Memorandum to Evan Crisp


To: Evan Crisp, UBC Student

From: Zachary Goldman, ENGL 301 Student

Date: July 20th, 2020

Subject: Communicating Effectively with UBC Students and Faculty

Below are some tips for communicating effectively with UBC students and Faculty. These tips will hopefully prove themselves useful for future course registrations.

  • Properly organize emails by:
    • Subject lines will let the reader know what the email is about, and will determine whether or not they actually open it up.
    • Appropriate forms of address show respect to the reader, and indicate to them that is this professional communication.
    • Maintaining paragraph structure will make emails easier to read, increasing the chances that the reader will respond.
    • Signing off with a salutation and/or signature box helps get readers to respond. Useful phrases like “Be well” “Hope to hear from you soon” or even a simple “Thank you” can go a long way. Furthermore, using one’s full name simply lets the reader know who is contacting them.
  • Abstain from using colloquialisms as these are not only unprofessional, but do not necessarily translate well across digital or cross cultural platforms. Acronyms could quite easily be interpreted as gibberish, and meaning can be lost in the process.
  • Keeping the email short and concise will give the reader all the information they need to know, without burdening them with irrelevant information. This includes removing interjections like rhetorical questions or side notes.
  • Explain the situation clearly by providing some (not a ton) of detail regarding why the 8:00 am course is not viable. Does it conflict with other courses or with a job? Have all alternatives been exhausted before approaching the professor?
  • Simply being polite in email as with personal face-to-face communication goes a long way to getting responses and to having one’s voice heard. Using please and thank you, addressing readers appropriately, and signing off in an appropriate fashion are some of the easiest, and most useful ways to get responses.

Hopefully these tips will be useful as you navigate the remainder of your courses at UBC. Feel free to contact me at zdavgoldman@gmail if you would like to discuss things further.

Be well,

Zachary Goldman


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