University of Southern Indiana

Email Etiquette

You might find yourself clicking "reply," typing up a quick response, and hitting "send" without giving so much as a thought about what you've just written. Bad email etiquette behavior has the potential to sabotage your reputation both personally and professionally.

Here are some tips to practice good email etiquette:

  1. Include a clear, direct subject line
    • Every email should have a subject line. The subject line should be a clear overall statement of what’s inside the email, this statement should only be a few words long. Examples of a good subject line include “meeting date changed,” “suggestions for the proposal,” or “finals schedule". 
  2. Proofread every message
    • Mistakes won’t go unnoticed by recipients of your email. Don’t rely on spell checkers. Read and re-read your email before sending it. This ensures the email being sent is easy to read and understand.
  3. Include needed details
    • If your message is related to USI coursework - Include your FULL name, Banner ID number, and the course name (example MKTG 355)
    • If you expect the recipient to respond by phone - be sure to include your digits.
  4. Attachments
    • Never attach a file without mentioning it in the body of your email. Something as simple as “I’ve attached a few photos to this email” will help your recipients know what to expect.
    • Don't send an email with only a link in the body of the message.  This looks suspicious.
  5. Include a signature block
    • A signature block provides the recipient with information about you. Generally, this should state your name, title, and your contact information, including a phone number.
    • You can learn how to setup a signature block here: How to Create an Email Signature

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