It’s never been easier to connect with professors and classmates online, but along with ease and convenience comes a certain level of responsibility when you are posting or mailing information. Keep in mind this basic rule: don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t like someone else to do to you (i.e. sending an aggressive email, posting an overly critical reply, forwarding messages to third parties without permission). Remember, your online activity leaves a permanent digital trail. Here are some “netiquette” tips to remember in an academic setting:
Act Within the Law:
- Never send a message that threatens, harasses, or blatantly offends any member of the KCC community.
- Always give credit for words or ideas that belong to someone else.
- Identify yourself by name. Don’t pretend to be someone else.
Be Courteous and Respectful:
- Avoid using profanity in an email or discussion forum.
- Keep personal matters between you and your classmates and/or professors private—both in online and face-to-face courses.
- Before you press “send” or post something in an online discussion forum, re-read your text to make sure it won’t be misunderstood. Your readers will not necessarily know your mood or be able to read your body language.
- If you decide to send a message via cellphone, take the time to punctuate your text properly.
- Don’t write in all lowercase letters.
- YOU’RE SHOUTING when you write in all capital letters!
- Abbreviations and emoticons can help convey tone or mood, but keep in mind that they wear thin on some readers. LOL
Emailing Your Professor - Ten Tips
- Put your class/section in the subject line, followed by the nature of the communication. Example - Subject: (INT 1010 LD01) Assignments
- Use an appropriate standard greeting, such as “Dear Professor Shaw” or “Good Morning.” Never “Hey.”
- Keep the message on point. “My question about today’s assignment is this:”
- Write in standard English—no “textspeak” or slang.
- Always sign your name at the end (full name if you are unknown to the recipient or first name if you are known).
- Never ask your professor if you missed anything important; of course you have.
- Don’t share too much personal detail if you miss class. An absence is an absence.
- If you will be missing class, always ask what you need to do to keep current.
- Never forward jokes, memes, or chain letters to your professor.
- Make readers want to respond. Your email is a reflection of you, your work habits, and your professionalism.