Raise your hand if you’ve ever sent an email to the wrong person or used elaborate email fonts? It’s okay, we’ve all made our fair share of mistakes while shooting emails.
To help you know exactly what not to do when corresponding with your lecturer or professional contacts by email, we’re revealing 6 emails you should definitely not send to them. Read on to find out what they are!
#1. Informal-sounding emails
There’s one thing you need to keep in mind when writing formal emails: Your teachers or lecturers are not your friends. It doesn’t matter if they roar with laughter when you’re being the class clown or if they helped you out of a sticky situation; remember that being friendly and being friends are two vastly different things.
So, don’t email your teacher “Yo, I need an extension for the assignment. Thanks, man”.
Keep it professional and respectable with proper salutations, content and sign-off. Your future working professional self will thank you for cultivating good email etiquette early on.
#2. Emails written when you’re mad
So you’re waiting anxiously for your lecturer’s email about your marks for an important paper you worked extremely hard on. You finally receive an email notification ping; your results are here! However, it doesn’t contain the grade you were hoping for — and you’re furious.
Even if you feel as if there has been an injustice, stop yourself from sending that angry email! It’ll only hurt you and your prospects, as your lecturer won’t appreciate your (most likely) disrespectful and hostile response.
Instead, take a deep breath and wait before sending a reply. When you’ve calmed down, write an email to suggest a face-to-face meeting with your lecturer to discuss your grade. This way, it will be so much easier to express your points and concerns without seeming like you are being rude or disrespectful (even if you are not angry, not choosing your words carefully can still make you seem upset as it is difficult to convey intonation and expression in emails).
#3. An email with the wrong attachment
Ah, the worst blunder to happen to everyone. While it’s common to not include the attachment in an email, it’s even worse when you insert the wrong one.
Can you imagine sending your lecturer a pdf of lyrics to your favourite song by accident? Or worse, sending the first draft of your assignment — which is far from complete!
Avoid this mortifying mistake by triple-checking your email and its attachments, and only hit “send” once you’re sure everything is in its right place.
#4. Emails filled with redundant questions
Some might say ‘no question is a stupid question’, but there are situations where a question can be stupid. For instance, don’t ask when an assignment is due if your lecturer has already told the class on the very first day and has stated it in their lecture notes. To avoid asking redundant (repeated) questions, always try to find the information yourself first or check with your classmates.
It’s also best not to ask your lecturer about the correct spelling of their name, as that shows you don’t pay attention. Not to mention, no one likes it when people don’t remember their name.
#5. Incomplete emails
“Hi Mr. Lee, I’m afraid…”
Imagine receiving that email as a lecturer — you’d be wondering what your student is afraid of, and if it is something serious. Or, you’d figure out that they accidentally sent it before finishing the email, and roll your eyes at their novice mistake.
To avoid this, always be cautious and check that your thumb or mouse isn’t hovering too close to the “send” button while you’re typing out your email. You can also try this handy tip: Only insert your recipient’s email after you’re done typing and proofing your email. This way, your draft won’t accidentally get sent out as there’s no recipient to deliver it to!
#6. One-word replies
While it’s tempting to just reply “Okay” or “Noted” after your lecturer sends an email, don’t do it if it’s in response to a question you asked or feedback you requested especially from them. This is because opening and reading an email requires time — so don’t waste your lecturers time by sending an unnecessary response of little value.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be polite and acknowledge that you’ve received their email. Not sure what exactly to say? Try “Thank you for the additional information on this topic, much appreciated” (to show your appreciation) or even “Understood, I will use these points to update my essay” (to let your lecturer know your next steps).
Have you committed any of these email no-no’s? Don’t hang your head in shame; learn from your mistakes instead! You’ll be golden once you remember to be more careful and thoughtful while crafting emails, hence bidding farewell to your past bad-email self. Here’s to sending good emails from now on!