We begin our applied-writing unit with electronic channels because they are by far the most popular both for personal and business use. Most students have grown up with these channels, which gives them the advantage of familiarity. With that comfort, however, may also come years of bad habits deeply rooted in the development of those skills for personal distraction and social ends. This chapter will attempt to provide those students a way to professionalize those communication skills. Email deserves a close look because it is the most widespread and established of the electronic forms. Since so much of our lives are wrapped up in electronic interaction, reviewing the netiquette principles established at the outset of the electronic communications revolution can actually help us move forward as we look at the newest and fastest communication channels, texting and instant messaging.
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