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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.)

Email etiquette

  • 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 communicating with you via email!

  • Adapted from Purdue Writing Lab