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Why is Email Etiquette So Important?

High school students are entering a world where everything is digital. Their college applications, job applications, even their social lives are based online. As they’ve gone through school, it’s likely they’ve developed many bad email habits. While emails to friends can be littered with abbreviations, contain no formal email structure, and be sent at two in the morning, this is not how students should format a follow-up for a job interview. As students get older, it is important to teach them the do's and don'ts of email, as well as other online etiquette, to prevent these avoidable faux pas.

Here is an example of a Do’s and Don’ts storyboard for student, formal, and business email etiquette. In half of the cells, we see a "don’t" illustrated clearly and in the other half, we see the proper way to send the same email. This storyboard covers skills like conciseness, using proper English, and sending personalized (rather than chain) emails to friends and family.

Storyboards are an excellent way to learn and discuss proper email etiquette. By utilizing characters and scenes, as well as text, students will grasp how their emails affect the people who receive them. Email formatting often seems like a chore for no reason, but, give students the ability to show how poorly written emails are perceived, and they will grasp the importance of eloquent emails.

In addition to helping students imagine the impact of their emails, these storyboards give teachers a way to instantly assess and redirect students in real time. The easy-to-understand nature of storyboards means you will be able to see immediately if a student has mastered the concept. You can correct him or her right away, and they won’t need to wait days to receive feedback on graded homework.

Ideas For Email Etiquette Storyboards

  • Have students create a "Dos" and "Don’ts" storyboard. Let them think of their own or give them specific guidelines to include.
  • Create a storyboard that helps students understand what types of emails are likely to contain viruses, and which are safe.
  • Create storyboards that demonstrate when to "BCC" or "CC", and when to "reply" rather than "reply all".
  • Ask students to create a storyboard of "non-ideal" emails. For example: emails sent in the middle of the night, emails sent when angry, or emails with inappropriate content.

Formal Email Worksheets

If you want to give students a template to help guide them through the format of a formal email and help them pre-draft important emails (without worrying about accidentally sending an unfinished version), you can customize email worksheets! Students can complete them digitally or fill them out by hand, and this is perfect for helping them see structure and take their time practicing without staring at a blinking cursor.

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