Email Templates: Help for Writing Important Emails to Professors/etc. | The Writing Center

Email Templates: Help for Writing Important Emails to Professors/etc.

This resource is meant to serve as a general guide to emailing professors when you are experiencing circumstances that will impact your performance and/or attendance in class.

Helpful Reminders

  • It is up to you how much you are comfortable sharing with your professor. Details are not necessary, but can be helpful in helping your professor understand your circumstances.
  • If you choose to include details of your circumstance, avoid being too vague or providing too many details. Include the information that is necessary to help your professor understand, but not so much that you provide every single detail of your circumstance.
  • If it is unlikely your professor will recognize you by name or you are in a large class, it is always a good idea to start your email by introducing yourself, e.g, “This is Sarah Smith from your MAT 101 course.”
  • We suggest requesting to meet with your professor either in person or via Zoom if your circumstances will prevent you from attending class or completing assignments for more than a week. This is so that your professor can get a better idea of your circumstances and help you formulate a plan to remain on top of your assignments. (An email template for requesting to meet is included below.) 
  • If you are struggling and could benefit from some extra support, please view the list of campus resources included below as well. We all need support!
  • Tailor all templates to meet your specific circumstances and needs.

Notes on Requesting Extensions

  • Before requesting an extension, check the syllabus to see your professor’s policy on extensions and late work.
  • If at all possible, be sure to request an extension several days before the assignment’s due date. Avoid requesting an extension last minute if you can.
  • Remember that it is up to your professor’s discretion whether or not to grant an extension.


The following templates include information on how to send an appropriate email to your professor and examples of what professional email writing looks like.

Remember that any email to your professor should always include your name, the course number, a greeting, and an expression of thanks. When sending an email to your professor, do not include any personal or sensitive information, like your student ID number, unless it is explicitly requested. Keep in mind that these templates are only suggestions for best practice and to always tailor any templates to fit your specific needs!

Feel free to copy and paste these as a starting point and change/add whatever information is necessary!

Templates for Illness

Templates for Mental Health Challenges

Templates for Bereavement

Template for Requesting a Time to Meet

Resources for Support and Wellness