Email guidance for university and work
When you send emails at university or work, remember that you are communicating in a professional context, and the style of your email should reflect that.
Quick tips for effective emailing
- Use your university email address (or other professional sounding email address), i.e.JBloggs06@uni.ac.uk rather than TheBloggster@Gmail.com when contacting university staff or potential employers
- Use an appropriately formal opening, e.g. “Dear Professor Smith” or “Dear Ms Brown” rather than “Hi there” or “Hey!”
- Unless you have been explicitly told that it is ok to call a lecturer or tutor by their first name, it is best to address them using their title (Professor, Dr, Ms, Mr) and surname.
- Add a meaningful subject line. Your lecturers will receive a lot of emails each day. Using a clear subject header will make it more likely that your email will be dealt with. If your email relates to a specific course, include the title or module code of the course in the header.
- Be clear, polite and succinct in what you write.
- Don’t email to ask a question to which you can easily find the answer elsewhere, such as your module handbook or your university timetable.
- Sign off your email appropriately, i.e. “Many thanks, Joe Bloggs” or “Best wishes, Joe”.
Read this advice from Heriot Watt University for more advice and tips on good practice when it comes to writing emails
Remember that emails should be treated as the electronic equivalent of a postcard. Once you hit send, you have no control over an email. If you wouldn’t write it on a postcard, don’t write it in an email.
LinkedIn Learning provides high quality tutorials on a range of software and business topics. Use the search option to find material on the topic of email etiquette. This includes:
- “Strike the right tone in emails” (Video: 2 minutes 30 seconds)
- Backgrounder – Netiquette (Course: 37 minutes) – includes a section on email netiquette
Learn more about using Office 365 email
iSolutions provide detailed guidance on using Office 365 email, including Frequently Asked Questions.
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