E-politeness in Iranian English Electronic Requests to the Faculty

Document Type: Research Article


1 English Language Center, Isfahan University of Technology

2 Department of English, Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad Branch, Isfahan, Iran


This paper reports the findings of a study designed to investigate English e-requests
of Iranian EFL postgraduate students (i.e., nonnative speakers of English) made to
their professors during their education at Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad
Branch, Isfahan, Iran, to find out types of politeness features employed in the students’
e-mails and the extent to which these features might influence the degree of politeness
of the students’ e-mails to the faculty. To that end, both quantitative and qualitative
approaches were employed to investigate 60 English e-mails composed by the
participants. The findings revealed that the Iranian students’ English e-mails were not
overly adorned with politeness features. The results also indicated that such direct and
unmodified e-mails failed to create e-polite messages to the faculty and, therefore,
were capable of causing pragmatic failure.