Rules of style, or Netiquette (network etiquette), that are expected when communicating through class email lists, message boards and discussion rooms.

Stick to the topic of discussion and its purpose.

  • Use the subject line to announce your topic. Often, busy people will only open messages that have creative subject lines.
  • Use only one topic per message.
  • Get to the point. A limit of one page (screen) per message is ideal.
  • Don't post advertisements (called spamming) or chain letters to the class discussion.

Use courtesy and common sense in all electronic communications.

  • Consider what you write, as it's a permanent record and can be retrieved easily.
  • Class discussions are confidential. Do not share or forward others' email without permission.
  • When responding to a message, don't quote back an entire message. Delete the excess (snip) and make your comments at the very top before starting the quotes.
  • Don't type in all caps. This is hard to read and is considered shouting.
  • Avoid sarcasm, as it is easily misunderstood.
  • Avoid correcting others' grammar, punctuation and spelling unless it is necessary to clarify discussion.
  • Avoid flaming. A flame is an abusive, harassing or bigoted message that attacks an author of a message.
  • Respect the opinions of others and be sensitive to the diverse nature of people in the class. Keep in mind that although you cannot see other members on the list, you can show respect for individual differences. Diversity issues may include the following and others: race, ethnicity, religion, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, age, social class, marital status, urban vs. rural dwellers. (See K-State's Notice of Nondiscrimination.)

Check posting guidelines.

  • Professors will have different requirements for posting. Make sure that you check the guidelines for each course so you adequately show a "presence" in the course.
  • Make sure your post is substantive; simply replying "I agree" will not be considered a strong contribution to the discussion.
  • Check discussions frequently and respond on subject.
  • Focus on one subject per post.
  • Cite all quotes, references and sources.

For questions, contact:

K-State Global Campus Testing Center