In a certain STEM graduate course, my professor made a claim and provided an solution without showing any derivations. After doing this, he mentioned that the students should derive the solution at home. I was able to derive the solution, but I was uncertain about some parts of my derivation. Basically, I wasn't sure if I was "right for the wrong reasons." As a result, I typed up my work and emailed it to my professor and mentioned my uncertainty. A part of his response was the following:

"Your work is so thorough!"

Is it appropriate to respond with the following:

Dear Dr. _______, Thank you very much. Sincerely, _______

Does this response seem like I am proud of the compliment? Does it make me seem arrogant? Or is this short response appropriate?

Note: My professor is in my grandparents' generation. He is from Eastern Europe.

Note: I always say "Thank you very much" to any professor's email, but all such emails were NEVER responses to compliments. This is not the first time I have taken a class taught by this professor.

  • 5
    "Thank you very much" is surely ok, but as a stand-alone statement a bit bland. I would write one additional sentence along the lines of "I appreciate your positive feedback and am glad to hear that I'm on the right track." Oct 8 at 14:50
  • 4
    Dear Dr. _______, Thank you very much. (Blushing madly) Sincerely, _______
    – Buffy
    Oct 8 at 15:40

There’s nothing wrong with thanking your professor for complimenting you. Though I think adding just a bit more will make it more heartfelt.

  • 3
    "I greatly value your opinion of my work." Though the split infinitive might not work in an English course. ;-)
    – Buffy
    Oct 8 at 15:47

This is fine: it's simple and professional. Your professor is very busy and, while they will appreciate your thanks, they are not going to spend more than a few seconds thinking about the phrasing :-)

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