I recently came across Laura Portwood-Stacer’s Medium piece, “How to Email your Professor (Without Being Annoying AF)” and I really appreciated her email etiquette suggestions. I think it is all too common for instructors, professors, and other teachers to complain about the lack of professionalism in student emails, yet also very uncommon for these students to ever be explicitly taught what a professional email looks like. While we may have learned proper letter formatting while in elementary school, most of us never received formal training on how to write an email.
Therefore I decided to take some time out of my introductory Public Speaking class to review these email guidelines with the class, and explicitly take some time to teach what the commonly-accepted expectations are when it comes to emails. After all, we can’t really be upset at our students for not knowing something if it’s something that we never actually taught them.