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Email Etiquette

Adapted from the Purdue
University Writing Lab
Based on

Why Is Email Etiquette Important?  We all interact with the printed word as though it has a personality and that personality makes positive and negative impressions upon us.  Without immediate feedback your document can easily be misinterpreted by your reader. . so it is crucial that you follow the basic rules of etiquette to construct an appropriate tone.

My Email Policies: General      I will respond to your email quickly. you still have questions: ask for a quick response. (I spend quite a bit of time online and check email frequently. Ask questions early. A respectful and professional email will receive a more favorable response than an abrupt. I cannot help if I do not know there is a problem. carelessly written one.) Use sthomas@weber. . If after reading a response from me.

 Before you ask questions about the points/grade you received. .  I expect you to use these comments to improve your future writing assignments.Responding to Grading Questions I comment on each writing assignment. please read the comments carefully.

The Elements of Email Etiquette  General format  Writing long messages  Attachments  The curse of surprises  Using a professional tone .

skiguy01@yahoo does not tell me who you are). Better yet. Avoid text-message-type (ex. Dr. use your Wildcat email address.General Format: The Basics      Write a clear subject line (ex. Try to keep the email brief (one screen length). R U 4getting s/thing?). ENGL 3100 MWF 8:30 ) or 9:30) – Proposal Question. Write a salutation for each email (ex. and grammatical errors. Use a font that has a professional or neutral look. . Thomas:). Check for punctuation. spelling. Format your email for plain text rather than HTML.      Include a closing with your name (ex.). Use caps when appropriate.

 Set your email preferences to automatically wrap outgoing plain text messages.General Format: Character Spacing  Try to keep your line length at 65 characters or less. keep it to 60 characters or less. .  If your message is likely to be forwarded.

1) Place the paper in drawer A. number your directions or bullet your main points. For example.General Format: Lists and Bullets When you are writing directions or want to emphasize important points. Another example. I have a couple of questions: • How can we improve customer satisfaction? • Will the proposal empower employees? . 2) Click the green “start” button.

.). Use contractions to add a friendly tone. winks . (don’t. and other graphical symbols only when appropriate. won’t. can’t).” instead of “If you ever finish grading … ” • • Use smiles .General Format: Tone • Write in a positive tone “When you complete grading this assignment.

what program it is saved in. and the version of the program.docx) under the name “LabFile.doc or .Attachments   When you are sending an attachment tell your recipient what the name of the file is.docx” If you use an open source word processor send files as RTF or PDF. The attached file is in MSWord (. . Ex.

When Your Message Is Long     Warn the readers that the message is long. Create headings for each major section (as appropriate). Create a summary or overview of the message. If you require a specific response from the reader then be sure to request that response in the first paragraph of your email (perhaps using a list). .

I am better able to answer your questions if you ask them early within an assignment or the semester. (I am a terrible mind reader. Express questions or concerns when you have them. rather than accumulating them.Avoid Surprises or Last Minute Requests • • • Do not wait until the last minute to introduce a problem or concern via email.) .

Taking Professors by Surprise    Complaints about grades and projects should generally be discussed in person. Using a professional tone when voicing concerns about grades or policies will be received more favorably than: “Why did I get this grade?????” . Express your concerns or questions in a timely manner.

.Using a Professional Tone • • Flaming is a virtual term for venting or sending inflammatory messages in email. What you say cannot be taken back. it is in black and white. Avoid flaming because it tends to create a great deal of conflict that spirals out of control. • • Flame fights are the equivalent of food fights and tend to affect observers in a very negative way.

.  Read your message twice before you send it and assume that you may be misinterpreted when proofreading.Keep Flaming under Control • • Before you send an email message. Once you send the message it is gone. “would I say this to this person’s face?” Calm down before responding to a message that offends you. ask yourself.

thank them for bringing the matter to your attention Explain what led to the problem in question    Avoid getting bogged down by details and minor arguments If you are aware that the situation is in the process of being resolved let the reader know at the top of the response Apologize if necessary .Responding to a Flame    Empathize with the sender’s frustration and tell them they are right if that is true If you feel you are right.

.When Email Won’t Work  There are times when you need to take your discussion out of the virtual world and speak to the recipient in person.