How to Write a Letter to a Professor

Writing a thank you letter to anyone can be a daunting task. How should you begin? What should you say? How should you close? One of the most important things to acknowledge is this: Who is the thank you letter for? In this case, the letter will be for a professor. I will break down how to do this in several easy steps.

STEP ONE

Never begin a thank you letter to a professor with the word ‘to’. It is not formal enough, and is also quite cold. The best word that you can use to begin this is, ‘dear’. It sounds warm and soft, and shows that the person writing the letter cares. After the word ‘dear’, you would of course write the professor’s name. It is better to use only their last name. Below is an example:

Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss (insert name)

If, for some reason, you do not know the professor’s name, you could begin the letter something like this:

To whom it may concern.

This is a standard opening for a letter, and would be acceptable.

STEP TWO

The second step is almost like the introduction, body, and conclusion of an essay. You write what you are thanking the professor about, and from there you tell them what you got out of their class, or whatever you happen to be thanking them about. After that, you write what could be considered a conclusion, essentially reviewing what you were thanking the professor about. Below is an example of what that might look like:

Thank you for being so available both before and after class. I understand that you are a very busy individual, both at the university and at home. Allowing me to see you after hours really benefited me in my studies. Because you offered your knowledge and expertise outside of your office hours, I passed the final exam with a great score. I didn’t think that I would even pass your course because of how poorly I had done in your previous exams, and I wish I had spoken to you about the subject earlier.

Once again, thank you for seeing me when you did not have to. I hope that your summer is filled with fun, relaxing things, and that you stay safe.

STEP THREE

Now, there are several ways that you can close a professional letter. ‘Thanks’ simply isn’t formal enough, and ‘love’ should be reserved for loved ones and family members. So then, what should be used for this particular letter? Below are several examples of acceptable closing statements:

Sincerely

Kind Regards

Best Regards

After you have chosen which closing statement you will be using, you should write your name underneath it. It should look something like this:

Kind Regards,

(Name)

Once you have completed these three steps, your letter is both complete and professional. Your professor will be extremely pleased to receive the letter from you, and you will feel great yourself. Never forget to thank someone, even if it is just a simple pat on the back or a verbal thank you.