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How to write professional email

Writing effective email

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You're probably used to sending email to your friends and course mates, but at university you'll often communicate with staff through email too. If you want to be taken seriously and 'get on the right side' of your tutors, lecturers and course administrators, and if you want your email to get results, it's important to send professional email.

There's a list of good email protocol below that you can use to help you get the most out of your emails.

Activity: write effective email - 5 minutes

1. Next time you send an email to a course tutor, lecturer or administrator, use the check list below to make sure what you send is effective and professional.

When you write an email, remember to... tick
include a clear, concise and explanatory subject  
include any attachments  
use an appropriately respectful greeting (Dear...)  
use the recipients correct title (Dr, Prof. etc. - if you don't know their title, don't use one - or 'promote' them!)  
introduce yourself and give a brief background to the email  
use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation  
write in standard English - no 'text' language  
no inappropriate use of 'emoticons'  
use a polite and appropriate tone  
clearly and politely explain what you would like the recipient to do  
sign-off politely - avoid using 'cheers', 'tnx' or 'love/luv'  

Recommended Further Reading

Finally, we look at how you can apply your email skills to the important work of getting a job.

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