Email Netiquette

When I read about good email-writing etiquettes, or netiquettes as the professor’s handout called them, I was surprised to see how little I knew about writing a proper email. The handout provided readers with tips in writing in appropriate language and style, considering the human relationship behind the mechanical tool, and technical issues, all of which form a concise and professional email. I’ve always thought of emails as an extremely quick way to contact people and with the word quick came the connotation that emails are also informal. Reading the handout forced me to sit down and really think about the gravity of sending emails. Emails are the most professional means of communication to exist in today’s society and developing a clean and proper email could be the thing that ultimately gets you what you want.

Signature blocks serve the purpose of providing the recipient with contact information in a concise manner so that if needed, the sender of the email can be reached with ease. Because emails are used as a way to communicate back and forth, having a signature blocks allows the recipient to reach out to the person on the other end of the email in an alternative way, whether it be my phone number, address, or an alternate email. The article suggests that before sending an email, one should “adjust the amount of contact details in the signature block to particular instances of writing.” Depending on the level of professionalism and the context of the email, too much contact information may be unnecessary so it’s best to read the situation and use your own judgement.

Because I am someone who is not very tech savvy, the technical issues that the article touched upon were extremely enlightening. Like everyone else, I have definitely had my own share of mishaps, especially when it comes to the old responding to everyone attached in the email instead of the one person who I wanted to reach predicament. Problems like this are common but also come off as a bit unprofessional so having read some of the the technical tips mentioned will definitely help not only me, but those who also struggle with email logistics. Some of the technical tips include suggesting people to “…compose the message in a word processor—both for technical reasons and better composition.”, “Use subheadings, visuals, and vertical space.” and “use bcc if you don’t want other recipients know that you are copying…” These are all extremely handy tips that often are forgotten about because they are not pertaining to the actual written email itself.

While I did learn a lot, I was rather surprised to see that I already did do a lot of the things mentioned. So, I now know how to describe what I do. Some of these skills include using effective subject lines, addressing the person I am writing the email to, and not using all caps. Being in college, I am forced to write emails nearly everyday so I’ve learned a few things along the way. There are also some professors who have specific guidelines for emails so directions like those force me to be professional in a way I may have never been before. Their guidelines may also show me some formats that I like and will continue to use even after I leave their class. Emails are a fundamental component of communication in not only the business world, but also in everyday life and email writing is a skill that I believe everyone should possess or at least have some understanding of.


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