I was talking the other day with a friend who works in higher ed. She was complaining about how unprofessional many of her students' emails were.
Some of them were rude. Some were indecipherable. Some of them were just all-around unprofessional.
She asked for ideas on how to address it. I threw together this script for her to use.
Maybe you'll find it helpful:
I have a concern I'd like to address with you. I feel you aren't communicating with me as professionally as you could.
I'd like to see your emails follow a more professional format. (After all, it's our job to prepare you to be successful in your career, and good communication skills are important!)
To help with this, I've assembled a few quick and easy tips.
1. Please remember to begin each email with a professional address such as “Dear X,” or (because it's email) even “Hi X,”
2. Please make an effort to spell check your message before you send it. An easy way to do this is to copy your email text and paste it into a word processing document (like Microsoft Word). Then use the program's spell check option to look for any spelling or grammatical errors.
3. Remember to end the email in a professional manner. Something like “Best,” followed by your first and last name is usually acceptable.
4. Communicating through email can sometimes make it more difficult to keep a professional 'tone'. When typing your messages to myself or your instructors, try to imagine that we're meeting face to face in a professional setting.
It will help give your messages the tone you want.
I hope this helps!