Source: National On-Campus Report, 1993
Make an appointment
Review the syllabus for your instructor's office hours. Go to his/her office during these times. If you are uncertain of your instructor's office hours, ask for them. If your schedule conflicts with the office hours, tell your instructor why you can't make the scheduled office hours. Then tell him/her about your concern. Set up a specific time to meet with your instructor. Be use to indicate the amount of time you think you'll need.
Establish a rapport
Be on time for your appointment. When you arrive, be pleasant, smile, introduce yourself again (include your name and class), and shake hands if appropriate.
Present your concern
Focus on the specific things you have identified as problematic.
Provide background information
Explain the study strategies you have used to understand the material. Briefly tell your instructor about your background and preparation for the course - if relevant to resolving the problem.
Redirect for clarification
If the instructor's explanation isn't clear, redirect his/her attention to the specific point where you become confused. Talk through your problem so that the instructor hears your reasoning.
Summarize resolution of the problem
Example: "I was missing his step. . ." or "I need to apply this formula. . ."
Thank your instructor
Ask to come back if necessary.