How to Start and End an Email

My dearest readers,

Ever need to write a peer/TA/prof/friend/family/person-in-general an email? We all have (I think). But ever have trouble deciding how to use that strict email/letter writing etiquette to establish the tone of your email? I mean we can’t start every email off with “Dear You-Person-Name-Goes-Here,” because well, sometimes that’s odd. Think about it, is that TA who ratters on without care about your understanding of the topic actually “dear” to you?

So I’ve searched vast and wide on the interwebs to find other ways of starting and ending emails. I will rank my findings from Formal to Casual. Let’s start with the starts!

Beginning Greetings

Note: T.= Title (Eg. Prof., Dr., etc)


For use with Profs and administrative people; USE SURNAMES ONLY

  • Dear T. Name,
  • Greetings T. Name,
  • Salutations T. Name,
  • To T. Name,
  • T. Name:


For use with TAs, Grad students, Very Upper years and Profs/Admin whom you know well. Note: For grad students, upper years and other people without titles, it is acceptable to use their first name without a title!

  • Dear (T.) Name,
  • Hi T. Name,
  • Hey T. Name,
  • T. Name,


For use with Friends, Peers (people who are not on a higher social scale than you in the University Society ladder), Upper years, Grad students and TAs you know well and very chilled Profs/admin

  • Hey Name,
  • Hi Name,
  • How’s life Name?
  • Yo/Sup/etc. Name! (Note: this is VERY casual… strongly recommended for use with chilled profs who’re curious about hip youngster slang)

Ending Greetings


For use with profs/admin; but you don’t want to overdo it too much. Recommended only for first time emailing them. Stick to the semi-formal after you’re generally acquainted

  • Sincerely,
  • Yours,
  • Yours truly,
  • Yours respectably,
  • Salutations,


For use with profs/admin who you are generally acquainted with or whom are not extremely uptight/strict. Also good for TAs, grad students and the rest.

  • Regards,
  • Kindest regards,
  • Thank you, (If you were asking for help of any sort)
  • Hope to hear back soon,


For use with most TAs, grad students and upper-years (so long as they know you). Great for peers and lower-year students seeking advice. You wouldn’t want them to think you’re an uptight know-it-all upper year now would you?

  • Cheers,
  • Best wishes,
  • Thanks,
  • Shine on,
  • All the best,
  • Godspeed,

Always feel free to change around the format of your greetings, add some words together, take some apart. It’s your email, make it an art!

Also, a good idea for your ending signature is to have an actual signature. This is good for more formalized emails. Of course since you’re emailing you can’t create an awesomely fancy signature by hand. Instead it’s just a block of text that you can somewhat stylize to be easy going on the eyes. A good example would be something of the following sort:

Full Name
Program of Study
Candidate for Honours Bachelor of  Your Degree
University of Toronto
(Phone number or alternate email)

And with that I shall wish you fun in your emailing endeavours. I personally love emailing to the point that I probably send out an average of 10 emails every day. It’s a great way of staying in touch with friends you met during Frosh week who are in your program and you’ll probably never ever see again.

Sincerely yours with the kindest regards and best wishes,

<Please imagine a fancy hand-written signature here>

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