College Students (and others…) Listen up! Good advice on crafting email messages from Neltje Maynez:
When you are in college, or taking classes from an online university, many students are concerned about their class work and keeping up in class. In today’s world, it is even easier to keep in touch with professors. A student merely has to send an email to a professor. They don’t even have to talk face to face. Many professors like emails because they can provide accurate information to the student. However, many professors don’t like email because they feel that students are far too informal with the emails they send. Too often, professors say that they see things like, “Lol”, “Ttyl”, “hee hee” and professors have no idea what those even mean! This skills that are used when you are in college will be used in the workplace. Whether you are a student, or a professional, here are 10 rules to writing a professional email. Your professor (or boss) will be pleased, and you will probably receive a quicker response.
1. Make the Subject Line Count
You want your the person you sent the email to first open your email. They get tons of emails a day, and if it is urgent, you want the recipient to read it. Include what class it is for, and what questions you have. The professor will appreciate it.
2. Get to the Point
If you are able to present the problem in the first sentence, the person will be more willing to help you.
3. Identify Yourself
Especially if this is for a professor (and even a boss) tell them what class you are in, and what section. Many professors teach many classes, and if you tell them which class you are, it will help them answer your questions even faster. If it’s for work, make sure that you are clear about what you are asking about.
4. Keep the Text Language to Yourself
Avoid anything such as “brb”, “ttyl”, that may be good for texting, but keep it out of emails.
5. Keep it Short
You want your email to be very short. Keep it around 1to 2 paragraphs. If it is longer than that―but you must send it, try including bullet points. The recipient will be more likely to read it. If you have a lot to say, try just talking to the professor. It will be easier for both parties if you need to talk at length.
6. Say Hello!
It is always nice when you add a small hello, or good morning, or good afternoon. It shows that you are trying to be polite. You aren’t bothering the recipient with lots of showy sayings, but you aren’t being rude either.
Make sure to read your email before you send it. You will be able to catch a lot of mistakes. Your professor and co-workers will respect you if you can spell and have proper punctuation. This will also get you in the habit of reading over your work before you submit it.
8. Be Pleasant
Just because you are annoyed with a professor or co-worker, don’t show it in your email. They will be less willing to help you.
9. Respond Fast
Email is supposed to be fast. If you don’t respond within 24 hours, the person you sent the email to will forget about your question. Even if you respond and tell the person that you got their email, but you don’t have the time to draft an appropriate answer, let them know. They will appreciate that you took the time to inform them.
10. Have an Appropriate Signature Line
Make sure that if you have a signature set up on your email, it is profession and free of quotes, silly fonts, or smiley faces. Others will think you are immature if you send them an email and your signature is something in pink with smiley faces.
Writing emails can be an art. You want to be pleasant while getting straight to the point. If you learn to write good emails to your professors, they will want to help you. You will also be building skills when you go to the professional world. Any professional appreciates a well-written email.
Here is an eight page, printable magazine entitled “E-mail Savvy,” that has a lot of great tips and information that will help you be more productive with your e-mail. Please feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think will benefit… Click here!
And if you’re interested in our 98 page Clean Out Your Inbox Week eKit, to help you “clean out” your work group, here is more information.
It’s Clean Out Your Inbox Week, and each day of this week we are providing our e-mailing and followers with free resources to spur them on to the holy grail of that empty inbox.
Today’s offering is an 8 1/2 by 11 poster that you can print and share with your workgroup. It outlines the 10 best practices of a positive e-mailing culture, so if everyone can follow these practices, you will all find greater productivity.
Here is the link for you to register to receive this complementary PDF. Print a lot of them, and place them all over your office!
OK. It is the 5th annual Clean Out Your Inbox Week!
Time to start the year right, get organized, get rid of clutter, and that means your overflowing inbox too!
Here is your freebie for the day – a great 8 1/2 x 11 poster that you can print and hang everywhere. Click here to download it.
It says, “Want to Receive Less Email? SEND Less Email” It is a known fact that the more email you send, the more you’ll receive, so you are pretty much in charge of your own email destiny. Funny how some folks don’t realize that!???
Maybe you’ve become aware of the fact that you can’t seem to stop yourself from refreshing your Gmail inbox, your Facebook homepage, or your endless Twitter feed. Maybe you’re a student working toward your master’s degree, and you’re working full-time, too, to pay your way through school and you’ve come to realize your dependency on (or perhaps obsession with) the Internet. If you’re starting to think this sounds a lot like you, then maybe it’s time for an Internet detox.
At first it sounds scary. Even impossible. Maybe you’re genuinely perplexed when you begin to wonder how you ever survived before the Internet came along. Maybe you’ve taken after the “digital natives” and have forgotten what answering machines were for.
But we survived. Before the iPhone, we really did survive. And our minds were calmer then. The endless chatter of online communication — whether trivial or business-related — has removed many of us from the simpler life and led us to forget how to relax.
It is okay to take a break. You are allowed a break. You are allowed freedom. And it’s healthy to take a vacation from work, school, the “Twitterverse” every once in a while. Tell yourself you deserve it (because you do).
We live in a fast-paced world of technological communication where we are now able and expected to communicate with our coworkers, bosses, friends, family and community anytime, anywhere, 24/7; the Internet has morphed us into, if not workaholics, webaholics. So, as hard as it may be at first, it’s more important than ever to let yourself take a short-but-sweet vacation from your online responsibilities: to close your laptop, turn off your phone, and unplug your commitments for a while, to enjoy what you’ve probably missed out on for far too long: real life.
Emily Matthews is currently applying to master’s degree programs across the U.S., and loves to read about new research into health care, gender issues, and literature. She lives and writes in Seattle, Washington.