Please avoid the following behaviors, or you may be asked to leave the classroom:
Netiquette for E-mail and Electronic Postings
In any social interaction, certain rules of etiquette can lead to more enjoyable and productive communication. The
Internet is no different --in fact, there's even a special word for it: "Netiquette!"
The following tips for posting messages and responses on the Internet are adapted from guidelines originally
compiled by 'Net citizens Chuq Von Rospach and Gene Spafford. They are good rules of thumb for any online
communication, but are particularly appropriate on the Internet..
1. Never forget that the person on the other side is a human being.
Even though you are using a computer to communicate don't forget that other people are on the receiving end.
Millions of people all over the world may be reading your words. Avoid personal attacks. Don't speak (type) hastily --
try not to say anything to others that you would not say to them in a room full of people. Remember that you are
playing an important role in building an online community -- and we all want this community to be a valuable, friendly
2. Be brief.
With millions of people participating, you'll find that discussion boards and email an abundance of messages. Other
participants will appreciate your ability to stay on topic. If you say what you want to say succinctly, it will have
3. Your messages reflect on YOU -- be proud of them.
Although you may meet thousands of people through the Internet, chances are you won't meet many of them in
person. Most people will only know you by what you say, and how well you say it. Take time to make sure that you
are proud of the messages you send. Take time to make sure your messages are easy to read and understand.
4. Use descriptive Subject headings in your messages.
The subject line of your message is there to help people decide whether or not they want to read it. Use the subject
line to tell people what your message is about.
5. Think about your audience.
Stay on topic. Post your messages in the appropriate discussion forum. By reading a number of the messages before
sending one yourself, you will be able to get a sense of the ongoing conventions and themes of the discussion.
6. Be careful with humor and sarcasm.
Without the voice inflections and body language of personal communications, it is easy for a remark meant to be
funny to be misinterpreted. You can convey the emotions that words alone cannot express by using such online
conventions as "smileys." :- )
7. Summarize what you are following up.
When you are making a follow-up comment to someone else's message, be sure to summarize the parts of the
message to which you are responding. Summarization is best done by including appropriate quotes from the original
message. Don't include the entire message, since this could be irritating to people who have already read it.
8. Give back to the Community
If you send a message to a discussion requesting information, and you get lots of responses via electronic mail, it's
a nice courtesy to prepare an edited message compiling your responses to the discussion where you originally
posted your question. Take the time to strip headers, combine duplicate information, and write a short summary.
Credit the information to the people who sent it to you.
Likewise, be a "giver" as well as a "taker" in this online community. If you have valuable information to
share, please do so in the appropriate Newsgroups.
9. Try not to repeat what has already been said.
Read responses to messages before you chime in, so that you are not needlessly repetitive. And make sure your
responses have substance --answers like "Yup" and "I agree" probably won't be widely appreciated.
10. Cite appropriate references.
11. If you are using facts to support a cause, state where they came from.
1. Never, never, never give out private information (your password, your address, your phone number, your social security
number) to strangers on the Net.
2. Don't type messages in all caps. It is considered the same as shouting.
3. It is difficult to read humor in a message. If you don't want to offend anyone, indicate your feelings with a wink and a smile:
;-) Other "smileys" include: :-) :-(
4. Always include your name and e-mail address when you send an e-mail.
5. Don't use the exotic features of your terminal (bold, italics) in e-mail. These frequently send a string of control characters that
wreak havoc on some types of terminals.
6. Resist flaming. A "flame" is a virulent and (often) personal attack against the author of a posting. Flames are, unfortunately,
common. People who frequently write flames are known as "flamers." A drawn-out episode of flaming is known as a "flame
7. Keep your signature file under six lines long.
8. Familiarize yourself with basic NetSpeak: e.g., BTW stands for "By The Way"; FAQ stands for a frequently asked question
or a list of frequently asked questions and their answers; IMHO stands for "In My Humble Opinion"; WTG stands for "Way To
Go"; a "newbie" is a new user; and ROTFL stands for "Rolling On The Floor Laughing".
9. Don't post advertisements on e-mail or discussion boards.