Go to LAVC Web site

LAVC E-Mail Etiquette

General Tips

E-mail works best for brief, informal, factual messages where you want to send information to someone (or a number of people) quickly. E-mail is not a good choice for messages that are long or confidential. Be brief, clear, and professional. Use e-mail only for business, not for chain letters, fund raisers, political or religious statements, etc.

E-mail messages are permanent and public. Once you send a message, you have no control over it; the people you send it to may save it in electronic form, print it, or forward it to others without your knowledge. E-mail may be subpoenaed by a court.

When sending or responding to a message on a sensitive or controversial topic, don't send your message right away. E-mail can be sent quickly to a large number of people, so it is easy to send a message that you'll later regret.

E-mail can't deal with 'body language,' facial expressions, and tone, so attempts at humor, irony, or sarcasm are easily misinterpreted. If you want to be humorous, add the word 'joke' or a sideways happy face (colon, hyphen, and right parenthesis).

Using all capital letters in an e-mail message SOUNDS LIKE YELLING.

Sending Messages

Keep the list of recipients and copies to a minimum. Resist the urge to 'copy the world.' Many people feel they receive too much e-mail.

Send messages on a single subject whenever possible. This makes it easier to file, retrieve, forward, and reply. Make the 'Subject' line brief but informative so people can scan their list of messages for specific topics.

If you want the people receiving your message to be able to insert comments in its text, be sure to include the text in the message itself; don't attach it as a separate file.

Replying To Messages

You should respond to a message within 24-48 hours of your getting the mail.

When responding to a message, sometimes you want to respond to just the person who sent the message while other times you want everyone who got the original message to see your response. A common mistake is comments that are intended only for the sender but sent instead to the whole group.

If you are part of a back-and-forth exchange, where people are inserting comments into the text of prior messages, put your comments on a separate line, preferably in a different color, and flag them so they stand out with the date and your initials.

If you're replying to a message but don't need to insert comments into the original text, use the cc:Mail feature that allows you to not include the original message in your reply. This saves disk space.

When you forward a message to someone with comments, and they didn't get the original message, be sure to include it so they know what you're talking about.

Internet E-Mail

To send an email to someone, you must know his or her exact and complete e-mail address.

To receive emails, people have to know your exact and complete email address.  Examples of complete and exact email addresses: morrissk@lavc.edu, or charly_smihh@yahoo.com  To send e-mail to someone on the Internet, you must know their exact Internet e-mail name.

Space Limitations

In order to maintain an efficient and responsive e-mail system, e-mail users need to limit the number of messages they store. Housekeeping should be done on a regular basis by deleting messages no longer needed.