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If I asked via email someone, say a member of the graduate admission staff of a school I am applying to, some question, and if the staff member replied to my email with a solution to my problem, does the staff member expect to receive a thank-you email from me?

At the present stage I still am not good at evaluating if it is suitable to reply to such an email by a thank-you note.

16

It is appropriate? Sure, what is the harm? It is always nice to see one's work recognised and appreciated. Just keep it short, polite, and to the point.

Is it expected? Probably no. The staff is busy, and if your question wasn't anything out of the ordinary, they would probably forget you asked soon.

Edit: mbert adds in the comments some interesting inside information:

I am an assistant at my university and answer a lot of emails through a ticketing system. Our signature says something similar about replying. This is because when I answer an email, the ticket gets closed and marked done. If you answer to this email the ticket gets reopened and somebody needs to close it again. So I would suggest to answer with a short sentence but only if you are not emailing with a team that shares an email ( like staff@... or support@... )

(Emphasis mine).

  • You can always just say "Thanks!" or "Thank you." – Bill Barth Feb 12 '15 at 16:10
  • Thanks very much.:) I am just afraid that my message may instead annoy them. For, I once saw such a email said "there is no need to reply to this email if you do not have any further questions". – Megadeth Feb 12 '15 at 16:13
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    I would file that experience down as this group/individual doesn't want a response. Unless someone like this has explicitly stated "no response needed" then I would give a short thanks email to acknowledge that I received the information. – scrappedcola Feb 12 '15 at 19:10
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    It depends on the question and the answer. If the answer is obvious: For example, "Do we have test on friday?" and a simple Yes response is sent then there's no need to respond. However, if it is possible that the person answering might not be sure they are answering your request then it is polite to let them know, "That is what I needed. Thanks!" to let them know they don't need to worry about your request any longer. They gave you what you asked for. – Dunk Feb 12 '15 at 20:16
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    @Chou I am an assistant at my university and answer a lot of emails through a ticketing system. Our signature says something similar about replying. This is because when I answer an email, the ticket gets closed and marked done. If you answer to this email the ticket gets reopened and somebody needs to close it again. So I would suggest to answer with a short sentence but only if you are not emailing with a team that shares an email ( like staff@... or support@... ) – mbert Feb 13 '15 at 1:07

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