When Should You Email the Professor? College Life / Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

I was online with my classes this afternoon, which is completely normal when my online classes are in session. It is my goal to be there every day. It is even more important, in my mind, to show up right before a deadline when I have new students in my classes, which was the case today.

Even when an assignment isn’t worth much, new students are especially worried about messing up. That’s understandable. Emailing the professor is a great way to get your questions answered about an assignment. I would, however, highly recommend that you not wait until the day before an assignment is due to start asking questions. Waiting until the day of is pure insanity.

Instead, try to look over your week’s assignments as soon as the week begins, if not sooner. That way, you aren’t sending panic emails to the professor all afternoon when an assignment is due that night. Most of us are not waiting by our computers to see who waited until the last minute to begin researching an assignment.

If you do have a boatload of questions, getting a head start on the assignment means that you will get your answers before the true panic sets in. As a longtime professor, I am happy to clarify things for you. I am not so happy to do this at 10 pm when the assignment is due at 11:30 pm. In fact, I am asleep by then. I was not even remotely happy with the student a few years back who looked up my home phone number to ask me a question at midnight. She didn’t even apologize for waking me up! She got mad at me for being asleep! Go figure.

So, start early, and do ask questions. Just ask them before the 11th hour!


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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