Email etiquette

10 rules

  1. Write only necessary emails. First check whether you can find information on Minerva or the faculty website. Your email will generally be answered within 3 working days. You can also personally speak to the teacher, before or after your class.
  2. Use your Ghent University email address.
  3. Include a clear subject line. Mention both the exact course – as it is mentioned on the course specifications - and a short description of your question.
    Examples:
    Physics II - question on chapter 3
    Mathematical analysis III - question about the material for the exam
    Informatics II - problem group work
  4. Use a correct salutation. Always address professors and other academic staff with their last name (if you know it), preceded with their academic title, ‘Mr’ or ‘Ms’.
    Start your email with ‘Dear professor’ or ‘Dear lecturer’. Be as specific as possible in your salutation. It is better to write ‘Dear professor De Grauwe’ than ‘Dear professor’. Similarly, ‘Dear Ms De Keyser’ is preferred over ‘Dear lecturer’.
    If you are in doubt whether your recipient is male or female, just write the first name and the last name, e.g. ‘Dear Kim Thijs’. Do not write ‘Dear’ without any name.
  5. Keep it concise and to the point.
  6. Layout your message. Use spaces and paragraphs. Do not write in CAPITALS. Do not use exclamation marks!
  7. Use appropriate and academic language, this means you avoid informal language or dialect.
  8. Do not forget to include the attachment.
  9. Use a proper closing formula, such as 'Best regards' or 'Kind regards'. Do not use 'Greets', 'Ciao' or 'Cheers.
    Finish your email with your first name, last name and academic program. Once you have created your digital signature, you can sign all documents similarly.
    Examples:
    Liesbeth De Lange
    Student ba – art history


    Nina Bloem
    Student ma – linguistics and literature German - Spanish


    Nathan Maeterlinck
    Student ba – industrial design engineering technology


    Thom Barnabiski
    Student ma – bioscience engineering – environmental technology
  10. Proofread your email for any typos or errors.