I have been receiving some e-mails from many students, and it seems that these e-mails are not formal enough to be at an academic level. Some of them lack of formal expressions, some of them are like daily conversation, and some of them don’t meet the criteria of an e-mail. Thus, I hope that you can improve your e-mail writing via this post because it is important for you to write e-mail appropriately as a habit.
Although I am not a professor, the e-mail you send to me also must be formal enough. It’s not only a way you practice writing formally, but also a way to show your respect to somebody else. We already learnt about how to write an appropriate email, so I hope that you can employ what you learnt into your life.
What is an academic email?
- Specific subject line: Please make sure that the subject is concise and expresses your problem clearly. Don’t make it too long or too short. I am happy that most of you write the subject line correctly.
- Professional greeting: Although you don’t need to be more formal to me (because I’m not a professor), it will be better if you start your email by greeting politely by, for example, saying “Hi Ammie” or “Dear Ammie” rather than not saying anything, and please make sure that you type my name (or another receiver) correctly 🙂
- Identification of self: You must introduce yourself to let me know who you are. Don’t be too general like “I am an ESL 119 student.” or “I’m from you class.” Please be specific.
- Thanks/Appreciation: It’s always needed in an e-mail no matter how academic it is. Just make sure you show your respect to the receiver.
- Closing: Some of you don’t include the closing or just saying “Bye” or “Thanks”. It’s ok for me, but don’t make it be your habit of writing e-mails. It’s not good if you send an e-mail to a professor with a closing like that.
- Signature: I know some of you have set the default signature for your e-mail; however, some of you still keep your signature in your first language. Moreover, when you send e-mails via mobile phones, there’s no signature at all. Therefore, make sure that you have an appropriate signature when sending e-mails.
Last but not least, though it is not a part of an e-mail, please check your grammar and spelling before sending the e-mail. Try to be more professional 🙂
I know writing e-mails is somehow new and challenging to some of you. However, sooner or later, you will have to write an formal e-mail like this. Writing e-mails is not so hard, just make sure that you have completed all these mentioned steps before sending it. It will be better for you if you can improve this skill to be your habit.
Don’t take it serious. Just practice and you will find it worthy.