Student email etiquette


What is email etiquette? 

Email etiquette refers to the principal behaviors when writing or receiving an email and is considered part of the student code of conduct at Wayne State University.

Why is email etiquette important? 

Any email you send/receive becomes part of your student record and is a reflection of who you are as a student.

Email is the main line of communication between you and Wayne State University campus professionals (instructors, academic advisors, administrators, tutors, etc.). As a current student, your WSU access ID (i.e. is your email address and should be the sole email address used for WSU communications.

Check your email often: important dates (financial aid/scholarship processing, registration, add/dropping courses, etc.), campus activities, and announcements can be found in your WSU email account.

Tip: Link your WSU email to your personal email address so you don't miss an incoming email. Learn more here: .

Sending emails 

Part of your student success at WSU includes knowing how to formally email WSU campus professionals. Regardless of whether you formally know the recipient or not, you should always use appropriate email etiquette. The following are tips on good email etiquette during your college career.

What to include in every email

  • Specific information in subject line: A subject line should clearly and briefly indicate the purpose of the email.
    • Yes: "ENG 1020 grade dispute", "Fall 2022 registration", "Incomplete grade"
    • No: "URGENT!!", "Class", "question", "Is it possible to take a course this upcoming semester?"
  • A proper salutation: Address your recipient formally and include titles or name prefixes such as Dr./Ms./Mr.
    • Dear Professor Johnson, Hello Ms. Bernas, Good morning/afternoon, etc.
  • An introduction, detailed context, and a specific request
    • Always include your name, WSU access ID, course information (course prefix, section number, instructor name, etc.) and any other pertinent information.
  • Brevity
    • Professor and advisor student loads can reach the hundreds and the amount of emails received in a day can be cumbersome. Keep your email brief and to the point. Anything more elaborate may require an appointment.
  • Grammar and spelling check
    • Proofread your email before hitting send. Does your email have "txt", "lol" or abbreviations? Are you typing in all capital letters? Have you fixed all grammatical and spelling errors?
  • A formal closing
    • Try: Best, Regards, Thank you, or Sincerely before adding your name.

Consider adding an email signature: include your name, access ID, phone #. This can aid in a campus professional being able to identify you quicker, potentially resulting in faster response time. Learn more here:

Additional considerations for a successful email 

Keep it professional and polite: Email sets the tone, makes an impression, and advances the relationship between you and your recipient. A professional and courteous email increases the chances of a prompt and thoughtful response and reduces the likelihood of any miscommunications.

Use full and complete sentences. Avoid slang, and refrain from "text speak".  While many people use their phones to send an emailyou are not sending a "text", but a formal communication.

Practice patience: Remember, WSU business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. High levels of email requests, peak registration, full-time faculty off for the summer, etc. may require additional response time within business hours.

Show your prep: Try searching the WSU website first for answers to your questions. Send links to show what you've researched and explain what you still need to know.

Other Do's and Don'ts:

  • Don't write in all upper-case letters and watch your exclamation points! This indicates that you are shouting.
  • Do stick to standard fonts: Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial
  • Do refrain from re-forwarding your email. This only puts you back at the bottom of line.
  • Don't start a new email thread regarding the same subject. This can get confusing.
  • Do be direct, and polite


Adapted from