Drop/Add Email Etiquette

When corresponding online, you are not there in person to represent yourself; always be polite, formal, and respectful.

Organized by Haley Brumberger

General Email Tips

  • Keep it as short/brief as possible
  • Use formal language
  • Address the recipient by the most formal title they have
    • Dr.
    • Mr., Mrs., or Ms.
    • Professor
  • Be as succinct as possible in the subject line
  • When appropriate, include the course code and name in the subject line AND body of the email
  • Sign with a "Thank you" and your full name and class year
See more on general tips for managing your email.

Tips for Drop/Add Emails

There is also a post from The Wesleyan Writing Blog on Drop/Add and Email Etiquette.
  • Formatting the email

    Subject Line: Course Code & Name

    Dear Professor ______,

    1. Introduce yourself (include class year), and give any relevant background/reminder of who you are (if you have met/talked before)
    2. If applicable, what you have already done to try to get into the class (i.e. pre-reg rankings, drop/add rankings, etc.)
    3. Express interest, especially with the notion that you are really excited/passionate about the class and why
    4. Explain your preparation/what you would bring to the class, or a tangible reason that you want/need to be in the class (i.e. your prospective major requires it, you have background in the subject/course, etc.)
    5. Sometimes it's appropriate to include an offer to meet with the professor if you would feel comfortable, or an understanding statement about taking it in the future (if applicable)

    Best/Sincerely/Thank you so much,

    Full Name & Class Year

  • Email template

    Dear Professor ____,

    My name is _______, and I am a ____-year student. I am writing to express my [keen/sincere/enthusiastic (or other adjective here)] interest in your [  title  ] course.

    I am planning to pursue the ___ major and this course would be an important foundation OR (Language specific) I hope to study abroad in ____ and would like to establish/refine (or other verb here) my language skills. (If applicable) I have studied __ for ___years and I hope to continue my studies as Wesleyan. OR This course aligns with my interests in ______. [Be succinct & clear here]

    [Explain what you bring the course... this step is often more relevant sophomore year and beyond or for POI courses, but may be helpful here. Keep it short]

    [If applicable, mention that you tried to get into class during pre-registration/adjustment/etc/have ranked it first]

    [If true, explain that you plan to visit the first class]

    Thank you for your consideration,

    [Your full name and class year]

  • Email example

    Subject Line: ENGL123: Introduction to Poetry

    Dear Professor LastName,

    Hello! My name is Haley Brumberger; I am a sophomore and a prospective English major. I was enrolled in your American Literature from the War lecture at the beginning of this past semester, and we met briefly about my course dilemmas. Unfortunately, I then had to drop it due to some scheduling tetris.

    Now, however, I am reaching out to express interest in your ENGL123: Introduction to Poetry class. I was drawn by the course description, but I also love writing poetic-style prose and want to work more with poetry, not only in my own writing but also in an academic setting. I know it would add to my appreciation for and interest in poetry if I took a class that focused on it, and I would love for that class to be yours!

    I have currently ranked it #1 for Drop/Add – I also ranked it #1 during Pre-Registration – but I wanted to reach out as early as possible so as to maximize my chance of getting in should anyone drop it. If you keep a waitlist, please add my name! I plan on attending the first class.

    All of that aside, if it doesn't work out next semester, I will definitely be trying again in the future. Thank you so much for your time! I hope work with you soon.


    Haley Brumberger '20