Posted: April 20th, 2016

• Assume your message is permanent and can be read by anyone at any time??

Email Conventions and Guidelines This information has been compiled from: Technical Communication by John Lannon; Technical Communication by Paul Anderson. These guidelines include: when some other medium is better, privacy/courtesy/ethics issues, and conventions for layout and writing. When to Use Another Medium: • Sometimes you need to talk with someone to avoid misinterpretation. • Don’t use email for a long, detailed discussion. A document can be attached to an email, however. • Don’t use email for formal correspondence (e.g., responding to a client – unless the client prefers email. Don’t use email when formal correspondence could become part of a legal record of shipment, etc. Privacy, Courtesy, and Ethics issues: • Check your distribution list before each mailing. • When needed, give users a way to “unsubscribe” to your mailings, if these are frequent. • Suppress groups of email recipients by using the “bcc” line to suppress group member’ names. • Assume your message is permanent and can be read by anyone at any time. Monitoring of email by an employer is legal. Also someone could use parts of your mail out of context, plagiarize your ideas. A partial safeguard is encryption software. • Do not use email for confidential information. Avoid complaining, criticizing, evaluating people or saying anything private. • Don’t use email at work for personal correspondence or anything not work-related. Employers increasingly monitor their email networks.

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