Ask Alice

Alice K., Writer

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Dear Alice,

Digital etiquette is really confusing to me;­ for example, is it rude to not respond to an email or text right away if I’ve already read it? Under what circumstances should I answer an email­? Do I always have to? And is it better to email teachers or talk to them in person?

Signed, Trying Not to be Rude

Dear Trying,

I’m sure we all appreciate your effort with manners. The rules governing email and text etiquette can be tricky. Usually it’s best to consider what you think would be most convenient for the other person. If you don’t actually have anything to say, emailing someone back could just be wasting his/her time. As for immediately responding to messages, we’re all human. Sometimes we’re just busy. It’s important to be patient and accommodating and not be quick to take offense if it takes someone a little time to respond to your message.

As for how to communicate with teachers, it might be wise to ask them what they prefer, but a talk face-­to-­face when possible is generally seen as better. Again, there’s no need to stress the little rules: the best rule of thumb is to be considerate of other people.

Dear Alice,

I have a lot of trouble studying for tests and quizzes. I’ll always try to review my notes from class or read the textbook, but I can’t focus and none of it sticks in my head. My grades have really been suffering! Can you tell me some ways to study that might work better?

Study Challenged

Dear Study Challenged,

This is a common problem­–or maybe it’s just me. It can be hard to find a way to study that works for you, and what works for some people may not be helpful to others. You may even need different study strategies for each class.

Some things you could try are studying with other people who can quiz you or writing things out in a notebook so that you remember them better. If you are more of a visual learner, you could browse the plethora of educational game websites. Teachers can always come in handy for study tips (or extra help before tests or quizzes!). This is, after all, what they’re here for. It can be hard to motivate yourself to go that extra mile with test prep, but it really is worth it.

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