When emailing, etiquette matters

by Jordan Tanner – Horizon Columnist

Before attending Hesston, an email address for me was only really a means to an end. I often created email addresses to sign up for Facebook or Twitter. Email was seldom used as a way to communicate, but after a few weeks here at Hesston, I realized it would be a vital part to my success on campus. From updates about CAB events, to important information about coursework, email provides students with many important tools to survive and thrive on campus.

Seeing that email is such an important piece to success at Hesston College, there has to be a set of guidelines and preferred practices that govern how to best use email communication. We have the luxury of being able to reach out to professors through email at virtually any time during the day, and can expect a timely reply, and although interaction through texts and email with friends may be casual and relaxed, communication with professors through email must be much more formal and professional. In order to help students who don’t communicate with their instructors through email often, I have listed the following tips to ensure successful and beneficial use of email in a college setting.

 1) Check Your Email Daily

One of the most convenient and often used forms of communication in college is through email, so you will more than likely be receiving email notifications every day. Some emails you receive may not be directed toward you, and others may be exactly what you’ve been expecting, such as information about an assignment, or better yet, a canceled class. A good rule of thumb is to check your email daily, seeing that new information will be sent from day to day, that way you don’t miss out on anything important on campus.

2) The Conversation must be Formal

When emailing an instructor, you must always remember to remain formal and professional. Instructors in college have certifications and doctorates in multiple fields, so they have worked hard for and deserve that type of respect when being communicated with. Abbreviations and terms such as “lol” and “wyd” should never appear in a college email to a professor, although we here at Hesston refer to our instructors by their first name to promote a sense of family, there must still remain an air of respect for the instructors.

3) Be Specific

Make sure to have checked all of your possible resources before inquiring anything about class of an instructor, this way you avoid wasting their time, and compromising their view of your ability to remain astute and ready.

Once you are fully prepared and you still have questions, make sure to be specific and straight to the point, while also being kind and respectful. The conversation should begin,” Dear _______” and end, “, sincerely, ________.”

4) Revise and Edit

Always make sure to go back and proofread your email to ensure that you didn’t make any silly grammar or spelling mistakes. Your ability to effectively communicate through email is also a reflection of your capabilities as a student, so you should treat it as such.

Followed correctly, these guidelines will help make the use of email here at Hesston much easier and beneficial for you as a student.


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