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Netiquette Guidelines - Central Virginia Community College

Netiquette Guidelines

What is Netiquette? Simply stated, it is network etiquette. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online.

You might offend people without meaning to. Or you might misunderstand what others say and take offense when it's not intended.

The golden rule of “etiquette” is pretty simple: Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you. Imagine how you'd feel if you were in the other person's shoes. Stand up for yourself, but try not to hurt people's feelings.

When you communicate electronically, all you see is a computer screen. You don't have the opportunity to use facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice to communicate your meaning; just words.

Here are some of the common rules of “Netiquette”:

  • Be concise and to the point
  • As a courtesy to your fellow Netizens, please refrain from abusive or threatening behavior and language
  • When emailing an instructor concerning your class, put the class # and section # in the subject if you want to be sure your instructor actually reads it. If it’s a forward or no subject, it may be deleted. (Remember that instructors teach more than one course and 2 sections of the same course. You would be surprised at the number of students that send forwards to instructors. They do not have time to read assignment email AND personal or forward email).
  • Avoid sending forwards to your instructors
  • No pornographic sites
  • No profanity allowed
  • Do not type in all upper-case letters—This is perceived by the reader as “yelling” or “shouting” at them
    It is the equivalent of shouting in some one's ear. ONLY use upper-case words when trying to make a point (such as I just did). Even at that, you should be careful with who you are exchanging messages
  • Do not leave the subject line blank—It may cause the reader to delete the message without reading it, mistaking it for SPAM
  • Sign your emails with your name. Your email address may or may not contain your name (especially if it is not the school e-mail address assigned to you)
  • Don't leave out the message thread (a thread is simply a conversation concerning a common topic).
    When you reply to an email, you should include the original mail in your reply, in other words click “Reply”, instead of “New Mail”. Some people say that you must remove the previous message since this has already been sent and is therefore unnecessary. If you receive many emails, you obviously cannot remember each individual email. This means that a “threadless email” will not provide enough information and you will have to spend a frustratingly long time to find out the context of the original email in order to deal with it. Leaving the thread might take a fraction longer in download time, but it will save the recipient much more time and frustration in looking for the related emails in their inbox!


Here are some of the more popular emoticons. The name comes from a mixture of the words “icons” and “emotions”.
Symbol What it means
:-)     Smiley face
;-)     Wink (light sarcasm)
:-|     Indifference
:->     Devilish grin (heavy sarcasm)
8-)     Eye-glasses
:-D     Shock or surprise
:-/     Perplexed
:-(     Frown (anger or displeasure)
;-}     Leer
:-e     Disappointment
:-@     Scream
:-O     Yell
:-*     Drunk


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Central Virginia
Community College

3506 Wards Road
Lynchburg VA 24502-2498

Phone: 434.832.7745
FAX: 434.832.7781
Email: click here

Located in Bedford Hall, Room 3207

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