Email Writing

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Email Writing

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future of letter writing– electronic mail writing. Gone are the days where people have to wait for weeks to receive a letter from a friend or a significant other. The concept of pen pals is no longer applicable when everyone from any part of the world can be contacted almost immediately– depending on your Internet speed and the kind of social media site you are using. If there are certain laws in your country that prevent you from accessing Google-related sites or even Facebook-owned sites, (e.g. China) then you would have to find another way to contact your fellow peers and colleagues using whatever mobile apps they have (e.g. WeChat). You may also see formal writings.

Regardless, almost all forms of communication (except face-to-face talking) is already done through the use of modern technology that is able to fill the gap between the distance among people. The use of electronic mail writing these days are for more semi-formal and formal purposes (e.g. submitting a resume, asking your college instructor for some clarifications, making a business transaction) than casual purposes (e.g. chatting with a friend). You may also see some email examples by clicking here. For newbies who do not know the first thing about email writing, here are a few tips for you. You may also see application writings.

Sample Email Writing Example

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General Tips for Writing Emails in English

1. Be sure an email is necessary

Ask yourself if sending an email is really the best option to use in addressing the query or issue to the concerned party. Because if the matter at hand is something not so important or confidential, it can always be dealt directly with the aforementioned party. But then again, it is entirely up to your discretion. If you’ve decided that an email is the best option, then write your email and click “send”. You may also see article writings.

2. Use separate business and personal email addresses

Many jobs will normally give you an email address that you have to use, in case you have concerns or questions that you would want to raise to your boss or supervisor. Make sure that you strictly use your work email for work matters and personal email address for personal matters. Having a work email can look and sound more professional. That’s good if you’re writing a formal email, but it might not be as nice if you’re writing to a friend. You may also see memo writings.

3. Be clear, brief and polite

Everyone in the office is usually bombarded with emails every single day. That is why it is always best to keep the content of the message short, simple and concise enough so that they may be able to understand the gist of the letter without straining so much effort and time. Go straight to the point, but not in a rude and condescending way. Write your email just like you would in an essay. Similar to an essay, you have to introduce the topic, explain the different points, and then conclude the topic. You may also see summary writings.

4. Don’t write emails when you’re angry

They say that there is a right time for everything– which includes expressing that rage and anger towards the person. But never in an email. Keep in mind that you have to be respectful and courteous to the one you are sending that letter to.

5. Use short sentences

Just as it is important to keep the content of your message short and simple, it is also essential to keep the sentences simple and easy to read in order to keep your thoughts cohesive and understandable. Try your best not to use very lengthy sentences in your letter. Instead, learn to break down each separate thought with a ‘period’. You may also see minutes writings.

6. Be careful with “forward” and “reply to all”

The “forward” button is considered a lifesaver especially when you do not have the files you need to send to your boss or colleague, and you realize you sent that specific file to someone else who needed it before they did. So, you simply use that forward button in order to save time and effort. But make sure that the content of the forwarded message is meant for that specific person. Otherwise, it is best you delete the rest and to just retain the file that is needed to be sent. The same can be said for the “reply to all” option. If your supervisor has sent a joint message to recipients A, B, and C, make sure you only reply to your supervisor and not reply to all the concerned parties mentioned, especially if it is not really “need to know” information by the others. You may also see narrative writings

7. Read your email personally before sending it

Since you are the one composing the email, it would be best if you took the time to proofread the letter just to make sure that the grammar is in tact and that the thoughts are coherent enough for your letter to be organized and understandable. This will prevent the email recipient from struggling to understand your email.

8. Double-check email addresses for all recipients

Make sure that the recipient’s email address is correct. Be careful as there are times that email addresses are structured in a similar way. You may also see argumentative writings.

Sports Email Writing Example

The 3 Common Types of Emails

1. A Personal Email – Introducing yourself for the first time

As mentioned before, most people do not write personal emails to each another anymore. They would mostly communicate through texting, calling, or via any social media applications that do not really need much formality (e.g. Facebook Messenger, Viber, WeChat). But if ever you are the conservative type of person, then here are a few guidelines that you would need to follow.

General rules for personal emails:

  • Politeness: You don’t need to be too formal, but you would want to appear polite and friendly when you address the recipient. If you have any requests that you would need to ask from your friends, make sure that you are polite in doing so. Instead of saying “Write me back,” for example, try something like “If you have a chance, I’d love to hear back from you,” or even “Please write back when you have a chance.”
  • Greetings: For greetings, people would normally use the first name after the word “Dear”.
  • Closings: To say goodbye, use something like “Thank you”, “See you soon!” or even a brief sentence like “I’m really looking forward to meeting you in person.” Be sure to write/type your name, even if it will be included in your signature.
  • Casualness: With these types of emails, you can probably include more jokes or informal comments. However, still be careful about the tone of your email, especially if you don’t know the recipient well.

Example of a personal email:

For this example, let’s imagine that you are going abroad for the summer, say the United States or Canada. When you get there, you’ll be staying with a host family. There is a great chance that you will need to introduce yourself via email. Listed below is a sample:

Dear Smith Family,

My name is Mark. I received a confirmation letter from the exchange organization today. It said I’ll be staying with you for three months later this year. I wanted to introduce myself so you can know a bit more about me.

I’m currently 17 years old. I like listening to classical music, playing football and reading comic books. I will graduate from high school later this year, and I hope to go to college in the next year. I’ve never traveled outside of my country, so meeting you and visiting your country will be an exciting, new experience! 

I’d also like to know more about you, so if you have a chance, please write back at this email address. If you have any questions for me, I’d be happy to answer them.

Thanks again for agreeing to host me—I’m very excited to meet you in person!


2. A Semi-Formal Email – Writing to request an appointment or meeting

This is a very common type of email, especially when you need to write to your teacher to request a meeting.

General rules for semi-formal emails:

  • Length: Follow the K.I.S.S. (keep it short and simple). Remember that you are talking to a professional. These types of people do not have the luxury of time to thoroughly go through your letter, sentence per sentence. So, go straight to the point on what you want to discuss. After all, other concerns can be resolved during the meeting.
  • Respect: Remember that you’re requesting a favor from the recipient, so be respectful and not too demanding.
  • Greetings: Use formal or semi-formal greetings. You can still use “Dear ~,” but instead of including the recipient’s first name, use their title (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., Prof. etc.) and last name.
  • Closings: Depending on the purpose, you can probably use a semi-formal goodbye, such as “Thanks,” “Hope to hear from you soon” or “Thanks in advance.” If it’s someone you have talked to before in person, you can maybe use something less formal, like “Have a great weekend.”
  • Clarity: If you’re requesting for a specific day, that day/date and time should be set. Try to give multiple options. That way, if your first option doesn’t work out, your recipient has other dates/times to choose from.

Example of a semi-formal email:

Dear Professor Constantine,

I really enjoyed your Introduction to Witchcraft Course, and I was interested in continuing by taking the Advanced Demonology Course next semester. I’d like to meet with you to ask a few questions about the course, and also to get more information about the scholarship for international students.

Would it be possible to meet with you at your office sometime next week? I’m available during your regular office hours on Tuesday and Wednesday (1-4 p.m.), but if you’re busy on those days, I could also meet any time on Monday or on Friday afternoon. Please let me know what day and time would work best for you.

Thanks very much for your time and help!

Gary Oldman

3. A Formal Email – Writing about a problem with a product

General rules for formal emails:

  • Politeness: Follow Confucius’ Golden Rule which is, “Do not do unto others want you others to do unto you.”
  • Formality: Avoid making jokes and using slang words.
  • Clarity: Be clear by including any relevant details.
  • Requests: State the result or response that you want or expect. This is also called making your email “actionable.”
  • Greetings: For greetings, use a common phrase like “To Whom It May Concern,” since you probably won’t know the name of the person who will be receiving the email. But if you do know the name, you can use “Dear [Title] [Last Name],” like the one in the semi-formal email example.

If those seem too formal, you may want to try something like “Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening.” It could make you seem friendly and make the recipient more receptive to your complaint or questions.

  • Closings: For goodbyes, a simple “Sincerely Yours” is best. But if it’s a more casual company or an organization that you’ve already interacted with, you can always say “Thanks”.

Example of a formal email:

To Whom It May Concern,

I recently bought a magic wand from Hogwarts, but unfortunately it appears that the wand is not working correctly.

For reference, the model number is TOS-577, and I bought it on May 1, 2016 from Dumbledore at Hogwarts. I returned the magic wand to the store, but they said I should contact you since you would have an idea on how to fix the wand. Because of that, they weren’t able to offer a refund or exchange.

I can understand Hogwarts’ position, but the magic wand shouldn’t have broken so soon. It is still covered under the school’s warranty, so I would like to exchange the magic wand for a working model. Please let me know what steps I need to take for this to happen.

Thanks very much for your help with this situation.


Business Conference Call Email Writing Example

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Just remember these steps in writing an email and you’ll be able to get it in no time.

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