The following Netiquette (Internet Etiquette) guidelines are intended to provide users with some basic rules for communicating on the Internet with peers and instructors.
Ask Questions: It is always best to get clarification on meaning before jumping to conclusions. Due to the lack of visual and auditory clues in online communication, a user may convey an unintended message.
Be Professional: Even though you cannot see the user you are connecting with online, you are still connecting with a person. Communicate with others online as you would face-to-face. Remember, your college coursework involves more than just learning content; you are also preparing for a career. You are learning to interact with other users as you would in your future professional life. Your conduct should reflect this.
Allow equal participation: Be aware of your level of participation in an online discussion. Too much participation in an online discussion may be perceived as dominating behavior.
Post only when calm: It is likely that a message written while upset will provoke an angry response. This type of interaction is unproductive.
Proofread your message: Read over what you are going to submit at least once, just as you would proofread a paper for class. Once you submit a message electronically, you may not be able to edit it once it has been submitted.
Respect Disagreement: Users have the right to disagree with you; however, disagreement should always remain respectful. Online discussions are a means to share ideas. Professional and productive communication cannot be achieved with hurtful, hateful or inappropriate language. Always review your posts before you publish and reread them for unintended meanings.
Stay on topic: While discussion is encouraged, rambling conversations are not conducive to a quality experience.
Avoid posting messages using all caps: It is okay to use all caps occasionally to emphasize a point, but you should only capitalize the individual words you want to highlight, not the entire sentence or paragraph.
Be concise: Long paragraphs are difficult for other users to follow on-screen. If your post is longer than three or four lines, break it up into separate paragraphs. Explain your ideas entirely, but get to the point.
Avoid acronyms: Not all users will understand what you are trying to convey when using acronyms (e.g., LOL for Laughing Out Loud) and they are generally considered inappropriate for academic writing.
Respect privacy: Respect your own privacy and the privacy of others by not revealing information which you deem private and which you feel might embarrass you or others.