ENGLISH FOR EMAILS
Do you want to write better emails in English for your work? These lessons will help you express yourself and create a professional image in the competitive world of business.
HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL EMAIL
Begin with a greeting
Always open your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Lillian”. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (eg. “Dear Mrs. Price”). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Kelly”. If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use: “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
Thank the recipient
If you are replying to a client’s inquiry, you should begin with a line of thanks. For example, if someone has a question about your company, you can say, “Thank you for contacting ABC Company”. If someone has replied to one of your emails, be sure to say, “Thank you for your prompt reply” or “Thanks for getting back to me”. Thanking the reader puts him or her at ease, and it will make you appear more polite.
State your purpose
If you are starting the email communication, it may be impossible to include a line of thanks. Instead, begin by stating your purpose. For example, “I am writing to enquire about …” or “I am writing in reference to …”.
Make your purpose clear early on in the email, and then move into the main text of your email. Remember, people want to read emails quickly, so keep your sentences short and clear. You’ll also need to pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation so that you present a professional image of yourself and your company.
Add your closing remarks
Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader one more time and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooperation” or “Thank you for your consideration” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you”.
End with a closing
The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. “Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and “Thank you” are all professional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader. Finally, before you hit the send button, review and spell check your email one more time to make sure it’s truly perfect!
HOW TO WRITE AN ARTICLE
Do you know what makes an article different from other types of writing?
1 The reader is identified
An article is like a direct conversation with the reader. The exam question might tell you who your readers are. For example, the students at a school, or the people living in a town or people who are interested in sports. Everything you write must speak to that reader and engage their interest right from the first sentence.
2 It has to get attention
If you're anywhere on the internet these days, you'll be bombarded with articles with headlines that pull the reader in. It's called "click baiting" and all the writer is trying to do is make you open the page to read their article. You need to think like a journalist when you're writing your article.
3 It has to be interesting
For an article to work, it has to be engaging enough to read all the way through. Remember how bored the examiner must be after reading fifty exam papers. Make it easier for them to get a good impression about your writing by entertaining them. Add humour, real life or made up examples, or make up quotes.
4 It has to be easy to read
Use subheadings to break up the text and make clear paragraphs. Write in a semi-informal, conversational style. And make sure there is organisation to your ideas. The planning stage is vital for this. Spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming ideas and choose the best three or four. Think what your subheadings might be and then write a short introduction that lets the reader know what to expect.
Keep in mind that you want the reader to keep reading, so don't tell them exactly what they will read. This is not an essay! In an essay you usually restate the question, explain how you will answer it and maybe say why it's important. In an article, that will kill the reader's interest.
5 Write a good ending
In an essay you sum up the points that have gone before and draw a conclusion from that. But in an article, it's better to give the reader something to think about, perhaps by asking them another question or giving them a call to action. Often, the best endings link back to the starting point in some way.
Here are two endings I could use for this article:
Common mistakes students make in articles
* A title has to make the subject immediately clear. For some reason, people like reading lists! And a direct, rhetorical question in the first paragraph to make readers want to find out the
** You can use the imperative to give instructions. E.g. Think…Keep in mind…Write…Spend…