Just what I Needed

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If you're confident your recipient will recognize your e-mail address, and really is expecting a file from you, then this would be fine. But keep in mind that many e-mail providers get scads of virus-laden spam with vague titles like this. The more specific you are, the more likely your recipient's spam-blocker will let your message through.

-Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips

 

As a freshman in college, I sent more e-mails in the last week than I have in my entire life.  This article showed me a few things that need brushing up on in the myriad of messages that I will send to professors and family this week.

The first thing that I noticed is that my subject lines are generally too vague, I know that is hard to believe coming from the person that titled this entry "Just what I Needed".  I would have to say that I fall under the two boxes checked with question marks.  I was always under the assumption that the recipient would want to discover what my message was about from the body, not the title, of the e-mail.  Also, I never thought of asking recipients if they would like attachments or not, so it is good that I learned of this concept before I needed to send a 500GB attachment to every professor this semester.

As for the other items, I thought that they were common sense, so it is most likely for the best that they were put in.  Previous instructors have always harped on the fact that it is easier to misconstrue the meaning of a written phrase than it is to misconstrue a speakers words.  I am always anal about proofreading my work, even though I am far worse at correcting mistakes than I would like to be.

About the only other thing that I never really thought of, and it did not come as a shock to me, is the idea that you should write e-mails (or anything for that matter) as though it were public.  Like I said it is common sense that most dirty little secrets and private information usually make their way into the public eye, but I never really sat down and thought of it in the context of e-mail.  It was the same with all of the other points, I understood them perfectly, I had never heard them explicitly stated.

Enjoy Labor Day everyone.  Peace out :-?

I'm sorry you need to return to Dr. Jerz.

2 Comments

Daniella Choynowski said:

We all make asumptions, but we get into our own emailing habits, like myself forgetting to label my emails. I never really though that a "no subject" line would translate to "not important". I've also been an impulse emailer (see the part about Paris on my blog). It is easier to misconstrue written words because we don't have all the extra-textual communication factors to aid us: voice tone and level, eye contact, body language, etc...We have to be more careful with text.

You may think that you are sending an email to only one person, but how sure can you be that they did not forward it to or show another person? Just always be conscious. And never write anything you would possibly regret/

Jed, regarding what you wrote on the course website... captchas are evil, but they are the lesser of two evils.

I know from experience that, if I turned off the Captchas, there would be literally -- no exaggeration -- THOUSANDS of spam comments for every good comment on the site. That would completely kill the conversation on this site, since each student would have to weed out thousands of junk messages in order to publish each peer comment.

As a whole, I think academia has been slow to recognize just how "old" e-mail seems to younger computer users. Much of the panic one hears from educators comes precisely from the fact that young people are far more experienced with texting than with e-mailing, and the older generation of teachers has zero experience with social texting (unless they have teens and therefore feel motivated to learn the conventions of texting in order to be involved in their kids' lives).

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