convinced that one of the worst forms of
modern day communication is email. It is
often misunderstood as it lacks inflection -
most often because people are in a hurry and
don't even take the time to write their
thoughts fully or read others entirely. Only
text messaging is worse than email. In any
event, it is apparently here to stay so we
need to get good at it!
Be sure the
"Subject:" field accurately reflects the content of your email:
This makes it easier for both the sender and receiver to
identify messages and keep them organized.
Limit the topic:
If you want to ensure that any questions about the topic are
responded to, keep the message simple and stick to expecting one
answer about one question. Otherwise, people generally do not
answer all that you ask.
Make sure your e-mail includes a courteous greeting and
closing. Email doesn't have a voice inflection, so make sure your
written words do not seem demanding (such as when you USE ALL
CAPITAL LETTERS) or terse (such as when you treat email like
Be sure you are including all relevant details or information
necessary to understand your request or point of view.
Generalities can many times causing confusion and unnecessary
back and forths.
Even though you think that your recipient knows who you are, it
is polite to include a “signature” at the end of your message —
your name, affiliation, phone number and (perhaps) address.
Attachments are a convenient way to share files with colleagues.
They are not meant to distribute information to large numbers of
people. Sending a giant file to a huge group of people is both
wasteful and rude. It takes up bandwidth, and for many people
who might read the message over a modem, it takes up time. As a
general rule, send attachments only to colleagues you know well.
Email does not
replace the phone: Messages that require immediate attention or response
dealt with in a phone call. Do not assume that people are
checking their email every few minutes.
When replying to an email message, check the list of
recipients. If the message you received went to more than one
recipient, your reply will go to ALL of those recipients as well
if you reply to ALL.
Email is easily
shared with the public, so be careful what your message
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