Top 6 DO's and DONT's of Talking to Your Professors

Communication can pretty much make or break any relationship, whether it's romantic, between siblings or amongst close friends.

This rule also applies to communicating with your professors!

Ellen Bremen, M.A. a tenured communication studies faculty at Highline Community College in Seattle, Wash., and the author of "Say This, NOT That to Your Professor: 36 Talking Tips for College Success" breaks down some DOs and DON'Ts of chatting with your professor.

Ellen also blogs with insider student-professor communication tips as The Chatty Professor and madly tweets @ChattyProf.

Here are some examples below - to read Ellen's full article on USA TODAY College, please click here.

Instead of saying, "Will this be on the test?" say, "I used my notes and textbook and downloaded your lectures and PowerPoints to create a study guide for our upcoming exam. Would you look and see if I've missed any major areas?"

Here's why: No need to mine for test gold and lose credibility. Show your professor you think all content is worthwhile. You won't have questions handed to you, but you may get an assist if you've skipped a critical study area.

Instead of saying, "I've missed four classes, but can I still pass?" say, "I missed the last four classes, which was unavoidable. I do not plan to be absent again. I've reviewed the attendance and late-work policy on the syllabus. I calculated my lost points. Here is what I propose to catch myself up (submit your proposal), based on your policies. Have I missed anything in my calculations? I believe I can still pass if we agree on the dates I will submit this work, according to your policy and penalties."

Here's why: Your professor may have zero tolerance for absences. Still, a well-thought-out proposal has a chance. Asking your professor to save you likely doesn't.

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