My IDS class has just started today and I am the only student. I have not received any email from the professor and no assignments or due dates. I cannot determine if he is waiting for me to show that I am independent, or if he is just very busy.

We had a 1 week break between semesters, and during that time I have solved some problems from the textbook. Now I am trying to determining whether I should type them up and email the to my professor today.

On one hand, I want to show my professor that I am motivated and can work by myself. On the other hand, it is not my intention to put pressure on him to grade my work right away; maybe he was expecting to deal with me only 1-2 weeks into the semester. What should I do?

1 Answer 1


I think you're wasting too much time psychoanalyzing your professor. If the semester has already started and he has not reached out, it's fine to e-mail your professor to set up a meeting.

I will advise hold on to the problem set answers for now. In the meeting, you can definitely mention the prep work you have done and you're enthusiastic about this opportunity. Focus on setting up a study plan, including the preferred frequency and forms of meeting, deliverables, and evaluation criteria, etc.

  • Would you have any tips for composing the email? So far I've asked if we can set up the meeting and offered my available times, but it seems a bit dry for my first contact with him in weeks.
    – Helix
    May 15, 2017 at 17:03
  • 5
    Dear Prof. XX, I am excited about my independent study course. Could I come in and talk with you about it? Here are some times that work for me: x, y, z. May 16, 2017 at 2:12

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