It is important to consider the difference between communicating in person and communicating online.  The most important rule is to ensure you double check before sending or posting your thoughts or ideas - especially when communicating with lecturers or co-workers.

Consider the following points:


  • Double check the addressee before sending.
  • If mentioning an 'attachment' in your email, make sure you've remembered to attach it!
  • As a general rule, try not to send attachments of over 1MB. The size of attachments may vary depending on your email address - gmail can send attachments of up to 25MB.
  • Always include a subject
  • Consider your addressee if using slang or informal language - jokes can come off very differently when not delivered in person
  • Never use txt-speak or sms language when writing formal emails or emailing a lecturer or tutor

Social media: Facebook and Twitter

As Facebook friends are approved by you, there is less need to exercise caution in posting information - particularly if you've taken the time to adjust your privacy settings. However, it is a good rule of thumb to also reread and reconsider your comments before posting.  Your Twitter account may be viewed by anyone, and may require further consideration before posting.


Be aware that your workplace may have a social media policy which may affect what happens when you post about your workplace online. Consider these ten people who learned social media can get you fired.

Online chat and message boards

  • Observe and get a feel for the conversation and what is acceptable before joining.
  • If the topic offends you, do not join.
  • If the conversation becomes offensive, leave it.
  • Sending harassing messages is offensive and can get you banned from the server.
  • Use mixed case, as upper case can be interpreted 'AS SHOUTING'.

Further resources

QUT Student Code of Conduct

Image:AP Photo/L.G. Patterson