“Netiquette” refers to rules of etiquette that apply to online communication.
Follow these 15 rules of netiquette to make sure you sound respectful, polite, and knowledgeable when you post to your class’s online discussion boards.
- Before posting your question to a discussion board, check if anyone has asked it already and received a reply. Just as you wouldn’t repeat a topic of discussion right after it happened in real life, don’t do that in discussion boards either.
- Stay on topic – Don’t post irrelevant links, comments, thoughts, or pictures.
- Don’t type in ALL CAPS! If you do, it will look like you’re screaming.
- Don’t write anything that sounds angry or sarcastic, even as a joke, because without hearing your tone of voice, your peers might not realize you’re joking.
- Always remember to say “Please” and “Thank you” when soliciting help from your classmates.
- Respect the opinions of your classmates. If you feel the need to disagree, do so respectfully and acknowledge the valid points in your classmate’s argument. Acknowledge that others are entitled to have their own perspective on the issue.
- If you reply to a question from a classmate, make sure your answer is accurate! If you’re not 100% sure when the paper is due, DO NOT GUESS! Otherwise, you could really mess things up for your classmates and they will not appreciate it.
- If you ask a question and many people respond, summarize all answers and post that summary to benefit your whole class.
- Be brief. If you write a long dissertation in response to a simple question, it’s unlikely that anyone will spend the time to read through it all.
- Don’t badmouth others or call them stupid. You may disagree with their ideas, but don’t mock the person.
- If you refer to something your classmate said earlier in the discussion, quote justa few key lines from their post so that others wont have to go back and figure out which post you’re referring to.
- Before asking a question, check the class FAQs or search the internet to see if the answer is obvious or easy to find.
- Check the most recent comments before you reply to an older comment, since the issue might have already been resolved or opinions may have changed.
- Be forgiving. If your classmate makes a mistake, don’t badger him or her for it. Just let it go – it happens to the best of us.
- Run a spelling and grammar check before posting anything to the discussion board. It only takes a minute, and can make the difference between sounding like a fool and sounding knowledgeable.
RULE OF THUMB: If you wouldn’t do or say something in real life, don’t do it online either.