How to write better emails- some basic tips
Tip 1- write complete sentences
In today’s world we are all used to sending messages both through mobiles and more importantly on WhatsApp. This has led to the development of short crisp phrases which, though suitable for messaging is not suitable while writing emails.
The basic courtesy you can extend to the reader of your email is intelligibility. The first rule for this is writing complete sentences especially in your first mail to someone.
When you send an email to a person, you are judged purely on your writing; the tone of voice, body language etc. is absent. In such cases, it is imperative that you write complete, clear sentences.
Clear and complete sentences leaves the reader with a pleasant feeling which will make him do what you want him to do. Abrupt, short phrases are not only grammatically incorrect, but also may leave the impression of an unclear mind.
Can’t make it. – This sounds fine in a WhatsApp message; however, in an email is it better to write,
I am sorry; I will not be able to make it for today’s meeting. (A complete sentence which doesn’t sound rude)
Incidentally, the word ‘sorry’ has multiple meanings depending on the context.
Sorry or I am sorry may be an apology;
“I am sorry I cannot make it” is a polite but firm refusal.
Sorry? means I cannot hear/understand you; can you repeat that? Is asking for clarification.
Tip 2- Write short sentences
A sentence shouldn’t be over ten to fifteen words . Long complicated sentences may leave the reader irritated. Make sure that your sentence does not exceed one line of your computer.
Example 1: The event brought academicians from different parts of the country and the professionals from the IT industry together to deliberate over the need and relevance of teaching professional communication skills in improving the employability of graduates.
This sentence is very long. It can be made into two different sentences for easy understanding.
The event brought together academicians from different parts of the country and the professionals from the IT industry. The objective was to deliberate over the need and relevance of teaching professional communication skills to improve employability of graduates.
Tips 3 – Use data wherever possible
Instead of vague words, use words which are precise.
Which is better? A or B
- Please send me the data ASAP.
- Please send me the data latest by 5 pm tomorrow.
- Most of the work is complete. A little is left. I think we will manage
- We have completed 80% of the work. We now have three engineers apart from our 4 working on this. They should be able to complete the rest in a week.