Email Etiquette

Tisha Lwin, A&E Editor

Editor’s note: Student responses were gathered from a school wide email request. All students quoted here asked to remain anonymous.


Every year sophomores have to go through an entire SWell component about email etiquette, but have you ever noticed that it may be teachers who need the lesson? Many students stress about writing emails to teachers formally and politely, but sometimes teachers don’t always reply with the same respect.

One student reports writing a nicely worded and formatted email and getting the response, “Got it! Sent from Mail on Windows 10,” showing that the teacher clearly just clicked on a recommended response and pressed send.

Granted, teachers are busy, but she couldn’t even type in the student’s name? Or even a smiley emoji?

Another Pres girl gets frustrated when a couple of her teachers never reply to her emails and will not discuss the issues unless she shows up to their classroom or office.

Furthermore, one student describes getting emails at extremely odd hours, such as 3 a.m., or getting a response on a question for an assignment after it is due. I guess it’s good to know that teachers are up in the middle of the night, too?

Finally, another girl reports writing a very long, elaborate email to a teacher only to get the response “Yes, you can” when it wasn’t even a yes or no question:

Student: Our group was wondering when we could come in to speak with you about our presentation.

Teacher: Yes.

Student: Uuuhhhhm…?

We all get irritated when teachers respond with “K,” reply after 48 hours, or they just don’t respond at all, but from teachers’ perspectives replying timely and including long, helpful advice is extremely challenging.

“I am often bombarded with email requests, and a short response is better than none. I always attempt to be respectful,” says Dean of Students Peggy Schrader.

Some ways to increase the likelihood of getting a good response are to email in advance, since you’re way more likely to get a response when you don’t email at 10 p.m. the night before. You should also be concise because nobody, especially busy teachers, wants to read a five-paragraph-long email.

Pres students and teachers alike sometimes have difficulty using proper email etiquette. Hopefully by putting in a little more time and effort, and by using these tips, we can resolve this issue as a community.