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A guide to effective email

tl;dr Send email from your Uni account, use a descriptive subject line (including ANTH 1002), sign your full name, and yeah, you can call us by our first names.

We love hearing from students. We do get a lot of emails. Don't be offended if it takes a day to get back to you. Administrative matters should be sent to Ryan, the unit coordinator. You can write to the other lecturers about the content of their lectures; they'd love to talk more about them with you. Tutors are also a good first contact for questions about class, assignments, and tutorial.

If you are having problems with Canvas, you can contact the eLearning Helpdesk using links found in the Help button on main left column in Canvas. You can also let your tutor and Ryan know what is happening, but they will not be able to fix any problems with the site software (crashes or long load times, e.g.).

If you write to Ryan, please allow 24 hours for a reply.

How to contact Ryan and the tutors

  • Write from your University email address. Ryan will be automatically forwarding email from uni.sydney.edu.au (the student domain) to a special folder. If you write to Ryan from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL or Compuserve, it will not get read.
  • Put 'ANTH 1001' in the subject line, along with a few search-friendly key words, like 'essay', 'Mauss reading', or 'majoring in anthro'.
  • Sign with your full name, and give your student ID.
  • Give us all the information we need to answer your query. Tell Ryan who your tutor is. Tell Ryan or the tutors what exactly is your concern. Tell us what you know about the situation. A good email
From: sqp3000@uni.sydney.edu.au
To: ryan.schram@sydney.edu.au
Subject: ANTH 1001: Question re ethnographic report
Hi Ryan,
I had a question about the instructions for the observation report. On Canvas it says we should choose a public venue to observe people's behavior, but we can ask for advice on observing something that is not public. I have a family reunion coming up, and there's a big dinner planned. I think it would be great to observe people's table manners. Would that be a good topic for the report?
Best wishes,
Sarah Q. Public
SID: 9999999999

No problem! (And my reply?: “Ask your tutor.”)

Please keep these things in mind:

  1. Read the unit outline and the other helpful guides to the class on Canvas. Many common questions are answered there. (You can ask questions about what you read there, but please refer to it in your email.)
  2. Read your email before you hit “send.” Does it make sense? Is this what you want to say?
  3. If you are following up on a previous email, or asking about an email to the whole class, then include the previous message below your message. In other words, make an email chain.
  4. Make a habit of regularly checking your University email and Canvas for class and university announcements. There's a lot of important information you need to see there.

And some do not dos…

Don't call. We probably won't be there.

Don't leave a “voice mail.” It's not the 90s. Don't send a fax either.

Don't write a text message. That is, don't write a single-line paragraph all in lowercase. Come to think of it, don't write the message on your phone at all. Go home and do it at your computer. Imagine you are writing a letter.

1001/2020/a_guide_to_email.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/01 21:08 by