Taught by A. Potasznik

Email requirements

My email address is potasznik@cs.umb.edu. This forwards to amanda.potasznik@umb.edu, which is where you may get replies from.

CS and IT majors, as well as almost every working person in the United States, send several emails a day.

People who receive your emails draw conclusions from your emailing style. Writing coherent messages is especially important when emailing a boss or potential employer, but also goes a long way with professors and coworkers.

Here is a summary of do’s and don’ts when sending emails at Umass Boston and beyond:


a bad email

This email is in sorry shape. If it isn’t sent from a UMB address, I won’t even know who sent it. There is no greeting, no closing… well, no message at all. When I’m deciding to accept late homework, this email is very discouraging and I am tempted to disregard it. It’s nothing personal against the student – it’s just terrible business etiquette that needs some pointers.


better email

Sure, this email took a few extra moments to write, but it makes all the difference. As the recipient, I know exactly what is going on and am encouraged to help this organized student by accepting late work.

Please keep the explanations simple. Unless something is happening that requires my intervention as a professor, I don’t need to know about specific medical or personal afflictions or tribulations.

All 285 emails, sent for any reason, should be signed with the sender’s first and last name; they should also clearly include the section number. As stated in the syllabus, I will not click on links (Google, OneDrive, etc) sent in homework emails. You will need to attach a file or include the text of the homework in the body of the email.

As mentioned on the first day of class, you can call me Professor Potasznik, Dr. Potasznik, Professor P, Dr. P, or simply Professor. I do not use my first name in professional contexts, so you should not use it when writing emails to me.

Don’t let sloppy emails hurt your goals!

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