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5.6: Email

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    Email\(^{110}\) is the remediated version of the letter. We’re still supposed to use a greeting and a closing; we’re supposed to be brief, and, yes, there are “return addresses” involved, just as there are attachments like there used to be enclosures.

    Email is the new letter. I’m repeating that because it’s not the new or old text message. It’s not Snapchat. It’s not Facebook. It’s still supposed to be – especially if the intended audience is a teacher or boss – a “professional” form of communication.

    So, basically, some of the same principles that we learn about writing letters can be used when learning about how to write an email message. Think for a few seconds about your audience. Then think for a few more seconds. Make sure to capitalize the person’s name, use correct punctuation, and spell words correctly. Adding a closing is a bonus!

    A Deeper Dive

    Historically, email was an informal way of communicating to other workers. Email straddles the line between informal communication and formal business interaction. Communicating via email can be difficult to deal with in a business setting because of the inability to tell emotion or tone of typed text. Caution must be used when writing emails in a professional business setting.

    Keep in mind the following tips when composing an email.

    • Limit email use in the workplace to business-specific information and topics.
    • Review email for legal implications, because any and all written documents in a business environment can be used in court.
    • Use professional language and tone.
    • Pay attention to your audience and consider their background when writing.

    Audience: Intended vs. Unintended

    Every document that is created is normally crafted to someone specifically. This someone would be your intended audience, for your writing style, and content will be tailored to their appeal. Email messages, unlike some other business documents, are not restricted to just one person, or intended audience.

    All aspects of your business documents should take into consideration everyone that could potentially read it. By ensuring this, you will save yourself and even possibly save your job.

    As mentioned above, you never know who will be reading your documentation, so if an unintended reader who is not authorized to read or use your document, decides to use it, they could be putting themselves and others in significant danger.

    Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 4.44.42 PM.png

    Professional Email Message By Liz\(^{111}\)

    Dear Dr. Richman:

    My name is Liz, and I am a current student at the Wahpeton NDSCS campus who is taking part in the culinary arts program. Since I have been attending for almost a full year now, I would like to provide some feedback on the school.

    One benefit is that there is a lot of activies avaliable for students to do outside of classtime. Because of that, it is easier to feel more relaxed and enjoy campus life. Another benefit is that the instructors are well trained, so students can trust them to have knowledge about the field that they are teaching. The one major pitfall that I have noticed is that the technology that we use is not totally up to date and/or the instructors are not fully sure how to use it, but I understand that there is only so much that can be done about it.

    In conclusion, I would just like to say that despite the school not being perfect, there is no perfect school either, so I enjoy campus life and classes here at NDSCS for the most part.


    Liz S


    • How do you know when you’ve written an effective email?
    • What is the difference between a “bad” email and a “good” email? Or is it too subjective to define?

    \(^{110}\)“Professional and Technical Writing/Business Communications/E-Mail.” Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project. 22 May 2016, 20:17 UTC. 25 May 2016, 18:49 <>

    \(^{111}\)This lovely email was created during the Spring of 2021. Please note that even though Liz brought up a pitfall of the college, she kept her “professional tone” in tact. This is licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.

    This page titled 5.6: Email is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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