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How to Write a Sick Absence Email to Your Professor

Published on
November 22, 2023
When you find yourself too unwell to attend class or meet academic commitments, it's essential to communicate your situation to your professors respectfully and professionally. Writing a sick absence email to your professor is a crucial skill for every student. 

When you find yourself too unwell to attend class or meet academic commitments, it's essential to communicate your situation to your professors respectfully and professionally. Writing a sick absence email to your professor is a crucial skill for every student. 

In this article, we will explore the best practices and provide a sample template to guide you through the process of crafting a well-structured and effective email.

Things to Remember for Writing a Sick Absence Email

  • Promptness:¬†Notify your professor as soon as you realize you won't be able to attend class or meet an academic obligation due to illness. Early communication allows them to make necessary arrangements and support you.
  • Be honest:¬†Always describe your situation honestly and accurately. Professors appreciate transparency, and it helps them better understand your needs.
  • Politeness:¬†Maintain a respectful and polite tone throughout your email. Address your professor appropriately, using their title (e.g., Dr., Professor) and your name.
  • Clarity and conciseness:¬†Keep your email concise and to the point. Professors have busy schedules, so be clear about your situation and your request for accommodation.
  • Follow guidelines:¬†If your institution has specific policies or procedures for requesting sick absences, follow them. This may include providing documentation from a healthcare professional.

Best Practices for Writing a Sick Absence Email

  • Start with a polite greeting:¬†Begin your email with a respectful greeting, addressing your professor by their title and name (e.g., "Dear Professor Smith").
  • State the purpose:¬†In the opening paragraph, clearly state the reason for your email: requesting a sick absence due to illness.
  • Provide details:¬†In the body of the email, explain your situation briefly. Mention the specific date(s) you will be absent, the class or commitment affected, and the nature of your illness.
  • Mention your willingness to make up missed work:¬†Assure your professor of your commitment to catching up on missed assignments, readings, or lectures. Offer a tentative plan for how you intend to do so.
  • Request accommodation:¬†Politely request any necessary accommodations, such as an assignment extension or clarification on missed content.
  • Offer documentation:¬†If your institution requires, mention your willingness to provide a medical certificate or other relevant documentation.

Sample Sick Absence Email Template

Subject: Sick Absence Request for [Course Name] - [Your Full Name]

Dear Professor [Professor's Last Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to inform you that due to a sudden illness, I will not be able to attend [specific class or commitment] on [date(s)].

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and understand the importance of the material covered during this time. I am committed to staying on top of my coursework and catching up on any missed content as soon as possible. I plan to [briefly mention your plan for making up missed work, such as attending office hours or reviewing recorded lectures].

I will provide documentation from a healthcare professional to support my absence if required.

Thank you for your understanding, and I look forward to your guidance on how best to proceed in my absence. Please let me know if you recommend any specific steps or accommodations during this time.

I appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Student ID]

[Your Contact Information]

Conclusion

Writing a sick absence email to your professor is a necessary and professional way to communicate your situation when illness prevents you from attending class or fulfilling academic obligations. 

By following the best practices and using the sample template provided in this article, you can ensure that your communication is clear, respectful, and effective, allowing you and your professor to manage the situation efficiently and with minimal disruption to your studies.

We trust that you found this blog post valuable. Dive into a vast collection of email templates and content focused on best practices over at the Routine Blog. Your readership is much appreciated.

About the author
Shiva Prabhakaran

Shiva is a subject matter expert in communication, marketing, productivity, and learning systems. He has previously contributed to many blogs and newsletters, including Validated, Mental Models, HackerNoon, and several brands. You can find Shiva on LinkedIn or email him at shiva(at)routine.co.

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