Getting started with the email assignment
Peer review is underway and going along fine. Remember, comments to your peers and your answers to the end of the peer review survey are due by the end of the day Monday! In the meantime, it’s time to start the next project for the term, a fairly short one on email.
First, take a look at the assignment itself– here’s a link to it. As whatever questions you have about it in the comments.
Second, read over the readings for this unit on email. They are:
- “A Beginner’s Guide to Effective Email” by Kaitlin “Duck” Sherwood. It’s a bit dated (she wrote this originally in 1994!), but she has continually updated it and it’s pretty straight-forward.
- “Email Etiquette” from OWL at Purdue University; and, one of my favorites,
- “How to e-mail a professor” by Michael Leddy at Orange Crate Art.
I think this email unit is an important one and a good example of how what we’re writing in this class is more complicated than it might seem at first glance.
What I mean is this: all of these readings/advice (and the ones that you too will find and share with us here, along the lines of what you did for the personal statement assignment!) are all straight-forward and might even seem to many as “obvious” and “common sense.” I am sure many/most of you send emails all the time– though I will say if some of you are at least a bit like my 17 year-old son and the kids in his school, you are a lot more likely to do more texting. But I can tell you as someone who has been teaching a long time and who has been using email for a long time (back when I started, in the very early 1990s, it was fairly unusual for non-computer programmers to have an email address), writing effective email is not nearly as obvious as you might think, and as far as I can tell, there really is no such thing as “common sense.”
So even though I know you have written lots of email messages before and even if you are thinking “what new thing could I possibly learn from this?” do look at these readings and do search for more “how to” advice on writing effective email. You might learn something new!