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Email Etiquette Basics

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Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I often receive emails from a colleague who leaves the subject heading blank and replies without referring to what exactly he is replying. For example, in his last email he wrote, "Yes, let me think about it." I then have to go back through the emails that I've sent him in order to figure out what he's talking about. Isn't attaching my last email to him standard procedure? Is there such a thing as email etiquette?



Dear Annoyed,

Emailing is often so quick and easy that folks often do not take the time to write carefully. Below are some basic email etiquette guidelines.

Five Basic Email Tips:

1. Salutations and Greetings: always include a salutation/greeting.

2. Subject Heading: always include a subject heading that describes the topic of the email.

3. Avoid All Caps: all caps indicate shouting or yelling and is considered impolite.

4. Attaching prior message: attach the last message and delete the prior message(s).

5. Forwarding emails: before forwarding someone's private email onto others, always ask permission first.

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