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Re: Help! R U There?. Effective E-mail in the 21st Century September 6, 2006 * Kerry F. Cantwell [email protected] Effective E-mail. The Goal The Reality The Problem Likely Causes Possible Solutions. Computer Weekly estimates that, last year, 36 BILLION e-mails were sent

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Re help r u there

Re: Help! R U There?

Effective E-mail in the 21st Century

September 6, 2006 * Kerry F. Cantwell

[email protected]

Effective e mail

Effective E-mail

  • The Goal

  • The Reality

  • The Problem

  • Likely Causes

  • Possible Solutions

Re help r u there

  • Computer Weekly estimates that, last year, 36 BILLION e-mails were sent



What s the big deal

What’s the Big Deal?

E-mail is:

  • Cheap

  • Fast

  • Efficient

    • No worries about time and time zones

    • Broadcast messages to groups (Sherwood)

  • Unintrusive

  • Equalizing

  • Faceless

The reality

The Reality

From:[email protected]

To:[email protected]

Date:  Monday - September 4, 2006 7:08 PM

Subject:  Class

i missed clas this week what did i miss?

The reality1

The Reality

Forum: Week One: Icebreaker

Date: 08-18-2006 17:59

Author: Student [email protected]

Subject feel real outcasted

Wooow, i never knew that yall was gone sit here and communicate wit each other the way yall is, now i feel left out fo real, so i'm sayin if anyone wants to ask aj anything yall is more than welcome too..that especially means u jessey wessey ;-)

lol but fo real ok i'ma give yall a lil bit more about me cuse i know the first one was a lil bit brief, my bday is june 17th, my hobbies is hangin out wit folks and talkin to ppl (dependin on who u are), i aint got a major yet cuse i'm an real indecisive person (which i'm workin on) but i do wanna own my own business one day and um i've been growin my hair for 9 years and such, and my ethnicity is cherokee, blackhawk, and black, and um in case ya aint kno i'm the guy that came in late wit the locks and glasses.

i think thas about enough for right now..

holla @ m

The problem

The Problem

  • Tone

    • Hostile

    • Casual

    • Unclear

  • Unclear messages

  • Unnecessarily lengthy messages (captive audience?)

  • Lack of non-verbal communication

  • Spelling, grammar, and mechanics

  • Slow response time (“E-mail Etiquette”)

  • “Privacy is not guaranteed” (“Appropriate Use”).

The causes

The Causes

  • Technology

    • Text messaging

  • Culture of instant gratification

  • Lack of empathetic review

  • Unclear expectations

  • Poor modeling



  • Appropriate use policy (“E-mail Netiquette”)


  • Network etiquette

  • Syllabus policies

Appropriate use policy

Appropriate Use Policy

The College’s Rights

The Individual’s Responsibilities

Other Limitations and Warnings

  • Resource limits may be imposed on all systems. Users must abide by any resource limits set.

  • Privacy is not guaranteed. While there are technical and administrative policies in place that should protect computer information, computer data security is never perfect.

  • Unauthorized computer users may be able to breach security restrictions and gain access to your files.

  • Misdirected email is not uncommon. If email is considered confidential, it should be sent by other means.

  • Systems administrators and other staff members may require access to files on any Durham Tech computers to perform audits or resolve technical problems. The college has the right to monitor email transmission over its internal computer network. Legal mandates regarding confidentiality will be observed by computer staff when accessing data files.

  • Users are responsible for backing up their data.


    (“Appropriate Use”)

Guidelines for subject lines

Guidelines for Subject Lines

  • Remove the Re: Re: Re: Re: re: re: Re:

  • Be specific in your subject line.

  • Do not overuse the URGENT or high-priority options

  • Be brief.



  • Network etiquette (“netiquette”) guidelines exist to ensure

    • Professionalism

    • Efficiency

    • Protection from liability (“E-mail Etiquette”)

Guidelines for content and style sending e mail

Guidelines for Content and StyleSending E-mail

  • An e-mail message is a written record. Do not write anything you would not say in public (“Harness E-Mail”).

  • Include a greeting.

  • Consider your tone.

  • Read over your message BEFORE sending.

  • Review the address line BEFORE sending.

Sending e mail

Sending E-mail

  • Be specific and brief.

  • Use white space.


  • Use “emoticons” to let people know when you are joking. :) ;)

  • Angry? Do NOT start typing.Do not use e-mail to chastise others. This is called a “flame” and will come back to haunt you.

Sending e mail1

Sending E-mail

  • Make expectations clear. Need a response? Ask for it by a specific date (Hughes).

  • Avoid text message-style abbreviations like BTW or LOL.

  • Don’t be seduced by formatting options.

  • ALWAYS include your name and contact information


Responding to e mail

Responding to E-mail

  • Be a forgiving reader (Fowler 829).

  • Answer all questions.

  • Respond as promptly as you can (“E-mail Etiquette”)

  • Only forward an e-mail with permission.

Guidelines for syllabus policies

Guidelines for Syllabus Policies

  • Let them know your expectations.

  • State policies about appropriate language via e-mail.

  • State policies about appropriate e-mail addresses.

  • Give examples of the types of communication you expect.

Guidelines for syllabus policies1

Guidelines for Syllabus Policies

From:  [email protected]

To:  [email protected]  

Date:  Tuesday - September 5, 2006 7:08 PM

Subject:  OLC student enrollment request

Dear Laura,

Per her request attached here, please enroll Lucy Jones in the Online Writing Center. She is a student in my English 111 course this semester.

Thanks for your help. Let me know if you have any questions.

--kerry cantwell

Kerry F. Cantwell

English Instructor--Arts, Sciences, and University Transfer

Durham Technical Community College

1637 Lawson Street

Durham, NC 27703


[email protected]

Guidelines for syllabus policies2

Guidelines for Syllabus Policies

  • Example from my policies:

    You MUST include your name, your course (Eng 112), and your section number (190) in all e-mails you send to me. I have gotten too many e-mail messages from people who don't identify themselves or who ask me an assignment question without identifying what class they are taking. Save me the headache of having to look up each and every one of you when you e-mail me. Thanks so much!



  • Remember: your e-mail is NOT private.

  • Model behaviors.

  • Set reasonable expectations up front.

  • Be brief.

  • Be specific.

  • Be accountable.

Works cited

Works Cited

“Appropriate Use of Computing Resources Policy.” Durham Technical Community College. 2006. 5 Sept. 2006 <>.

Collett, Peter. “Neglect of E-mail Etiquette Can Ruin Business Relationships.” Computer Weekly 23 Nov. 2004: 36.

“E-mail Etiquette.” E-mail 2004. 5 Sept. 2006 <>.

“E-mail Netiquette.” Yale University Library. 2006. 5 Sept. 2006 <>.

Fowler, H. Ramsey, ed. The Little, Brown Handbook. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.

“Harness E-Mail: E-Mail Etiquette.” Learn the Net. 6 Jan. 2006. 5 Sept. 2006 <>.

Hughes, Stephanie Williams. “Email Etiquette.” OWL at Purdue University. 2002. 5 Sept. 2006 <>.

Sherwood, Kaitlin Duck. “A Beginner’s Guide to Effective Email.” World Wide Webfoot Press. 23 May 2001. 5 Sept. 2006 <>.

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