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GoodPracticeandEtiquette

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									E-Mail- Good Practice and Etiquette

It is now accepted that email is one of the most common forms of
communication at this institution. Because of this it is important that we all
make sure the emails we send convey the right message to the recipient.

Why is it important to follow the rules of email good practice and etiquette?

        Professionalism: by using proper email language you and the institution
         will convey a professional image.
        Efficiency: emails that get to the point are much more effective than
         poorly worded emails.
        Following good practice will also help our email system run more
         effectively for all users.

Golden rules

        You are responsible for any activity (a mail message for example) which
         originates from your personal account. Therefore you should never tell
         anyone your password.

        Immediately delete e-mail with attachments from senders you do not
         recognise because it is probably "spam". It is also unsafe to open links to
         web pages in messages from unknown sources.

        If you receive an attachment with the file extension.exe (e.g.
         program.exe) DO NOT open this file.

        Do not forward chain letters - delete them. This includes charity
         requests, regardless of the merit of the cause.

        Delete unwanted messages to conserve space.

        Keep acronyms to a minimum because they may be confusing to the
         message recipient.

        Please do not forward virus hoaxes; a virus hoax is an email warning
         about a virus outbreak, has not come from the college Help Desk or
         Systems team, and is usually distinguished by its tone of panic and
         emergency. As an indicator, if the email mentions Microsoft in any
         context it is nearly always a hoax. If you are not sure if you have received
         a hoax, contact the Helpdesk (help@canterbury.ac.uk, x2436), or refer to
         any of the anti-virus online encyclopaedias available on the internet, such
         as http://www.sophos.com/ or http://www.symantec.com/index.htm.

        Never reply to unsolicited emails or "spam", even if you think you are
         unsubscribing from a mailing list as this confirms that your email address
         is 'live' which will usually generate even more spam. Simply delete all
         junk messages.

        Only send messages in ‘plain text’. Be aware that if you send an email in
         rich text or HTML format, the sender might not be able to view it as you
         intended. Both Simeon and WebMail both send plain text messages by
         default.

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Manage your messages

        Don't let your inbox get on top of you. Try not to use your inbox for
         storing messages, but just as the place where you receive new messages
         before they are filed appropriately or deleted.

        Delete messages as soon as you no longer need them,

        Use folders to store messages you need to keep.

        Only save outgoing messages where appropriate

        Try to only send attachments if you have no alternative. Use a common
         area such as shared drive, and then email people asking them to read it,
         rather than sending a message with an attachment to several people.

Use real names

        Set up a real name in your email options. This will be the name that
         people see in their Inbox when you send them a message. If you don't set
         up a real name then your email program will use your login name or e-
         mail address, which might confuse the recipient.

        For instructions on how to set up a real name see the appropriate tutorial
         for the mail program you use


Think about your subject

        Always include a subject line in your message. The subject helps the
         recipient to be sure the message is genuinely from you. In addition, the
         subject can be used to help file away and search for messages so make
         the subject line meaningful.

        If you are replying to a message but are changing the subject of the
         conversation, change the subject too. The subject is usually the easiest
         way to follow the thread of a conversation, so changing the conversation
         without changing the subject can be confusing and can make filing
         difficult.

Think about message length and format

        Be concise. Keep to the subject as much as possible. If you want to
         discuss a different topic then it's often better to send a new message,
         which allows the recipient the option of filing it separately.

        Don't type your message in uppercase as it's difficult to read, (and is
         regarded as rude) although limited use of uppercase may serve to
         emphasise a point.

        Try to break your message into logical paragraphs and restrict your
         sentences to sensible lengths.

        Use correct grammar and spelling. E-mail is all about communication and
         poorly worded messages or incorrect spellings are potentially confusing.

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Think about content

        Try to avoid sending messages when you are angry. Messages sent in the
         heat of the moment are likely to exacerbate the situation and are often
         regretted later. Draft the message, save the draft and allow time to cool
         down before rereading it and sending it.

        Where there is a difficulty, break the cycle of message and response. A
         telephone call or personal conversation can help to resolve problems.

        Be careful when using humour. Jokes and light-hearted remarks can
         easily be misunderstood.

Think about courtesy and privacy

        E-mail is about communicating with other people so don't forget
         common courtesy.

        Don't expect an immediate answer.

        There is no such thing as a secure mail system so it is not sensible to
         send very personal or sensitive information by email.

        Remember that the recipient could also be embarrassed if a delicate
         message is read by other people.

        If you are asking a question, include enough information for the recipient
         to answer.

        When you compose an e-mail message, read it over before sending it and
         ask yourself what your reaction would be if you received it.

Think about accuracy

        Once an email is sent it cannot be retrieved from the recipient’s inbox, so
         make sure you have entered the correct address

What to remember when you reply to a message

        Include enough of the original message to provide a context. E-mail is
         not as immediate as a telephone conversation and the recipient may not
         remember the contents of the original message.

        Only include the minimum you need from the original message in order
         to make your context clear.

        Pay careful attention to where you are sending your reply. It can be very
         embarrassing for you if a personal message ends up on a mailing list.

        Use the ‘reply to all’ button with care. Does your response really need to
         be read by all the original recipients of the message? If you only want to
         reply to the sender then simply use the ‘reply’ button



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Use a signature

        A "signature" is a small block of text usually containing your contact
         information that appears at the end of your messages.

        Your signature should identify who you are and include alternative means
         of contacting you (e.g. phone and fax numbers).

        Keep your signature short

        If you are replying to a message on behalf of another colleague or your
         department, make sure that the signature is relevant.


E-mail is totally devoid of body language.

        Remember that when sending an email the recipient may not understand
         any intended irony or humour, as words can be misconstrued if not
         accompanied by the body language, facial expressions and tone of voice
         that accompany face to face interactions. For this reason it is important
         that you re-read your email before sending, which will help you send a
         more effective message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate
         comments.




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