Netiquette Rules and Guidelines for Students

posted in: Scholarships | 23
Online student who may or may not be following netiquette rules.

For students, netiquette isn't just about having an enjoyable online experience. It affects your learning and grades.

  • Students use online forums to discuss courses, compare notes and form study groups.
  • Good online communication helps you and your classmates get better results.
  • Well mannered students are more likely to receive useful info from others.

By following sensible rules and guidelines, everybody benefits – you and those you communicate with.

  • Netiquette and internet ethics set you up to connect effectively with your online student community.
  • Through sharing, you'll learn how to navigate your course (staying on top of deadlines and technology, and understanding what's expected).
  • By seeing different perspectives, you'll also be better able to get on top of difficult subjects more quickly. Collective knowledge usually beats what you learn by yourself.

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Join the discussion below – Leave a Reply – for the chance to win $2,000 (Australian) or a minor prize. The competition closes on 1 September 2017.

Just write something insightful and interesting about netiquette for students. Your comment (or response to a comment) must be 100-200 words.

The discussion will take the shape of a set of rules (guidelines) for participation in internet forums by university and college students. We are interested in your thoughts, experiences and/or recommendations about netiquette.

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23 Responses

  1. Joshua Hunter
    | Reply

    Take Care with Your Diverse Audience

    The internet has grown in capacity over the years, and with that also has become the main venue for communication for people of all nationalities and backgrounds. Because of this amazing ability to reach out to people across the world, etiquette, or more appropriately, netiquette should be exercised with more caution than in local interaction at school or in the workplace. This will help smooth out ethnic boundaries on social media and discussion forums more easily.

    Mainly, interpersonal communication, executed properly across the web can ease tensions and make it easier for thoughts to be conveyed. Imagine how an argument or disagreement on some subject could change dramatically with just one word that may or may not be taken in the context that you meant it. Possibly, most heated arguments can be stifled and changed direction, and a positive outcome can result from careful consideration of how we each speak to one another.

  2. Akshay Baraik
    | Reply

    Be Humble

    Humility through texts is a very important way to display our interests in other person’s comment. It’s very important that we are warm and considerate when we interact in forums.

    The opinions may differ about the topic, but let not the respect for other person differ. When we interact online, it’s important that we give more importance to another person, look at that person as superior one and ourselves as inferior ones. And when it comes to arguments, it’s better and stop and be warm than to fight and quarrel. It not only harms those who get in a fight, but it harms those who listen to it as well.

  3. Harold Tapia
    | Reply

    To Defriend Or Not Defriend, That Is The Question

    One of the earliest decisions I made on my social media was not to discuss religion or politics with anybody. I felt that these two subjects could sometimes bring out the ugly side of people. I had experience back in their MySpace. Then came last year’s presidential election. I convinced myself to reach out to a family member and have a friendly, but serious adult conversation. That didn’t take too long after for them to give up their disrespectful ways that they talked to me. I reminded myself not to allow them to pull me in.

  4. Kak Timbas
    | Reply

    Social Media Communication

    It is of the best, easiest and effective way to communicate when it comes to discussing a topic of interest that is right now going viral in the school ground. Students often create forum groups and discuss sub topic on the topic. It’s like talking to other people just on the palm of your hands as with current technology age, people access internet everywhere they go.

    Does that sound crazy taking to many people at different locations at the same time? Off course, however it is just like taking a walk around the school campus and meeting your school mates and discussing the topic that was discussed in the classed today.

    So, like understanding communication in everyday living, there are certain communication skills that one must use to understand the message that will be passed from one person to the other.

    Similarly, in social media communication, whatever words that you use; must be first understood by yourself before using it as it will surely reflect yourself as who and what type of person you are, because real people will see whatever you post on the social media and they can make a fair judgement on your personalities.

  5. Abiodun Oluwasola Adebiyi
    | Reply

    Cyberspace Interactions

    When one is online, Netiquette is the etiquette or good manners that one observes in cyberspace. It is a set of rules that people who are online have to follow. In cyberspace we don’t meet people face to face and so new users may not know how to conduct themselves properly when interacting with others. This may give rise to mistakes and misunderstandings.

    People who are online should remember that they are interacting with real people. They should not say things which offend others. Some people, emboldened by the fact that they are not speaking face to face, may say things that hurt the other person. This is not a good netiquette. One should Know where he or she is in cyber space’. By this that one should employ discretion in online interactions by adjusting our responses or behavior according to the kind of people we happen to be interacting with.

    One should underscore the fact that cyberspace is not a lawless territory where one can do anything. It comes with its own code of behavior and netizens have a responsibility to uphold it.

  6. Farzan Bashir
    | Reply

    The “Hard” Human Skill

    We live in an era in which the development of interpersonal skills is thought of as a task beyond the cognitive horizons of a common man. Humans pay humans, to train humans in the arts which should come as natural to anyone born Human.

    Despite all this, here we are in the Cyber World where the feeling of being physically absent makes most of us all mighty in discussing ‘Anything’ about ‘Anyone’ in ‘Anyway’. The problem is not what is being written, the problem is what is being portrayed to the outside world. Translating your anger in the form of a social media post may seem innocuous at first. But the fact that it reaches millions around the globe is where this little post becomes an overall ambassador of the general mannerism in your country or religion.

    Keeping all this in account one must exhibit the “Normal Human” behavior to all his dealings on the social media. This apparently difficult task simply translates to treating others the way you want to be treated. Once this “Hard Part” is accomplished, our world will be a better place to live.

  7. Sharon
    | Reply

    Stick to Objectives

    Many times people comment or post what they feel they want to share. However they end up posting things irrelevant to the purpose of discussion in search of wanting response from people or other times getting rid of their boredom.

    It is time that as students we become original and innovative and always having new ways and different ways of doing things. We should not just forward already existing stories but should strive to reason and create new things.

    In addition we should always strive to learn new things, spend time to think and talk less. If and when given an opportunity to have a platform or sharing ideas it is vital that the most is made out of that chance so that all benefit and are eager to inform others so that even those people who do not have access to internet or technology can learn and appreciate the use of having a platform like this.

  8. Oliver Odhiambo Owuor
    | Reply

    Respect and Courtesy

    When communicating online, whether by way of group discussions or individual correspondence initiatives, it is a fundamental rule that one must write concisely and in a courteous manner. Recipients of our communication online often judge our character and attitude by the manner in which we communicate.

    It is not only important to ensure the language is cordial and courteous, but it is also critical to consider that simplicity in the approach will often lead to an easier and fruitful engagement. The more jargon and uncultured language we use, the more likely the recipient of our communication will not likely identify with our efforts to reach out to them.

    Simplicity in the way we communicate is important because it helps us process responses in a timely fashion, coupled with the resultant nurturing of a relationship with the recipient, whether business or social-oriented.

    Online communication also requires that we respond in a timely manner, and make an attempt to stay in touch with our recipients as would be convenient for both parties involved.

    But above all, online communication must embody a sense of respect and must take cognizance of human dignity. No matter whom we are communicating with, we must assume they deserve the respect and courtesy that every human being deserves.

  9. agnes wong soon
    | Reply

    Netiquette for Students

    As students, we are bound to ask questions and be involved with discussions in order to understand anything. It is up to us whether we keep it simple and interesting. The most important part of any discussion is keeping it simple and straight to the point. There are no guidelines for being anonymous but as learners, students or educated individuals, we have to be clear and deliver the message as we are taught or preferred to be taught that way. Be mindful of others and respect cultural backgrounds, status as human beings, but if these details are not provided, then focus on the subject. The rules to make exchanges on the net are not set or precise other than being humans; you are not to disrespect another individual by insulting their opinions or answers.

    We as students are to be vigilant and stick to the point. If the subject does not apply to you, then it is better to leave it to the experienced and experts of the topic in the discussion, rather than dropping useless comments that won’t help anyone and waste of space and time of others reading it. Support and help others with respect.

  10. Ashley
    | Reply

    Think Before You Speak

    In a society where we can post our every thought and communicate with a series of acronyms and emoticons, it is easy to see how communication standards can quickly evolve. In an academic setting however, the accuracy of your communication is much more important. In an online setting, we don’t have the conveniences provided by in-person interaction such as non-verbal communication, inflection, tone, etc. For this reason, careless messages can quickly translate the wrong way.

    Keep your responses brief, discarding unnecessary information that can create confusion. Do your best to understand and decode what others intend to say, taking culture and life experience into consideration. Ask probing questions for clarity, avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions and use plain, simple English when speaking.

    If you disagree with someone, think “how can I express my disagreement without being disrespectful or antagonistic?”

    Being able to respectfully disagree, share ideas and information and communicate with a variety of people is a valuable life skill to develop and maintain. As a communications major, I am just beginning to unravel the complexities of human communication, but when it comes to Netiquette, it all boils down to thinking before you speak.

  11. Jill
    | Reply

    Pros and Cons of Anonymity

    I strongly believe that one of the internet’s greatest assets, its sense of anonymity, plays a parallel role as its greatest pitfall.

    It is this sense of anonymity that can: connect people based on intellectual compatibility; foster discussion about a range of niche issues (such as physical and mental health problems with attached stigma) that online users often fear speaking about in ‘real life’; and provide individuals with a platform for speaking that is not undermined by subsidiary factors such as age or appearance.

    In spite of these positives, this same sense of online anonymity is what distances users from their cyber counterparts, and has in turn stimulated the advent of cyber bullying. Additionally, perceived anonymity is a crucial factor in many instances of online ethical violations, such as academic misconduct.

    Although this is a fairly complex issue, let’s not be afraid of the internet – take advantage of its many opportunities! Just as in real life, it is vital that we are aware of traps that await us, and maintain a sense of self-integrity. It’s our prerogative to exhibit the kind of behaviour that we value in others – let’s prove we’re up to the task.

  12. Jeremy Marroquin
    | Reply

    Write Like You’d Speak

    When writing on the net, I think you should always try to be more like yourself. Recognize you are actually speaking with another person, instead of writing. This will help the flow of your conversation and it will seem natural. If you try to force it your message may come across as shrewd or too formal. Also remember who you are speaking to as to this will give a better idea of how and what you will say. And before pressing that post or send button, read aloud what you are writing so you can determine of how the person reading it may feel, react, or respond to your message.

  13. Lisa l Pilling
    | Reply


    When “talking” to people online speaking (writing) should be done as if you were face to face. In today’s world of social media, text messaging, and other internet use, because there is no face to see, people don’t always put their best foot forward. In many cases this can come back to haunt them in the future. For example, in job interviews your behavior in online forums may be seen by the prospective employer. If you have not used proper etiquette you may be passed over for a position.

    In the case of online students, netiquette is even more important. Using netiquette helps to make people know that you are serious about your studies and that you respect them and value their point of view even if you disagree. Respect and tolerance are the basis of etiquette, rather online or face to face.

  14. Karen
    | Reply

    Etiquette on the Net

    It is always important to have etiquette whether it be at home, school, work or even online. Being courteous and polite is like a magnet that attracts others even though what we are saying may not be truth or what they may agree upon. However just being mannerly gives them the impetus to lend a listening ear.

    We should be taught to respect others views and opinions while not necessarily agreeing with them, in the same way we would want others to respect our views and opinions. Freedom and Democracy should be promoted over the internet especially in forums where discussions are generated for educational purposes. People should be mature and courteous enough to share their views in a respectable manner without at the same time infringing others rights to freedom of expression online.

  15. Joseph Quiambao
    | Reply

    Discussion and Not Exposition

    I am a student of University of the Philippines Open University since 2014 and one thing I have learned as a student which is very valuable when it comes to discussion forums is to engage and stimulate discussion rather than exposition.

    There is nothing wrong to commend other’s point of view as well as pointing out your own point of view or disagreement by asking proper questions to elicit valuable discussion rather than opposing one’s view point. A healthy discourse does not have to end in a debate, bashing, or trolling which is commonly visible in social media nowadays.

    A culture of academic honesty as well as tolerance and acceptance should be the atmosphere promoted in any form of internet forum. At the end of the day, we gain valuable knowledge, insights, thoughts and novel ideas from each other’s perspective. And in an online world where it is active 24/7, discussion and not exposition of what is right and not can guide netizens to proper communication if we ask and respond to the right questions.

  16. Catherine Lockley
    | Reply


    Author Stephen Pinker tells us that the word “courtesy” comes from the first known etiquette handbooks -those written to teach Knights & Nobles how to conduct themselves in the court of the King. Now, in the vast and ever expanding kingdom of the World Wide Web, the size of our audience has grown but the basic premise of “courtesy” should always remain: Think of the feelings of others first.

    Despite our use of the internet as a personal tool, it’s not all about slavishly maximising your personal convenience.

    All the classic, old-fashioned rules your Grandmother insisted upon still apply.

    In order to avoid breaches of ‘netiquette’, remember: Know the language well. Use language with skill. Urgency and laziness in typing or formulating communications is still plain old bad manners, and polite conversation is impossible with an inebriate :-).

    Pinker, S (2007). The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. New York, NY. Viking.

  17. Katie Marie Lawles
    | Reply

    Yeah Right!

    Netiquette is an ill-defined set of rules, mostly based on common sense, that attempt to make online communication clear and effective. We know good netiquette when we read it, and very poor netiquette can be blatantly obvious, but on occasion it can be hard to identify why some online conversations descend into piles of useless text that fail to convey any meaningful information.

    Of course, in an academic environment, discourse should always be respectful and courteous. However textual communication has a few more traps for the inexperienced.

    Much of our verbal discourse includes cues that do not translate well into text, such as the tone of voice used to indicate sarcasm, the shoulder shrug indicating a lack of certainty in a statement, or a declarative sentence turned into a question with an uplift in tone at the end.

    The easiest way to avoid these potential pitfalls is to use more specific language in text, for example: explaining fully the intent of a sentence, adding explicit qualifying language to indicate the level of certainty the writer has in their statement, and avoiding sarcasm at all times.

  18. Jen H
    | Reply

    Keep it Simple

    The sage advice of KISS (Keep it simple stupid) is applicable to both physical and online interactions and projects. Questions, statements and comments are best simplified as they are consequently easy to follow and understand. Visual cues and inflection are obviously absent in online conversations therefore one must be careful when constructing a response or posing a question. With large paragraphs or complex responses or ideas the possibility of miscommunication increases substantially.

    Certain statements can be misinterpreted when typed and without clarity a query can be misunderstood. If a question is misconstrued and communication isn’t concise or clear the student may not receive a correct or useful answer.

    In conclusion it is important to remember that online interaction doesn’t have the subtle or sometimes overt nuances associated with physical intercommunication so when you suspect a miscommunication don’t be afraid to clarify or question phrases you are unsure about.

  19. Fathiyah
    | Reply

    Don’t be Cruel

    An online student plagiarized his response for the course weekly discussion from a website. Some students think that they should check the response of every student for plagiarism and they caught this poor guy, of course. Three students put harsh comments under his entry. I’ll not write their long and harsh comments; I’ll just mention one sentence of what they posted. One student wrote: you plagiarized this from a website. Other student wrote: don’t do it again. A third student wrote: how could you do that.

    I think, even when someone commits plagiarism, your response to such act reveal a lot about your character. When someone does a mistake, still you have to respond in a civilized way.

    From that moment, I didn’t interact with those three students even when they post good comments under my entries. I was terrified from their cruelty toward that guy.

  20. Jo Madron
    | Reply

    Netiquette for Students

    When you are on social media, it is a good idea to always govern yourself. There are things that you should refrain from stating, showing or depicting.

    If you are using any social media, you do not know who could be reading your posts. All schools that I know of have a code of conduct. You do not want to put yourself in the position of showing your school in a bad light. When you are on Facebook or Twitter or some other social media site, you want to represent your school and yourself in a positive manner.

    A student may not think of the consequences when venting on the campus forum about a professor. Should that professor, other students, or faculty, see any slanderous remarks or charges of inappropriateness. there could be serious consequences on both sides of the fence. Also, the student, not thinking about expulsion, may ask, on social media, someone to blow off classes to go party.

    Many people have been fired due to their inability to consider the consequences of stating something on social media that was inappropriate. I can only assume that academic institutions would have severe disciplinary action as well.

  21. cielo contrano
    | Reply

    Netiquette for Student Athletes

    Netiquette for students is important. It’s especially important for a student athletes who is trying to earn an athletic scholarship. Social media is a powerful tool for any individual. Saying the wrong stuff online can get you in trouble. For a student athlete who is trying to earn an athletic scholarship or already has an athletic scholarship can lose that opportunity if they were to say the wrong things online. That school will take away their offers if a student was making a bad name for themselves on the internet. Colleges wouldn’t want to offer a scholarship to a student who would give their school a bad reputation because that student was disrespectful on social media. A student who is given such an opportunity should be aware of the things they say on social media that can lead them to losing such an opportunity such as a scholarship. Students should remain classy and respectful online and keep all the negative comments to themselves. Being respectful in the real world is something that must be done, why not do it online as well.

  22. Callie Bulkley
    | Reply

    Use Normal Writing Conventions

    In academic forums and message boards that are used for organization communication it is important to use a pattern of speech and thought process that is clear and congenial. All too often we fall into a pattern of using slang and acronyms that can be considered immature or unprofessional and our intended message gets lost in context when the reader is forced to guess what is meant by “OMG ROFLMAO IDK how I messed up that project. I thought I did GR8 but IRL I totally messed up.” Punctuation is also an important factor when posting in a public forum. There is a huge difference in meaning between “I ran over John when I heard the news” and “I ran over, John, when I heard the news.”

  23. Roger
    | Reply

    Being Available

    Internet forums work best when people are available and responsive. If someone makes a comment which gets lots of replies, it’s important to have follow up from that person. If you never hear from the commenter again, the thread loses something. It’s like a bunch of random thoughts.

    The most interesting and informative threads are more of a discussion, where people are learning and gaining a better understanding through the interactions. The simple rule would be to check in on forums where you leave posts or comments. I check in with social media at least once a day. If anyone has added something to a discussion I was involved in, I try to give positive feedback (if deserved).

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