One of the finest universities north of Prospect in Fort Collins

Jack Applin


Email Communication Tips


  • Call me “Mr. Applin” or “Jack”. I’m neither a “Professor” nor a “Doctor”, so avoid those. Plain “Applin” only works if you’re my wrestling coach.

Identify yourself

  • Sign your email with your first & last names. I’m not good at associating faces in class with names, much less email addresses. Your first name is probably not unique.
  • Tell me what class you’re in (I teach more than one class).
  • Tell me your CSUID, if you’re asking about something that may require looking things up in CSU databases.

Ask a question

  • If you say “I don’t know how to do the homework”, I will be tempted to simply agree.
    • What, specifically, are you having trouble with?
  • Similarly, throwing your program at me and declaring that “this doesn’t work”, will tempt me to just agree.
    • What part is failing?
    • What did you expect it to do?


  • Do not take a picture of your screen, either with a phone, or a screen capture. If you want to show me a few lines of code, copy & paste them. If you don’t know how to copy & paste, learn now.

Don’t whine

  • “I’ve been working in the lab for nine hours!” only tells me that you have poor judgment. Get to the point.

Don’t give orders

  • Telling me to “Respond ASAP” will not make me respond faster. In fact …

Keep it simple

  • If your email is a list of seven questions, then I won’t respond to it until I’ve considered all seven questions. That may take some time.

Don’t expect an immediate response

  • I am not a paid 24/7 email consulting service; I am paid to teach classes and hold office hours.
  • If I choose to answer email, it’s on my own time.
  • I don’t keep the same hours that you do.