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Digital Essentials: Email etiquette

Emails to lecturers, tutors and other support staff

Like all communication, emails should be clear and professional. Please note that teaching staff have 72 hours (3 business days) to respond to your question.

 

Email Format & Tips

  • Use your student email to send queries to staff.
  • Be polite.
  • Try not to use slang, abbreviations, or emoticons.
  • Do no write words in UPPERCASE as it is considered shouting in an email.
  • Never send an email when angry – the tone of the message often reflects the sender’s moods – even unintentionally. It is a good idea to wait 24 hours in these cases – this allows time to cool-off and respond appropriately.
  • Email messages should be formatted as plain black text on a white background using a standard font such as Arial.
  • Proofread your emails before you send them.

 

Email Structure

Subject Line:
  • Have a meaningful subject line and include the Unit Code

Note: Emails sent from a non-student account like hotmail or gmail and with no subject line often look like online scams and may remain unseen by your lecturers, tutors or other support staff.

Use an appropriate term of address:
  • Greet in a formal manner e.g. Dear...
  • Use title and family name e.g. Professor Smith
  • If you don't know the name - try to find the name of the staff member in your unit outline or staff directory online. If you can't find it, use: To Whom It May Concern,
Email body:
  • Be short and clear about the purpose of your email
  • Include any unit code and assessment task details
Sign off:
  • Thank them
  • Be formal e.g. Kind regards, Your Name
  • Include your full name and student ID

 

Example:

Subject:  SWK1106: Request for Notes

Dear Professor Smith,

I am writing to request the slides and notes from your 10am Psychology for Social Work class from last Tuesday, 19 August. I was unable to attend this particular lecture due to various personal reasons and I know you usually post them online, however I have not been able to locate them on Blackboard. I am currently preparing for exams and would appreciate the information.

Thank you in advance.

 

Kind regards,

Cassandra Roberts
01100110 (Student number)
SWK1106 (Unit code)

References

Deakin University. (2019). Communicating online. https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support/academic-skills/communicating-online

See Also