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E-Etiquette: The Art of Communicating Online in an Academic Setting

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by Cheska Gacho on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of E-Etiquette: The Art of Communicating Online in an Academic Setting

Shared and common rules that govern how we behave online
Common practices that are considered socially acceptable about how we communicate and present ourselves in an online environment
Changes with every context, situation, circumstance; dynamic

What is e-etiquette?
This applies to
all
channels of communication
between friends and family
between peers and colleagues
between authority figures/supervisors/mentors

The content and tone of your message should reflect the level of respect and formality of your recipient.
Know Your Audience
Social networking sites and social media can be helpful tools to connect with other researchers, scholars, and academics. The amount of information out there on the internet is vast and constantly changing, so it helps when we have networks to help fill in our knowledge and to grow our own learning experience.
Online Profiles & Social Networking Sites
Appropriate e-mail address(es) that identify you easily (whether by using first name/last name combination, or some other name that identifies you).
KEEP IT SHORT.
If there are deadlines, g
ive the deadline
and
when you will follow up.
Upset? Angry? E-mail later.
Proofread.
Basic E-mail Etiquette
E-Etiquette:
The Art of Communicating Online in an Academic Setting

Me and My Online Self
What I
see or say
isn't always what others
get
:
Audience
Tone
Appropriate topics/information
confusion!
Misunderstanding!
FRUSTRATION!
loss of job!
embarrassment!
By Francesca Gacho for the
Claremont Graduate University Writing Center

Failure to keep these three concepts in mind can lead to:
Why do we (academics, scholars, graduate students) need to know this? Isn't this common sense?
communication moves from offline to online modes
technology and education
technology and scholarship
technology and teaching
online presence now a part of our professional lives
http://degreesearch.org/blog/12-stunning-infographics-on-education-technology-social-media/#.UutJoYoGMV8.gmail
When in doubt, be formal and professional.
Your goal is to have your e-mail read, replied to, and in the fastest and clearest way possible.
How do I write an e-mail of request?
E-mails of requests are delicate messages. You don't want to be pushy, but you also want your professor/mentor/supervisor to honor your request.
Be courteous.
"Would you be so kind to...," "I was hoping you might be willing to...," "Would you be willing to...," and "When convenient for you, could you please..."
Thank your recipient for considering your request.
"I appreciate your time in assisting me with this...," "Thank you for your time and consideration," "Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated."
For letters of recommendation:
Ask first, then send your materials.
Sample e-mail request for a letter of recommendation
Dear Professor
[NAME]
,

I am applying for English PhD programs for Fall 2014 admission, and I was hoping you would be willing to write me a letter of recommendation. I have taken two seminars with you, Victorian Literature and Contemporary British Fiction, and I believe my performance in your seminars, as well as the papers I have written for the courses, demonstrate my potential and preparedness for a doctoral program in English literature. I'm hoping to apply to
[X number of schools or name the schools]
, mostly with concentrations in Victorian literature or nineteenth-century literature. The first deadline is on November 30, 2014.

I can stop by your office hours to further discuss my plans for a PhD program, as well as to talk you about how I can plan more effectively this application season. Please let me know if you are able and comfortable writing me a strong letter of recommendation so that I may forward my materials to you. I greatly enjoyed your seminars and I would be grateful to receive your recommendation.

Thank you and see you soon.

Sincerely,
Francesca Gacho
Ask yourself:
What is the nature of my relationship with this person?
How do I address him or her?
How do I navigate & manage all this?!
Salutations and Signatures
Identify your recipient. Personalize your message.
Open with a formal salutation
"Dear Professor," "Dear Professor James,"
"Dear Mr. James," "Dear Ms. Diaz"
Subsequent e-mails often determine the tone and level of formality of your conversations.
Signatures should be professional, too!
"Sincerely," "Warmly," "Kindly," "Thank you,"
Sign with your full name (first e-mail); initials
Match your recipient's style
A note about subject lines:
Keep your subject line short and descriptive. It should identify the purpose or goal of your e-mail.
Each social networking site or social media platform has its own set of rules and guidelines that dictates what kind of information, interactions, and transactions are allowed and which are prohibited.
There are also "invisible rules" that the community of users for each platform agree upon and uphold.
Be aware of what you share.
Do not type when angry or upset.
Consider setting up separate professional and personal accounts.
When in doubt, be professional.
E-mail Sample Handout
Dear Professor Watt,
My name is Julia Child and I am an MA student in Arts Management enrolled in your Intro to Arts Management seminar this semester. I am very excited to take the course and I hope you might be willing to meet with me and discuss the main themes and ideas we will be covering in the class. I am free to meet during your office hours, so please let me know when you are free and available to meet.

Thank you,
Julia Child
julia.child@gradschool.edu
Dear John,

It was a great pleasure to meet you at the Dickens Universe conference last week at UC Santa Barbara. I enjoyed speaking with you about the representations of orphans and poverty in Dickens' later novels. I hope you found the conference inspring and motivating in pursuing your research on 19th-century economic principles.

I am very interested in your research as I've read a great amount on relevant subjects in my studies, and I hope to keep in touch with you as both progress in our respective research.

Thank you and I hope to speak with you soon.

Best,
Julia Child
julia.child@gradschool.edu
Dear Professor,

I am requesting a letter of recommendation for this job I’m applying for at the Los Angeles Community College School District. I’m applying to be an adjunct History professor. It is due next Wednesday, so please let me know if you can write me one before the deadline. Attached is my CV. Thank you very much.

Best,
Mary
Hey Professor,

Can you meet tomorrow at 2PM? I want to discuss my paper topic with your since the deadline is coming up! Let me know.

Gene
Hi Professor,

I ran into some trouble finding the required textbook for the course. The bookstore does not seem to have the correct edition, so I ordered it online. The book, unfortunately, will not be delivered before the paper is due, and I’m wondering if you will allow me to use the previous edition while I wait for the correct edition. I understand that it would be easier to have everyone use the same edition, but as I seem to have had a lot of difficulty with our own campus bookstore, I am hoping that you would allow me to use a different edition for now. Please let me know if this is acceptable.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Jones

Handling Conflict through E-mail
It can be tempting to resolve conflict online (via e*mail, text message, chats, etc.) because it might seem easier to "deal with it" online, confrontation might be less likely, and everyone is generally isolated from having to deal with any (immediate) consequences.

Use e-mails in conflict:*
When there needs to be a record of the interaction
When dealing with conflicts where the emotional level is fairly low.
To have an initial conversation that sets up a phone call, or a meeting to deal with the conflict.

Do not use emails in conflicts:
When you've never met the other person face-to-face.
When the emotional level is high.
When the email has gone back and forth with a person more than 3 times. This could mean that the issue is too complex to deal with using only email.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/threat-management/201001/managing-conflicts-email-why-its-so-tempting
Some things to consider:
Acknowledge that e-mail is not the best way to resolve or discuss conflict.
Consider the purpose of your response. What do you hope to accomplish?
STATE what you intend to accomplish through this communication/response.
Save a draft of your reply and have someone else read it.
Write it, save it, read it
later
.
If the e-mail fills up your screen, it's too long and/or complex to be discussed over e-mail.
Be careful of CC's and BCC's. Always check your recipients list.
Monitor your emotions. Stay calm.
Choose your words carefully.
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