6 Golden Rules in Email Writing – Part 3


Before writing understand 

  • Why you are writing – Purpose
  • Who you are writing to – Audience
  • What you want to say – Content of your message

These three questions will help you to figure out how to say what you want to say.

Clarity means making your content easy to understand. if you can produce sharp, clear, intelligent, and easy-to-understand content, it become much easier for people to see the value in it.  And you will build the most important ingredient in Business – TRUST

Clear writing is powerful and compelling. It turns heads, changes minds, and encourages action.

“Communication is not transactional but interactional” – Helen Spencer -Oatey

When communicating with another you need to make sure that your language does not offend the reader/ listener. This is even more difficult in written communication.

How do you decide that what you write does not offend? This depends on the person/ persons you are writing as well as the words you use,

If you know the person well, you will already have an idea on how to write an unpleasant message and the words which may be offensive to the reader.

If it is a person you do not know well, it is better to err on the side of caution. 

Tone is making your message acceptable to the reader. Your clear, easy-to-understand message must not offend the reader but make him see you as a “professional.”

Some examples

1.If you wish to request for some action, it is better to write

Could you send me the data by tomorrow?

Can you send the data by 5 pm tomorrow, please?


Please/Kindly send me the data by 5 pm tomorrow.

Please or kindly at the beginning of a sentence may be viewed as an order.

2.  Instead of “I cannot complete the testing by tomorrow.”

“I am afraid that the testing may not be completed by tomorrow. This is because….”

3.  Instead of “We will not be able to complete the testing by Friday. You are aware that my team is working 10 to 12 hours a day.” say

“You are aware that my team is working 10 to 12 hours a day. If I can get two more engineers to work on the testing, we will be able to deliver by Friday.”


In today’s world where customer service is important it is necessary to know about negative and positive tone.

As a service provider, we need to always use a positive tone and not a negative one. One of the ways in which this can be done is to emphasize what CAN be done, instead of repeating what CANNOT be done.

A negative tone has a subtle tone of blame, includes words with a negative connotation. It does not stress positive actions or positive consequences. Hence, it fails to connect with the reader.

On the contrary, a positive tone suggests alternatives and choices available to the recipient. It sounds helpful and encouraging rather than bureaucratic and establishes a rapport with the reader/recipient.

Be positive! 

  • Look at these words: activity, agreed, evolving, fast, good question, helpful, joins us, mutual, productive, solve, team, together, tool, useful.  
  • Now look at these: busy, crises, failure, forget it, hard, I can’t, I won’t, impossible, never, stupid, unavailable, waste.  

Using a positive phrase makes the recipient feel that you are trying to help him.

These are just a few examples. You could go through the following websites for more information.



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