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7 Tips on How to Improve Your Email Writing Skills.


Posted on October 28, 2013
Most of us in the business world use emails as the main, and in some cases, the only means of written communication.
For many students studying Business English, practising their email writing skills is an important part of their course.
While most of us are happy to write informal emails to friends that might have grammatical mistakes in them, the same is not true when
writing to colleagues and clients with whom we want to make a good impression. Or where we need to be a bit more careful or more
diplomatic than usual.
So, how can you ensure that your email writing skills are up to standard? Here are some 7 general tips Id like to share with you:
1. Subject Line:
Always have a subject line that summarises briefly and clearly the contents of the message.
For example Re: Summary of Our Meeting with ABC Suppliers
2. Short and Simple Sentences
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Use short and easy sentences. Long sentences can often be difficult to read and understand. The most common mistake that I see my
students making is to translate directly from their own language.
This can often lead to confusing sentences. I always tell my students to use the KISS Test Keep It Short and Simple


3. Think of who your reader is going to be.
Is it a colleague, a client or your boss? Should the email be informal or formal? Most business emails these days have a neutral tone. Note
the difference between Informal and Formal:
Informal - Thanks for the email of 15 February
Formal Thank you for your email received 15 February
Informal - Sorry, I cant make it.
Formal I am afraid I will not be able to attend
Informal Could you?
Formal I was wondering if you could.?

Some emails to colleagues can be informal if they are friends. This is the style that is closest to speech, so there are often everyday
words and conversational expressions that can be used.
For instance, Dont forget, Catch you later, Cheers.
The reader will also accept bad grammar in informal emails. However, if the email is going to a client or senior colleague, bad grammar
and an over-friendly style will not be acceptable.
4. Be very careful of capital letters, punctuation, spelling and basic grammar.
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While these can be tolerated in informal emails, they are very important in business emails as they are an important part of the image you
create.
Give yourself time to edit what youve written before you push that Send button. In todays busy world, its very easy to send out many
emails without checking them so make a conscious effort to edit.
5. Think about how direct or indirect you want to be
In some cultures it is common practice to be very direct in email correspondence. However, this can cause a problem if youre writing to
someone in another country and in a language that is not yours. They might find your directness rude and sometimes offensive.
Consider these:
Direct I need this in half an hour.
Indirect - Could I have this in half an hour?
Direct There will be a delay.
Indirect Im afraid there will be a slight delay.
Direct Its a bad idea
Indirect To be honest, Im not sure it would be a good idea.
By adjusting your tone, you are more likely to get a more positive response from your reader.
6. Be positive!
Look at these words: helpful, good question, agreed, together, useful, Id be delighted, mutual, opportunity.
Now look at these: busy, crisis, failure, forget it, I cant, its impossible, waste, hard
The words you use show your attitude to life so choose your words wisely.
7. Get Feedback
Try and get some feedback on the emails that you write in real life. This could be from your English Teacher or someone you know whose
English is better than yours.
Study the English in the emails you receive. If it is a well-written email, look carefully at some of the language used. Start your own
phrase book and build a bank of phrases from the ones you receive and think would be useful in the future.
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67 THOUGHTS ON 7 TIPS ON HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAIL WRITING SKILLS.
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Ciao for now
Shanthi
Source: Email English by Paul Emmerson, Macmillan Publishers
This entry was posted in Business English, Learning Tips, Writing Skills and tagged Business English, Learning Tips, Writing Skills by
Shanthi Streat. Bookmark the permalink.
Sa'id Lawal on October 28, 2013 at 6:47 am said:
Thanks Shanthi, I always find your blog a very interesting place of learning. Thanks once again.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 8:34 am said:
Im so glad you do, Said. Thank you for reading. Its really appreciated.
Reply
Alka Rai on October 28, 2013 at 7:27 am said:
very clear and helpful.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 8:36 am said:
Im very pleased.
Reply
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Jatinder Pal Singh Khosa on October 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm said:
Very helpful in daily Life
Thanks
Reply
jeetsauden yakthumba on October 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm said:
THAKYOU very much for the useful information . But how to use to email I dont no I want to good advise also ?
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:59 am said:
There are plenty of resources online to help you.
Reply
daniela on October 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm said:
Greta information! Thank you
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am said:
Its my pleasure.
Reply
Hermine on October 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm said:
Very helpful rules for email writing. Thank you!
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am said:
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Its my pleasure.
Reply
Samer on October 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm said:
it was helpful , Thank you.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:57 am said:
Really glad.
Reply
Evelyn Becerra on October 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm said:
Great tips! Helpful for my writing lessons. Thanks for sharing.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:57 am said:
So glad to be of help. Good luck with the lessons.
Shanthi
Reply
amit kumar on October 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm said:
its very good to see such kind of helpful blogs.these are very useful to professsional students and for tier-2 city college
students,who are unaware of these.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:57 am said:
Thank you.
Reply
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Maria Felgueiras on October 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm said:
Excellent tips. Thanks a lot. I must say I like your blog a lot. You share very interesting contents about English!
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am said:
Im so glad you like it, Maria. Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your comments here.
Shanthi
Reply
Sumangalai on October 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm said:
Very clear and useful.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am said:
Thank you.
Reply
Mamun afrad on October 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm said:
Very useful thing
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am said:
Thank you.
Reply
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Nancy on October 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm said:
Very short and usefull. Thank Shanthi
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm said:
Always a pleasure, Nancy.
Reply
abdul basith on October 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm said:
thanks alot for such wonderful tips. very useful information..
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm said:
Glad I could be of help.
Shanthi
Reply
elena diamante on October 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm said:
Great blog, thanks
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm said:
Thank you so much.
Shanthi
Reply
Xiliana Rodrguez on October 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm said:
Very useful! thank you
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Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm said:
My pleasure.
Reply
Marita on October 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm said:
Very interesting and clear for students!!!!
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm said:
Thank you, Marita.
Reply
Sharmin on October 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm said:
Thank you so much..ur writing is very helpful for me.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm said:
Its my pleasure.
Shanthi
Reply
Nadeem Ghafoor on October 28, 2013 at 8:22 pm said:
Very useful information. Could you please help me out regarding my speaking skills? Actually, I have problem with
pronunciation and accent especially.
Thanks & Regards,
Nadeem
Reply
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and Tools for Educators
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm said:
Hi Nadeem,
If youd like me to help you, take a look at my online courses and if they seem attractive, drop me a line via my
blog and we can discuss the way forward.
Shanthi
Reply
Junneil Cuizon on October 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm said:
Most of your posts are interesting!
How could I share this post in my blog? Is it possible? thanks!
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm said:
HI there,
Im really thrilled that you like my posts. Id be honoured if youd share my post. You can do this as a pingback
on WordPress or simply copy and paste the post to a new blog post.
I really like your blog. The pictures are lovely.
Shanthi
Reply
Marco Dess on October 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm said:
I wont leave a comment about your blogI just want to say hello Shanthi! Gooood jobbbb!
Bye beautiful girl!!!
Marco
Reply
Shanthi
on October 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm said:
Ciao bellissimo,
Grazie. When are you starting yours?
Shanthi
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Achala on October 29, 2013 at 6:06 am said:
Thank you very much. It is very important to me.
Reply
Shanthi
on October 29, 2013 at 8:59 am said:
Im so pleased to hear that.
Reply
Gyanendra Poudel on October 29, 2013 at 8:28 am said:
Extreamly simple and striking
Reply
Shanthi
on October 29, 2013 at 8:59 am said:
Glad you like it.
Reply
chantal issautier on October 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm said:
just what I needed for my students.Thanks
Reply
Shanthi
on October 30, 2013 at 7:58 pm said:
Im so glad I can be of use.
Reply
concha ortega on November 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm said:
Thank you very much for your blog. Ive just suscribe to receive the following post
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Concha
Reply
Shanthi
on November 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm said:
Thank you very much for subscribing to my blog. I hope you enjoy my past and future posts.
Shanthi
Reply
MNIF Mohamed on November 5, 2013 at 8:52 am said:
Thank you very much.
Reply
Shanthi
on November 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm said:
My pleasure.
Shanthi
Reply
Henrique on November 8, 2013 at 10:35 am said:
My English teacher in Brazil has taught me another meaning for KISS: keep it simple, stupid! Hes vey kind. hehe
Reply
Shanthi
on November 8, 2013 at 10:51 am said:
Ha Ha. Yes it does also mean that but I didnt want anyone to misunderstand the point.
Thanks, Henrique.
Reply
Jomel on November 9, 2013 at 10:03 am said:
Before, before i click the send bottom to my boss i do make sure that it is look like a true formal.. Now im glad that
you have a blog like that . It will help me alot to improved more my writing skills. Im a begginer in form of learnings in
english langiage esp. Those grammar, new vocabulary etc. Hope you will semd to my email. Those lessons that will
help me alot.. Thank you. Your indeed great in writing.
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Reply
Shanthi
on November 10, 2013 at 11:43 am said:
Thank you, Jomel.
Reply
zaza on November 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm said:
hi!
these tips are of great help to everybody.
illbe glad to join your blog and follow all your posts;thanks a lot!
Reply
Shanthi
on November 19, 2013 at 7:32 am said:
Thank you so much, Zah.
Welcome to English with a Twist.
Shanthi
Reply
salik on November 29, 2013 at 9:21 am said:
thnks.
you are great!
Reply
kumudh shekhar on December 1, 2013 at 12:46 am said:
Dear Shanti
Ur articles are very interesting n helpful. I am a business lecturer myself. I wish to upgrade myself to being a language
teaher. Wish to take up a course to with a quality institution. Wish u cld suggest any from London. Im a Malaysian. Be
it be online or face to face.
Thanks.
Kumudh
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Shanthi
on December 2, 2013 at 9:00 am said:
I would always recommend International House, London. That is where I took my CELTA and the teaching is
faultless. They also offer online courses.
http://www.ihlondon.com/
Good luck.
Shanthi
Reply
Khalil Al-Seraji on January 17, 2014 at 9:05 pm said:
Very helpful for me and that is all i need in my emails . thank you so much
Reply
Shanthi
on January 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm said:
Its my pleasure, Khalil. Thank you for reading.
Reply
Psith on April 2, 2014 at 3:42 am said:
Very helpful for me to keep continue English improvement skill and learning more technique.
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