5 Things Nobody Told You About Writing Email at School

September 2020

Anthony Robbins said it best: “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” That’s a loaded statement. What does it mean, though? We all communicate. Whether in a group project, on the competition field, or with friends. One variable remains consistent in that email is prevalent in our communication strategies. According to McGraw-Hill, email is now the most common way people communicate at work.

Email Etiquette

Further, it is accessible similar to a text message response. However, there is an unspoken etiquette assumed in the email dialogue process, such as:

Is it needed?

Say the purpose of the message to yourself. Is email the right way to communicate this information? Or is sharing this information needed at all?

What’s the point? State it briefly in the subject line

In the SUBJECT line, begin your email by expressing what you need and when you need it. Copy the subject line in the body of your email.

What’s the next step? One action only

Ask one question per message or list the items you’d like answered. Ask the recipient to type their response directly under each corresponding question.

Greet, don't gab

ALWAYS include a greeting and name of individuals or the group you are addressing. NEVER use email to chat and catch up.

Keep it brief

If the content is longer than 2-3 paragraphs, use an attachment. The email body should be brief so that it can be easily read on a mobile device.

For more writing recommendations, see: How Successful People Write Emails To Get What They Want (That’ll Help You Achieve Your Goals).  Forbes magazine, January 2, 2018.

How have you adjusted to online learning?