Teachers are teens’ top resource, and email is one of the most effective ways to communicate with them.
Most teens, however, are not familiar with basic e-mail etiquette. Teachers often tell us they’re frustrated by emails that use “texting language,” miss key details (like who it’s from!), or don’t make sense. Yikes!
If your teen wants to write a simple email that gets results, follow these tips.
Want Your Teacher to Respond to Your Email?
Write clear subject lines
Make the subject line specific and succinct. For example, if you’re writing an email to someone that just interviewed you, something as simple as “Thank You” is sufficient.
Use formal introductions and closings.
Emails should always have a formal introduction and conclusion. This means always starting off an email with “Hello [name]” or “Hi Mr. [name]. Always, always, always double check the spelling of first and last names when addressing an email. Close with “Sincerely.”
Try the Sandwich Method
If your teen is at a loss for words, give them this framework:
Start with a pleasant, positive opening line. For instance, “I have really enjoyed your class and how you approach history.” Next, make your request. “I am struggling to prioritize which information to study for the final exam. There is so much content. Could you give me direction?”
Read and reread emails out loud. You will catch things you would have missed otherwise.
Do not use text messaging language….ever.
Use proper grammar. Avoid abbreviations. And, make sure you do not have any run-on sentences.
Write as concisely as possible.
Email inboxes are flooded. Time (and attention) are precious. Get to the point quickly without being abrupt.