By Praise Adejimi
This article is exclusive to Online Edition 9 of VARSITY.
Whether it’s a “Hi there” or “Morning Professor,” we all know that email etiquette can be quite daunting and tiresome to say the least. There is a kind of norm which students follow when sending an email to their tutor or professor. It is one with perfect punctuation, a reference to your lecturer’s qualification by the use of the words ‘Doctor’ or ‘Professor’ and of course, we can’t forget the standard “hope this email finds you well” line that must certainly be included. Students can spend up to 30 minutes structuring the perfect email, aligning it with the required formalities and a degree of respect, just to receive a one-liner in response and that’s it!
However, dare students respond in the same casual manner, they are acknowledged as being disrespectful. As much as email etiquette is appreciated, the time and effort spent on ensuring that one has constructed the perfect email is likely to take away from its main purpose. A student might have a quick question to ask their tutor or lecturer, but if it is not asked with a degree of respect and professionalism, it is likely to be ignored.
Yes, when it comes to asking for clarity on a particular point that was confusing in the lecture, we can understand the necessity behind compiling a respectfully written email, written in perfect English. But how useful is it when we are rushing for a tutorial consultation and all we want to do is send a quick email telling our tutor that we are running 5 minutes late? As much as email etiquette is acknowledged as a sign of respect towards one’s tutor or lecturer, we plead with our tutors and lecturers to understand that sometimes we just want to type a quick message, just as much as we know that you want to send a quick response.
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