Email Etiquette: texting is killing it


Because you got someones email address off the faculty list doesn’t mean you can skip etiquette. Or proper grammar, spelling and basic sentence structure.

Don’t roll your eyes.  What you learned while communicating with your peers is not the same as proper communicating in emails. Meet people properly.  Market yourself with style.

I reviewed information on memo format and email etiquette at a variety of sources online and in some old books on etiquette after listening to the frustration from my wife, the Professor, as she vented about some of the emails she receives from college students.

She’s received emails like the two below, both from a new and unknown student the second week of Fall classes.

Email 1 – hey there i missed the first week of class. am I late on any assisnms when can i make them up

Email 2 – WHATSUP WHY dont you ANswer?

I wanted to help the professor and came up with the following replies for those types of emails.

Email Etiquette Example 1:

Subject: When emailing a professor use a formal tone.

Dear, Mr. Student and/or Ms. Student

In business, effective and appropriate email etiquette is important. This is no different in the school of business at NMHU. In the business world, people are classified by what they do, how they look, what they say, and how they say it. Getting off on the wrong foot with a potential employer, a new client, a new professor to name a few is easy to avoid if you communicate in a professional manner.

Avoid the belief that emails to professors or other staff dealing with your education are the same type you send to family and friends. This is also true for the business world. What you write and how you do it is a projection of your image. You are branding yourself with your words and actions just as one would a product in a marketing campaign.

Sincerely, Professor Ignacio Plato

Email Etiquette Example 2:

Subject: When is it okay to email your professor?

Dear, Mr. Student and/or Ms. Student

I can respond to emails when you have an easy question that can be answered in a paragraph or less and when you have an assignment that you are allowed to submit via email.

I can’t accept assignments through email if I haven’t approved it. If you want to ask for an extension for an assignment, do it in person. Don’t bring up any topic that will require continuous conversation. It is best to communicate face-to-face to prevent misunderstandings.

Sincerely, Professor Ignacio Plato

Attachment: email etiquette.doc

The first email to any new contact should use the highest level of respect. And keep using a formal title until the contact informs you otherwise.

Example: Hello, Professor Plato – Hello, Dr. Plato – Dear Mr. Plato Don’t start an email with Hey – Howdy – what’s up Plato

When emailing a professor, always include your full name, the class and the class time.

Example: My name is John Dewy. I am in your Business 181, MW 11-12:15pm class.

Write in a positive tone using black text in a standard font. Don’t use abbreviations, smiles, winks, etc, or negative language. The email should be short and to the point, it is best if it is no longer than a paragraph or two. Use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. You are communicating with a professor as an educated adult. Use full sentences with proper structure. Don’t use all caps thinking it

makes something more important. Don’t use all lower case letters to communicate. You want to present a polished image. You do not want to come off as lacking education, business savvy or that you are lazy. The subject field is the first thing read and determines if the email will be opened or not. Have a short subject entry that clearly indicates what is inside the email.

At the end include a salutation and sign off with your name, first and last, and your email.

Sincerely, Professor Ignacio Plato

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