Do professors sometimes miss your email?

<p>I'm asking about a question and did not get a reply. (It's outside of class question).
Should I email back and ask if he got my email? Is it rude?</p>

<p>Sometimes you have to email back. Professors get an extraordinary amount of crap in their inboxes on a daily basis, so it is very often that they miss things, ignore things or forget about things. It doesn't help that most professors are a bit spacey to boot. Definite emailing again... tactfully.</p>

<p>I'm a professor. I get about 100 emails a day and sometimes I'm travelling or overcommitted in other ways - I'm teaching 3 sections with several hundred students, I'm running a lab, I'm in meetings for committees I serve on, I'm giving talks at other universities, I'm meeting grad students, revising papers, talking to the coauthors, dealing with university issues, talking to consultants- so I may not respond right away. I work right now about 60 hours a week and I'm not spacey but I'm really busy AND I still answer all my students emails within 24 hours. But I tell them that upfront. But like people in general, some are very conscientious about responding to emails (from anyone) and some are not. I have colleagues like this- some that answer right away, some that never seem to answer, some that are hit or miss. Its not personal, its just a different working style. If you think profs don't answer emails readily...just wait until you get into companies. </p>

<p>On occasion a student will somehow think I should respond in hours or they resend it (that is annoying). But if it's time sensitive or it's been say four days without a response, you might just ask them in person when you get to class. Just say, "I wasn't sure if you had a chance to look at my email but I wanted to ask..." BTW, outside of class questions CAN be answered in person after class or during office hours, it doesn't have to be via email. </p>

<p>If an answer isn't essential within a few days and a week has passed, you should follow up via email by resending the original and writing at the top. "I realize you are busy and probably have a very full inbox so I hope you don't mind, but I'm resending my email in case the last one didn't make it through".</p>

<p>Thanks for the answer starbright.
I decided to wait and he answered my email within a day.</p>

<p>Didn't know professors read forums,too haha.</p>

<p>starbright, I have a quick question (sorry to hijack, but it seems like it's already resolved).</p>

<p>Do you find replies from students with a simple "thank you" to be annoying?</p>

<p>It shows appreciation, but can clutter your inbox more.</p>

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<p>Wait, you hadn't even waited a day? I usually wait like 5 days before I follow up. Why didn't you say this in the first place? haha</p>

<p>^ Lol. I can't believe you were asking this and a day hadn't passed. </p>

<p>I don't mind thank yous at all. I guess it might be a personal preference but its easy to delete (and really when you have so many emails and spam, one thank you email isn't going to annoy you). It just seems professional. I always err on the side of saying thanks to people. You'd be surprised how rare it is. We should all show more gratitude. So like if someone gives you advice, or sends you a job lead, or makes a recommendation, or answers your question about the homework assignment, or interviews you for a job- just follow up with a simply thank you. If nothing more, you at least know the person read it! </p>

<p>Another good idea is if a prof writes you a letter of recommendation for a job opportunity, or a reference for a competition or scholarship, or anything like that: follow up! If people put in the effort they obviously care about you so they are usually really curious to know how it turned out! Even if it wasn't good news. Plus you probably will need them again in the future.</p>