Due to technology advancements, students can reach out to teachers in seconds through email, but the ease of emailing can promote a lack of etiquette among the student body. Emailing a teacher, faculty member, or others in positions of authority should be much different from emailing a peer. As a result of rushed emails, flukes in spelling, or even just a thoughtless press of send, this is not always the case. However, this can be remedied by following a few short rules.
Always include a formal greeting
When emailing anyone, include their title and a formal greeting. While in conversation it’s acceptable to say “hey” or “hi,” but avoid this when emailing.
Always check for spelling and grammar errors
Even if the person receiving the email isn’t an English teacher, make sure the email is free of any misspellings and grammatical errors. If any message is sent full of misspelled words and unnecessary commas, the recipient will not be impressed.
Always double check who will be receiving the email
While sometimes comical, reply all emails are very unprofessional. It’s easily avoidable by merely double checking that “reply” is selected as opposed to “reply all.”
Always include a sign off
A simple “thank you” or “sincerely” is sufficient before adding first and last name, then any other identifying information necessary. While this part isn’t always as pressing as the advice above, it is common courtesy.
Never send sarcasm unless it’s clearly marked as sarcasm
Irony and sarcasm can come across in an unintended manner, so it’s best to avoid it all together.
Never send an email while angry
Once an email is sent there’s no getting it back. It’s easy to say something regrettable when angered, so avoid emailing when upset or frustrated to maintain professionalism.
These are a few general guidelines that should be followed when sending any emails, especially when using a school or work email. For a deeper look into what McNicholas expects from student emails, consult page 34 of the Student Handbook located here.