How To Write An Email

Emails can be used to make clear, effective requests, especially when you’re in need of assistance or accommodations in school or in the workplace. Emails are also one of the primary ways of communicating in a professional setting.

TIPS FOR WRITING AN EFFECTIVE EMAIL

  • Subject Line: Write a brief phrase explaining the purpose of your email.

  • Opening and Closing: Start your email with an introduction, such as “Hi” or “Dear” and close your email with phrases, like “Warmly,” “Best,” “Sincerely” or “Thanks.”

  • E-mail Signature: You may include your full name and contact information, such as phone number or any other professional ways to connect, like your website portfolio or LinkedIn profile. It’s best to leave out your social media handles.

  • Request: State the purpose of your email and how you would like the recipient to respond. For example, “I would like more information about how to request an accessible device for the spring semester” or “I would like to follow up on my application, which I submitted [date]. Would you be able to update me on the status?”

  • Deadlines: If you need information or a response at a specific time, state that.

  • Wrapping up: To close the body of your email, use phrases like “I appreciate,” “I look forward to,” or “Thanks again for.”

  • Proofread: Use a spell check, but always proofread before sending. Careless typos can make a bad impression. If you need help proofreading, reach out to a teacher, family member or friend.


HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR EMAIL ETIQUETTE

  • Choose carefully who you are sending your emails to. There are a couple of fields in an email. “TO” is for the email address of the person you’re sending your message to. “CC” is for other people who need to be included in the conversation.

  • Be mindful of your tone. Remember that there is a person at the receiving end of your email. Your message should be conversational, but not too casual.


WHEN TO SEND AN EMAIL

  • Use email when it’s hard to get in touch by phone. For example, you might send an email to someone who receives a lot of calls on a daily basis like an ACCES-VR counselor or college admissions representative.

  • Typically, job applications are submitted online and phone calls would not be appropriate. An email may also be appropriate to follow up, ask questions, and track your progress in school and in the workplace. For example, you might email your professor to ask about an upcoming assignment. You might email your supervisor to send an update on a project or your whereabouts, such as if you’re running late or need to take a sick day.

  • Send a thank you email after a job interview or after an initial meeting with a new professional partner. An email in these situations shows that you’re appreciative, thoughtful, and responsive. You may also send a thank you email to a professor or teacher for meeting with you during office hours.
     

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