple websites, you’ll find the professor’s email on the relevant faculty pages. Each professor’s official title, name, picture, and email address would be available on those pages.

Course Syllabus

Another way to find your professor’s email is to take a look at the course syllabus. Most tertiary institutions include each course’s professor’s contact email on the syllabus. This enables students to easily find their professors’ emails and contact them when necessary.

Ask Other Students

If the above options fail to yield the expected results, you can reach out to other students individually or on school forums and other dedicated student community pages. A typical example is asking on your student WhatsApp or Telegram group pages.

You’ll most likely receive a response from another student or at the very least receive a tip from a student on where they may have seen the professor’s email address.

When Should You Alert The Professor About The Group Member

It’s worth noting that, you should send such emails to the professor before completing the project. This will provide ample time for the member who isn’t participating to mend their ways once confronted by the instructor.

If you send such emails only after submitting the project, the member would feel hurt as they would be graded down by the instructor for not participating and you’d be branded a snitch.

Sample Email To A Professor About A Group Member

Template 1 – Member Hard To Reach And Didn’t Contribute To Group Work

Email Subject

{{Assignment title}} : {{Group number}} member contribution concerns

Body

Dear Professor {{Last name}},

My name is {{Your name}} and I am a member of {{Group number}} for your {{Assignment title}} project. This email is in regard to one of our group members {{Member name}}.

{{Member first name}} has not responded to any group member’s attempt to contact {{him/her}} and has not contributed to the group project. We are all concerned and would like to bring this to your attention to hopefully gain a better understanding of {{Member first name}}’s situation.

Thank you and have a great rest of your day

Sincerely

{{Your name}}

Template 2 – Member Didn’t Contribute To Group Work

Email Subject

{{Assignment title}} : {{Group number}} member contribution concerns

Body

Dear Professor {{Last name}},

My name is {{Your name}}, a student in your {{Class title}}. I am sending this email on behalf of {{Group number}}, which is currently working on {{Project title}}.

We want to bring to your attention that a member of our group {{Member name}} has not responded to our attempts to reach {{him/her}}. We don’t know if {{Member first name}} is going through some challenges which is why we decided to bring this to your attention.

Being a studious student, we believe his contribution to this project will be invaluable. It is our hope is that we will be able to understand the situation with {{Member first name}}.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely

{{Your name}}

{{Group number}} representative

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