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Email Etiquette. Advice for Emailing Your Teachers. Why is Email Etiquette Important? . Email is now a major aspect of student-teacher interaction Both teachers and students need to know how to communicate clearly and effectively via email

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email etiquette

Email Etiquette

Advice for Emailing Your Teachers

why is email etiquette important
Why is Email Etiquette Important?
  • Email is now a major aspect of student-teacher interaction
  • Both teachers and students need to know how to communicate clearly and effectively via email
  • It is important to know what is and isn’t appropriate email communication
  • Students often think they know how to email teachers. You would be surprised, however, by how often my colleagues and I are astonished by the content of student emails. Before emailing your other professors or me, be sure to follow the common-sense rules outlined in this power-point.
elements of email etiquette
Elements of Email Etiquette
  • Basics
  • Tone
  • Attachments
  • Complaints
  • Good topics for email
  • Bad topics for email
the basics
The Basics
  • When emailing a teacher, always include your full name, class period or section
  • Include a brief, yet informative subject line


  • Joe Smith, MWF 8:00-9:00 a.m.
  • Subject: ENG101: Essay #2 Proposal
the basics1
The Basics
  • Think twice about whether or not the content of your email is appropriate for virtual correspondence - once you hit Send, anyone might be able to read it.
  • Keep the email brief
  • Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors—consider emails a form of professional correspondence
  • Use an easy-to-read font
  • Always include appropriate greetings & closings (i.e. Dear Dr. Jones, Best Wishes, etc.)
  • Write in a positive tone
    • WhenI complete the assignment versus If I complete the assignment
  • Avoid using negative words
  • Use smiles , winks ;-) and other symbols only when appropriate—(I personally use these symbols and don’t mind if you do, too. Other teachers, however, may dislike them.)
  • Use contractions to add a friendly tone
  • Consider that tone can be perceived differently in writing than in face-to-face situations
  • When you are sending attachments, include in the filename your last name and the title of the work
    • Attached: “Smith_Project3Proposal.doc”
  • Only submit files using a Microsoft Word document
  • Consider including the content of your document in the body of your email in case it cannot be opened
  • Only submit attachments if we have made prior arrangements or if you are experiencing extenuating circumstances
  • Briefly state the history of the problem
  • Explain attempts you made to resolve the issue
  • Show why it is critical for your problem to be resolved via email
  • Offer suggestions on ways you think it can be resolved or how you are willing to help
good topics for email
Good Topics for Email
  • You should email me if:
    • You have an easy question that can be answered in a paragraph or less
    • A question regarding assignment clarification
    • You have an assignment that you have been invited to submit via email or due to extenuating circumstances
    • To set up an office visit
    • To share something cool you have done!
bad topics for email
Bad Topics for Email
  • You should not email me with:
    • Submission of electronic documents without prior permission unless there are extenuating circumstances
    • Questions that are answered on the course syllabus, schedule, handouts, or in-class
    • Permission for an assignment extension without reasonable cause (i.e. my alarm didn’t go off)
    • Last-minute questions on assignments. (i.e. midnight before an assignment is due)
bad topics for email cont
Bad Topics for Email, Cont.
  • Questions regarding missed in-class work or assignments, unless there are extenuating circumstances
  • Topics that require continuous conversation
  • Questions about grades (always see me in person)
  • Questions about conference times
  • Excuses
responding to emails
Responding to Emails
  • I will always try to respond to emails within 24 hours of receipt
  • I usually do not respond to emails late in the evening or on Saturdays
  • If my response does not clarify things for you, by all means please follow-up!
final comments
Final Comments
  • I enjoy communicating with students via email. Don’t be afraid to send me an email, but do make sure that your email topics are appropriate.
  • I enjoy interacting with students and want you to visit me before/after class and during my office hours. Avoid substituting an email for face-to-face time.
  • If you send me a message that constitutes a “bad” email topic, I will likely not respond to you or refer to you the appropriate course materials.
works cited
Works Cited
  • Adapted from Purdue Writing Lab