E-Mail Etiquette
  1. Use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.


    Hi Dr. Allen,

    I hpoe this email finds you well. Im going to be out of otwn and I wont have internet their. I was wondering if I can get an extention on the asignment. 

    Thank you.

    Joey A. Smith 
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Pharmacy Student, Class of 2017
    But Instead:

    Hi Dr. Allen,

    I hope this email finds you well. I'm going to be out of town and I won't have internet there. I was wondering if I can get an extension on the assignment. 

    Thank you.

    Joey A. Smith
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Pharmacy Student, Class of 2017

  2. Be mindful of your recipient’s response time and availability.

    Some people may be away from their e-mails after work hours or may have a slower response time. If your issue is urgent and requires immediate response, consider dropping by the person's office during office hours. Some recipients may even prefer speaking in person; be mindful of which method of communication is preferred for them.

  3. Use proper structure and layout.

    Remember to include a proper subject to your e-mail; for example, try to include the class/organization your e-mail is referencing so that your recipient has a better idea of what to expect when they open your e-mail.

    Begin your e-mail with a salutation and take care to address your contact appropriately with the proper title of Dr., Mr., Professor- are they a PharmD, a B.S.Pharm, a Professor, or another student? Avoid addressing your contact by first name if they are a faculty member unless you have been requested to do so.

    At the end of your e-mails, try to include a closing line, such as "Thank you," and to include a professional signature and/or to introduce yourself in the beginning of an e-mail. Be especially careful on your smartphone to remember to include one. 

    In addition to the content of your e-mail, avoid sending e-mails from nonprofessional e-mail addresses with a strange username; if possible, try to send an e-mail from your uic.edu account. (Gmail user? See Point 3 in the New Student Guide under "Student E-mail Account" on how to send from your uic.edu e-mail address in Gmail.)

    What is a Professional Signature?

    Professional signatures include your full name, contact information, campus involvement, and titles. For example:

    Charles F. Miller
    APhA Active Member
    P2 Class Council Secretary
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Pharmacy Student, Class of 2017
    E-mail: cmill28@uic.edu | Cell: 353-242-8098
    You may choose to omit or include additional information, depending on the recipients of your e-mail. For example, it may be appropriate to include your position in an organization for e-mails regarding that organization. Including your phone number offers your recipient an alternative method of communication.
    Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate?

    There are several schools of thought in regards to when it is appropriate to label oneself as a "Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate." One school of thought finds this title most appropriate when the student is on their last year of pharmacy school. A P4 graduating in 2014, then, would have the title, "Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, Class of 2014."

  4. Take care with capitals, abbreviations, and emoticons.

    People may elect to write certain words in capitals to add emphasis to a word; however, writing an e-mail entirely in capitals is unprofessional and can be misinterpretted as an exclamation online or being aggressive. 

    Additionally, writing with abbreviations and emoticons is acceptable to an extent. Use them sparingly and with good judgment. If you are uncertain whether it would be appropriate to use an abbreviation or emoticon, play it safe and don't use it.

    If you are writing an e-mail from a smartphone, be wary of using "texting" language; write out the e-mail appropriately and professionally as you would an e-mail from a computer. Avoid abbreviations such as "lol," "u," "wen," "ttyl," etc.

  5. Read the e-mail before you send it.

    Read the e-mail carefully and to yourself to check for fluidity, mistypos, missing words, etc. Consider also asking someone you trust to help you look it over.

  6. Be mindful of the content of your e-mail.

    Ask yourself if the purpose of your e-mail is appropriate to discuss through the e-mail, or whether you should schedule a time to meet with them in person to address the situation. For example, if you are offering your recipient critique or confronting them about a conflict, it may be best addressed face to face to avoid misunderstandings. Give yourself time to write an e-mail if you are feeling emotional about the content of your e-mail so that you may keep your tone professional and calm. Finally, ensure that your e-mail is fair and respectful. For example, avoid asking professors and lecturers for what specifically will be on the exam.

  7. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission.

  8. Do not use email to discuss confidential information.

  9. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT.

    Be wary of your word choice, as using such words can be taken as a sign of disrespect. If your e-mail requires immediate attention, consider meeting the professor/instructor in person, or request politely for a reply by a certain date so that the recipient may take note that your message is time sensitive.

  10. Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist, or obscene remarks.
PSC Webmaster,
Mar 2, 2014, 9:17 AM