Why take this module?
We live in a digital age where more and more communication occurs via electronic methods such as email or social media. As with all forms of communication, it is important to consider carefully the content of your message being communicated and who your audience is. This module focuses on email as a formal communication method, as well as discussing aspects of digital communication that need to be considered in context to your future career.
You should take this module if:
- You want to establish good working relationships with your lecturers and teaching staff
- You want to understand how to communicate for success both at university and beyond
By the end of this module you will:
- Understand what the appropriate etiquette is for communicating to your lecturers and teaching staff via email
- Understand the importance of professional communication
At university (and in the workplace) you will find yourself needing to communicate via email with your lecturer and teaching staff, and other staff members. It is important to do so in a proper, professional manner for a number of reasons:
- You need to introduce yourself briefly and communicate clearly so they know who you are, including which subject you are taking with them.
- It shows respect to the people who will be teaching you and helping you.
- Learning how to communicate in a professional manner whilst at university is essential practice for knowing how to communicate when you graduate and enter a career.
- Professional communication increases the chances of getting what you asked for!
When you email your lecturer or teaching staff, you should think of it as writing in a professional rather than social context. In your initial contact ensure that you address your lecturer with the correct salutation (e.g. Professor/Dr), once they have responded and signed off using their first name, then it’s okay to communicate on a first name basis. You may be on friendly and familiar terms with your lecturer/teaching staff, but it isn’t the same as chatting to someone on social media, so ensure all email communication remains professional.
Remember that you may want to ask your lecturer or teaching staff member to be a referee or assist you in your career in the future – another reason why your digital communication skills must be professional.
When you send an email to a lecturer or teaching staff or other staff member you are sending it in the professional context of you as a student and them in their professional role as instructor or otherwise. If your email is badly spelt, overly casual and lacks punctuation or grammar it comes across as signalling a lack of care and attention.
In short, it’s not a good look.
How not to send an email to your teacher
How to send an email to your teacher
- Compose an email to your lecturer asking for assistance on an assignment
- Compare your email with the example
- Consider any new email etiquette practices that you may wish to adopt
Subject: BUSS 1066 Assignment 1
Dear Dr Smith
I am currently enrolled in your Business Communication class (BUSS 1066) and am writing to ask if it would be possible to arrange a meeting to discuss some specific questions that I have about assignment 1.
I have nearly completed the first draft of my assignment, but am confused about the second question. I have listened to the lecture recordings and reviewed my notes, as well as discussed the question with my class mates but am still unsure what is required.
Would you be available to meet for a brief 30 minutes in order to provide some further guidance?
- Ensure content is always professional
- Take the time to proof read your email before sending
- Avoid being overly casual until you have developed a good working relationship
- Your message should be clear and concise