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Email etiquette


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Email etiquette

  1. 1. Commonly agreed email etiquette Image: by Scott Hodge ___002
  2. 2. Respectful customs There are no 'official' rules governing electronic communication. However, there are some commonly agreed polite or respectful customs in practice. This is what we mean when we say ‘etiquette’. Email (as a professional tool) is quite distinct from the informality of mobile texting. Image: (adapted) commons wikimedia ___002
  3. 3. The Subject Field Always fill in the subject field with a concise description of the content of your email. ___002
  4. 4. Subject line suggestions • Unit name • Your name • Reference to the issue or task Examples: TEP021_JohnBrown_Activity 2.4 TEP021_JBrown_Issue logging on ___002
  5. 5. Avoid using all capital letters and, equally important, don’t use all small (lower) case letters in the subject field. Lazy behaviour could result in your email being blocked by spam filters. Avoid using Hi, Help or Please Respond, or even the recipient’s name. Image from ___002
  6. 6. Opening and closing Opening your email: Hello / Hi / Dear …. followed by the name of the person you are emailing Closing your email: • Regards • Kind / Warm / Best regards • With thanks and regards • Sincerely ___002
  7. 7. Keep the thread When replying to an email, use the reply option in your email program. This will keep the message in the "thread", and make it easier for the recipient to follow the subject matter. Image: from jpallan FlickrCC ___002
  8. 8. Orient your reader Don't assume the recipient knows (or will remember) the background of the matter. Include enough information at the beginning of the e-mail for the recipient to orient themselves. ___002
  9. 9. Keep it concise Keep messages brief and to the point, but not so brief that the reader doesn’t have the facts. This includes deleting any irrelevant text when an email has been back and forth several times. Image: What’s the point by nosemeat FlickrCC ___002
  10. 10. Don't shout at people Don't use all capital letters (UPPERCASE) or overdo punctuation like !!!!!!. If you must use UPPERCASE, use it only to emphasise a particularly important point. Image: Shouting by Sebastiaan ter Burg FlickrCC ___002
  11. 11. Avoid emotional outbursts Don't send or reply to an email when you are angry or upset about something. Wait until you have calmed down, then compose the email. Once written and sent, an email can't be recalled. Image: Angry Anne by josh janssen FlickrCC As a guide, ask yourself – 'would I say this to the person's face?' ___002
  12. 12. Use spacing Layout your message for readability. Use spaces and breaks between paragraphs. Use short sentences to make it easier on the reader. Image: bifocals and words by muffett FlickrCC ___002
  13. 13. Keep it simple Do you really need to use coloured text and background images in your day to day communications? Your colour and formatting choices may make your emails difficult to read. Fancy formatting is not usually appropriate for professional correspondence. ___002
  14. 14. Acronyms, abbreviations, and emoticons. It is OK to use acronyms and abbreviations in e-mails as long as you don't overdo it. People outside of your organisation may have no idea what you mean. Image: We need more acronyms by cogdogblog FlickrCC Emoticons can be useful to emphasise feelings in personal communications but are not always appropriate in professional communications. ___002 Image: Shout emoticon Wikimedia
  15. 15. Proofread your email before sending Always • spell check your email • proofread for errors • capitalize your sentences • use appropriate punctuation • check your grammar. Image: Passing Time by HikingArtist FlickrCC ___002
  16. 16. Reply as soon as possible Get in the habit of replying promptly – it’s the polite thing to do, and the recipient will appreciate a quick response. Replying promptly also makes you look efficient. The longer you leave it, the more likely you will forget. Image: FlickrCC ___002
  17. 17. Email is not confidential It’s very easy for the contents of your email to be read by others without your knowledge. It’s wise not to include any confidential information in your emails, such as your bank account information or password. Image: Confidential by mynetx FlickrCC ___002
  18. 18. ‘Reply All’ Don't use the Reply to All option unless necessary. Evaluate and send only to those people who really need to see the email. ___002
  19. 19. Being respectful of others’ privacy Use the Bcc field when sending bulk email. The Bcc field means that the email addresses are not visible. Privacy of individuals is respected and spammers cannot harvest the email addresses for other purposes. If you can’t see the Bcc field when you create a new email, click on ‘cc’ and your address book will open to show the Bcc field ___002
  20. 20. Using the priority tag tool Avoid marking an email 'high importance' when it is just normal priority. ___002
  21. 21. Return Receipt Request (RR) Do not use Request a Read Receipt for each and every email you send. ___002
  22. 22. Allow time for a reply E-mail messages are not usually required to be answered immediately, though it is good practice if you do. Before sending a reminder, allow some time for a response, even a few days. Not everyone is online 24 hours a day. Image: Clock 11-20 Wikimedia Commons ___002
  23. 23. Furthermore… Do not forward chain letters (regardless of how noble the topic may seem), virus warnings or anything that says "forward to everyone you know”. Don’t worry about breaking the “chain”. There is no such thing as “chain” in emails. Therefore, there are no consequences whether you “break” it or not. Image: Chain of People by HikingArtist FlickrCC ___002
  24. 24. Illegal Activities Harmful or nasty Illegal activities include • libel (defamatory statements) • discrimination (racial, sexual, religious, ageist etc) • some adult material (child or violent erotica) • illegal information (how to kill or injure people, incitement to violence, racial hatred etc). Strong sanctions brought against them by the University and by the civil authorities. ___002 encouragement Official control; legal action