Before you email me, please review this email policy.
As part of an effort to help you develop your professional communication skills, I am instituting a (somewhat) formal email etiquette policy. While in the past I have had a certain amount of patience for email messages that are written in an informal style—that is, without much attention to structure, grammar, spelling, and style—it is a good habit it practice proper email etiquette.
Therefore, when you send me an email, please make every attempt to follow my recommended guidelines for acceptable email etiquette:
- Use a properly descriptive subject line that consists of the course number (“CASD 1114”) followed by a very brief phrase that summarizes the subject of your message, such as “Response Paper 1, Question 2” or “Appointment request.”
- Please refrain from using short, nonspecific subject lines that have little to do with the actual message (e.g., “hi,” “class,” “paper,” “question,” “info,” “help,” or just leaving the subject line blank.)
- Start the body of your email off with a proper greeting, such as “Hello Professor Boldis,” or something similar. (As a side benefit, this prevents you from accidentally addressing me as “Allison”)
- Follow your greeting with at least one line of whitespace (that is, a blank line).
- Compose your email in paragraph form (they don’t have to be indented; instead, use a line of whitespace between paragraphs).
- Make sure you adhere to proper sentence structure, and do your best to proofread for typos and spelling mistakes.
- Please capitalize the first letter in each sentence.
- Please refrain from using the types of “txt-spk” that is more appropriate for texting, like “idk”, “btw” or “lol.” (Chances are that you’re not really “laughing out loud.”)
- Please do not send emojis that are inappropriate.
- If you are asking me a question in your email that needs a response in a timely manner, I would appreciate a brief sentiment of gratitude as you work towards closure, such as “I really appreciate your time in this matter,” or “Thank you for whatever help you can provide.” Obviously the exact wording will vary—use your best judgment as to what is appropriate.
- Finally, use a proper closing (doesn’t have to be too formal—save “Sincerely” or “Yours truly” for contacting someone for the first time), and then finish with your first name. You might also consider creating a “saved signature” with your contact information that you can re-use in other email messages. Here’s a simple example of a closing with a signature:
B.S. Candidate in Education (expected 2021)
CUNY Brooklyn College
● To encourage you to get in the habit of better email etiquette, my plan is as follows:
If I receive an email message from you that does not make a sincere attempt to follow the recommendations outlined above, I may respond with a “canned” (pre-written) message that will politely ask you to rewrite your email and send again. It doesn’t have to be perfect (even I screw up sometimes), but assuming you made a decent attempt to do the right thing, then I will much more likely to provide an actual, personal, and timely