Via Dr. B’s blog, I found this post on Orange Crate Art: “How to e-mail a professor.” SOLID solid advice; in the near future, I’m either going to point out this entry to my students or I’m going to write up my own version of this advice (referencing Michael Leddy’s post, of course) and pass this out.
I for one like to communicate with my students via email (though I have colleagues who either would rather not have their students email or who even go so far as to say that their students cannot email them), but I do think it can be a problem. I get a lot of email– at least 100 messages a day– of various levels of importance. I get a lot of spam and junk of course, and while my “junk filter” works relatively well (I’m using the Mail software that comes standard on the Mac nowadays), I also get a lot of junk and spam in my inbox, all mixed in with some mailing list mail, important school mail, student mail, advertisements, mail from friends, etc. And the “student mail,” too often with a subject line like “hey,” can disappear into the mix in the inbox, or, far worse, be determined by my software to be “junk.”
Anyway, the advice offered by Leddy is pretty darn good, the sort of “common sense” that sometimes needs to be directly taught in order to be realized.