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Dear College Student, If your professor has sent you a link to this page, two things are likely true. First, you probably sent an email that does not represent you in a way you would like to be represented.
Second, while others might have scolded you, mocked you or despaired over the future of the planet because of your email, you sent it to someone who wants to help you represent yourself better.
In part, because only a click or swipe or two separate emails from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and texting, the lines between professional emails and more informal modes of writing have become blurred, and many students find the conventions of professional emails murky.
We think we can help sort things out. In the age of social media, many students approach emailing similar to texting and other forms of digital communication, where the crucial conventions are brevity and informality. But most college teachers consider emails closer to letters than to text messages.
This style of writing calls for more formality, more thoroughness and more faithful adherence sometimes bordering on religious adherence to the conventions of Edited Standard Written English -- that is, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and syntax.
These different ways of writing are just that -- different ways of writing. The letter approach to emails is not always and forever better or worse than the texting approach.
Knowing how and when to use one or the other -- based on why you are writing and whom you are writing to -- makes all the difference. So, if you use emojis, acronyms, abbreviations, etc.
Effective writing requires shaping your words according to your audience, purpose and genre or type of writing, e. Together these are sometimes called the rhetorical situation. Some of the key conventions for the rhetorical situation of emailing a professor are as follows: Use a clear subject line.
Use a salutation and signature. Use standard punctuation, capitalization, spelling and grammar. Do your part in solving what you need to solve. If you email to ask something you could look up yourself, you risk presenting yourself as less resourceful than you ought to be.
Be aware of concerns about entitlement.
If you appear to demand help, shrug off absences or assume late work will be accepted without penalty because you have a good reason, your professors may see you as irresponsible or presumptuous. Add a touch of humanity. Some of the most effective emails are not strictly business -- not strictly about the syllabus, the grade, the absence or the assignment.
While avoiding obvious flattery, you might comment on something said in class, share information regarding an event the professor might want to know about or pass on an article from your news feed that is relevant to the course. These sorts of flourishes, woven in gracefully, put a relational touch to the email, recognizing that professors are not just point keepers but people.
We hope that these rules or these and these help you understand what most professors want or expect from academic emails.
Which brings us back to the larger point: Writing effectively means writing as an act of human communication -- shaping your words in light of whom you are writing to and why.
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Often a composition weaves on one time and there ar. Below we offer two examples of thoughtful reflective essays that effectively and substantively capture the author's growth over time at California State University Channel Islands (CI).
The essay section is the most important part of any application, see the types of essays successful applicants have used to apply to business school.
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