Netiquette Q&A

Netiquette Q&A

What is netiquette?

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines Netiquette as "etiquette governing communication on the Internet".

Why is netiquette important?

In an online environment, communication is primarily handled via the written (or typed) word; there is no "face to face" communication. The lack of facial expressions, voice inflections, and body language are absent in email communications; therefore, there are set standards of etiquette when communicating in cyberspace to help avoid misunderstanding.

Where will I use netiquette?

Netiquette applies to places online that you will be communicating. Key places that netiquette will apply are emails, discussion board postings, voice board postings, etc.

What are the rules of netiquette?

  • Sarcasm and humor can often be misunderstood in an online format. If using sarcasm or humor be sure to include a clue like an emoticon ;-) or a laugh “ha ha”
  • UPPERCASE letters generally are associated with yelling. You should write most emails and posts using upper and lower case letters.
  • If you are writing an email or post about something that you are emotional about you may want to draft it and then read it several hours later prior to sending or posting it. This may prevent you from sending something that you may regret.
  • Instructors receive a massive amount of email daily you can help them to be able to respond to you quickly by providing information in your emails. Be sure to include your name, the course you are taking, and the section number in all email correspondence with your instructor.
  • Be specific when asking questions. For example, if you are having difficulty with an assignment, in addition to providing the personal information as described above, explain what assignment it is, what you understand, and what you are having difficulty with so they can fine tune a response for you.
  • Read your emails and posts prior to sending/posting them to ensure readability and that your intended message is clear.
  • Check your course syllabus and/or instructor’s introduction to determine their guidelines for responding to emails.