Students need to learn to send professional e-mails?

Posted: January 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

I was cleaning out my work e-mails today and realized how informal students are when they communicate with me via e-mail. All of the students I teach have their high school diploma or a GED. I wonder if these students were in a work environment, if they would aim to be more professional. Here are a few e-mails I received during fall semester:

thanks for all your help an i hope i can get a 4 or better..

i sent my essay did you recieve it?

Did you get my two essy.

hey its doug from 8am eng 052 im working on my essay 4 are you up at school on thursdays?
my business final is at 8 am on Friday

Ms.Y***, is it possible for you to tell me what was wrong with my essay 3 bcus I missed placed my paper yu gave me
i have to go to court tomarrow so i will see you next week to tke my final exam and give you the other extra credit paper i did….

ms y** i am done my essay 3 but this was all could type up before my next class at the its only DRAFT 1..sorry i missed your class once again it was pointless since i came at 5 o clock and my other class starts 5 45..once i finish my next class i will finish typing up essay 3 in the libary at school and send u a better copy..

Email#7 (this email had an essay attached to it)
attention i don’t have money to print this out or a printer

Hi, Mrs. Y**, how are you? this is U** S***, i want to know if i pass your class. Please, tell me that i pass your class. Send me an e-mail as soon as possible. Thanks

In order for students to be successful in this highly competitive society, they need to learn respect and professionalism. I’m currently a graduate student, and I would never send such an informal e-mail to one of my professors.

  1. Interesting observations.
    Sounds like a scaffold to make explicit the requirements for respectful and professional posts would assist your students. Elaine

  2. mdeducator81 says:

    Yes, I agree. Students should work on these skills throughout middle and high school. The emails I receive are respectful in that the students do often say please and thank you, but they are written too much on a buddy-buddy level rather than a student-teacher level. Personally, I’m not offended, but I’m thinking these students will be at a disadvantage if they are writing professional emails in this way.

    I understand the spelling mistakes; these are remedial writing students. However, this shortened “text language” that has become the newest trend is just not appropriate in certain circumstances.

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