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Western Kentucky University

Technology Notes for Teachers - FaCET

10 Ways to Increase E-mail Effectiveness and Reduce Junk Mail

     1. Act in haste, repent in leisure. The problem (and the delight) of  E-mail is that it is easy to respond to a message.  While E-mail  enhances social networking, a fast response is one likely to be mailed to everyone when that may not have been your intent.  Always always always check to whom you are replying.  If the address reads "Faculty-All" or appears to be a generic address, don't use the reply function.  Create a new message (or delete the old address).

     2.  When you are tired or in a hurry don't post group messages or respond to group messages.  You are most likely to make an  error at that time.  Save yourself embarrassment: Write your message, let it sit at least a few hours, then proofread and spellcheck before sending.

     3. Use a precise, succinct, and accurate descriptor in the subject  line.  Cute subject lines become annoying to those handling 30+  messages per day.  Avoid  vague terms like "Holiday Event" or  "Workshop."  Instead write "Instrumental Concert, 8 PM May 12" or "Web Technology Workshop, 2 PM Oct 13."

     4.   Write in short (2-3 sentence) paragraphs or use lists. Put your  most important message in the first sentence so it isn't missed.  People skim E-mail.

     5. In general, don't forward messages from individuals unless you have permission.  They have written the message with an audience of one in  mind (you). To forward the message may distort their meaning.

     6. Don't assume your e-mail is private. Anything you write may become public as it is often forwarded without your knowledge.

     7. Don't believe every E-mail you get.  To determine if it is an  actual virus, contest, charity, etc.,  check Network Associates Virus Information ( or Department of Energy
Computer  Incident Advisory Capability  (

     8. Be very careful about mailing information regarding student performance.  E-mail is not secure, either legally or in practice.  Student information (such as grades) is protected by law.

     9. If you have Netscape mail, be careful to send plain text messages.  Otherwise, persons with other types of  E-mail software may receive a code-filled  message, practically undecipherable.  (To create plain text messages select Edit/Preferences/Messages/deselect "By default, send HTML  messages"/ok).  You may have to reset your software periodically.

     10. Be patient with those who have made mistakes.  We are all learning  and will be for the rest of our lives.  It is the one who believes he/she will never make the error who is most at risk for doing  it.

The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching -- Phone (270) 745-6508 -- Fax (270) 745-6145.
Location: 1783 Chestnut Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
Mailing Address: 1906 College Heights Blvd #11095, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1095.
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 Last Modified 9/24/14