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How to send a polite email

Here you can find a few tips on how to communicate with professors, assistants and administration in a polite way.


Use your student email address

In  communication with professors, assistants and administration it is advisable to use your KU Leuven student mail address.  This address gives some clear information about you to the receiver. 


Mention the subject in the subject line

Never send an email with a subject that is too general or has no subject at all.  Keep in mind that the receiver receives a lot of emails.  A well defined subject makes it easier to judge the importance of an email.  Moreover alot of users file their emails by subject. 

Eg.  Urgent question concerning the programme of the master of Biology


Start with the right form of addressing

An email can be compared to a letter.  One has a large variety of ways of addressing one can use, ranging from highly informal to very formal.  In the communication with a professor, an assistant or  administration it is best to use a more formal form of addressing eg. Dear professor, Dear  Mrs ..., Dear Mr. ....  If the receiver has indicated that you can use their first name,  you may say Dear + first name. 


Use a clear structure in your email

Start with introducing yourself.  Give your name, the name of the programma you are taking and the phase you are in.  Also mention the name of the course you have a question about.  Most professors and assistants have more than one course.  For questions concerning ISP of Toledo it is very useful to also mention your student number. 


Use an appropriate ending

The ending must be at the same level as your addressing.  The standard ending is ' kind regards', you can also use 'Yours sincerely'. It is always nice to end with an appreciation of thanks.


Use a clear signature


You can use the standard signature.  This is optional for most email programmes.  You can put your name and contact data in this signature. 


Example of an email

You can find an example here