The Dos and Don’ts of Email

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Being active inhabitants of Generation Y, what would communication be without texting, iMessage-ing, Facebook messaging, tweeting, and emailing? Complicated, that’s what. But there is a big difference in one of those digital communication methods compared to the rest. Any guesses? If you guessed email, you go Glenn Coco! Unlike the other avenues that come with an implied lazy nonchalance, there are some major dos and don’ts of emailing. Let’s break it down…

DO

  • Brevity is key. Only your professor (might) want to read an entire essay. Keeping your email concise and to the point ensures a better chance the entire will be read and responded to.
  • Get to the point. ASAP. As in the first two lines of the email. Just as brevity is key, so is conveying your message upfront. There is a chance your entire email won’t be read, so get to what you want in the very beginning.
  • Would your professor read your essay if it didn’t have a title? Well, probably, but the same does not apply to emails. Filling in the subject line is an essential component to sending an email. Keep it brief, concise, and encompassing of the main point of your communication.
  • One topic and one topic only, please. There is a brevity theme going on… When you include multiple messages in one email it flusters the reader and leads to a shortened reading.
  • Manners never go out of style. No matter how rushed you are to press send and embark on your oh-so glamourous life, remember your please and thank yous. It’s just courteous and shows that you appreciate the time they’re spending reading your inquiry. Plus, you’ll get better results.

DON’T

  • Emailing is a timely matter. Dilly-dallying will get you forgotten in the growing heap of emails flowing into the respondent’s coveted inbox. Don’t wait weeks. Don’t wait days. Wait hours. Even minutes!
  • Keep the juicy gossip and scandalous stories confined to girlish gibber gabber and texting. Never EVER write ANYTHING private, confidential, or inappropriate in an email. You never know who is going to see it in the Internet’s web of secrets…
  • CC with a purpose. Only copy someone on an email if they are directly related to the topic at hand. Inboxes are full enough without needless emails flowing in faster than junk mail.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! It’s the cardinal rule of not just emailing, but any written form of communication. One recognizable error completely tarnishes one’s opinion of your thoughtfulness. Do it for me!

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