How to Communicate With Your Professor

If you get nervous thinking about talking with your professor then this article will help you overcome those feelings.


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    Remember they are there to help you. The tuition you are paying to your school helps to pay your professor's salary, so you shouldn't think of them as an omnipotent authority figure. Also, most teachers at this level are passionate about their subject and want students to understand and succeed.
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    Review what you are going to say. If you are very nervous, practicing in front of the mirror may help. At least plan out the basics of what you need to say to your professor; this will help eliminate stammering and rambling. Bring a post-it note with the topics that you need to cover so that you do not forget anything.
    • If you are asking a favor, like an extension for a deadline or a letter of recommendation, be prepared that they might say no.
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    • If you're asking for help with the subject, there's really nothing to be afraid of! The worst that will probably happen is that the professor won't help you understand--in that case, you'll just need to ask classmates for help, or get a tutor.
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    Approach him or her at the end of class, as you may feel more comfortable around your professor after you've just spent an hour or so in their presence. If there is a mob of students already waiting to talk to the professor, check your syllabus to see when you can come in for office hours. This might sound scary, but it's a great time to build a positive relationship with a professor.
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    Be aware of options other than face-to-face communication. If you are simply too nervous to talk to him or her in person, there is probably an e-mail address where you can reach them.


  • If you always address your professors as "Professor Last name" you will not offend them. Not every professor has a Doctorate yet, and those who have one will not be offended by being addressed in this manner.
  • Get a friend to go up with you, if you are too nervous to go by yourself.


  • Asking for favors at the last minute is not the way to establish positive communication with your professor.

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Categories: College and University Study Techniques