Email Etiquette

Top Ten Email Etiquette Tips for Students

  1. Check you campus email regularly for updates and changes. You can forward your campus email to an account that you check more frequently. Mail clients (i.e. Thunderbird or Outlook) also are helpful for saving all of your emails from multiple accounts in one location.
  2. Professors might not open mail sent from cutie818@ yahoo.com. They prefer to open mail sent from more reputable addresses, like you@my.csun.edu.  Also, the handle "cutie818" is not professional and too informal for communication with your professor.
  3. Always begin your email with a salutation.  "Good Morning Professor/Librarian X"  or "Dear Professor/Librarian X" .  X= their last name.
  4. Clear and concise emails are easier to read and reply back to quickly. Your professor receives many emails a day and you want to make sure that your question is clear. Read it aloud to yourself. Use shorter sentences vs. run on sentences. If you have multiple questions then number each one. 
  5. Email is not Facebook. Your emails for school need to be professional and formal.  See the template for help getting started with a formal email.
  6. Emoicons are cute. Cute is not professional.  Do not send a :)  or a ;) to your professor.
  7. Email is not IM-ing.  Dont use shrt hnd u mght use 2 talk 2 your BFF on fb or gchat w/ ur prof.  
  8. Spelling and grammatical mistakes happen and some professors will be forgiving while others will judge you for sending them a sloppy email.  Professors see a sloppy email as a reflection of the time you put into their course.  Always edit your emails and if you make mistakes remember to pay more attention next time.
  9. Try and figure out answers on your own first.  Professors are not information technology specialiasts or know the cost of parking on campus.  Part of college is being resourceful and knowing who to ask and what to ask.
  10. Professors are experts in their fields and  enjoy emails that are related to the readings, lectures, and assignments they share with students in their courses. Email is a venue to setup an appointment to talk about a particular topic covered in the class, ask for input on a project, or  to learn more about your professors research.

Email Template for Instructional Faculty

Missing Class

Dear Professor LastName,

I am enrolled in your CHS 230 and missed class today because of a family emergency.

1) I submitted my assignment to Moodle.or I attached my assignment as a word document and will drop off a hard copy next week, if acceptable.

2) A peer in the class will share his/her lecture notes with me for the day that I missed.

3) If there is a way to makeup the quiz, I am interested.

I apologize for missing class and look forward to your lecture next week.

Best, 

StudentFirstName StudentLastName

Question About An Assignment

Dear Professor LastName,

I started my readings for this week and found the first chapter very interesting, but challenging. I have a few questions that I would like to ask via email or during office hours regarding Chapter 3 of Book Title/"Article Title". 

Best,

StudentFirstName StudentLastName