Writing Professional Emails

Knowing email etiquette is a very important thing nowadays. Here you can see some basic rules and examples.


In an email, as in regular writing, sentences should be grouped into paragraphs. You can indent each one 5 spaces or just skip a line between paragraphs. Do not start each sentence on a new line!


Use the subject line in the header of the email to briefly describe what is in your email. Good examples of subjects are “ENG 103 assignment attached,” “a request from John Doe,” or “question about class (ENG 103)”.


Emoticons are generally best left out. Use your words, especially adjectives.


Emails are like letters: they should contain a greeting or salutation, an opening or introduction, a body in which you explain the purpose for writing, a conclusion, and a closing.



If your name appears in a non-Roman character set, you will want to state your full name in the email, but probably not in the subject line. You can introduce yourself in the first line of the first paragraph: “This is Minhee.” And be sure to sign your full name at the bottom in the form FirstName LastName: Minhee Kim. You can program your email to sign every message with an electronic signature that includes your full name and title or contact information if you’d like.


Professors should be addressed as EITHER:

Prof. Lastname     OR      Dr. Lastname     OR      Firstname  (sometimes)
Professors are referred to as NEITHER:

Prof. Firstname        NOR      Lastname        NOR    Firstname (usually)

To get a better understanding of writing email I will give you a couple of examples so you can analyze them. But that’s going to be in our next post. Stay tuned!

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