We live in a digital world where emails often consume our lives. On a daily basis, my school email receives over thirty emails that I actually have to read, understand, and probably respond to, so that number doesn’t include spam. This is ridiculous, I know, but I’ve only been able to survive this far in the world because I learned how to write better emails. Writing better emails is about making life easier for you, others, and ultimately coming off better in email communication.

1) Learn how to write the right subject. Far too many people leave them blank and as someone who has to search through her emails to find something a lot, I can testify that this is an egregious sin. Give your emails a proper subject line, one that explains what is inside of the email, and people will appreciate that. If you’re sending a copy of your recent editorial, list the title and final draft in the subject line or something along those lines.  Keep your subject lines concise and accurate and you and the recipient will reap the returns.  I am also a big fan of using brackets in subject lines to indicate which group/class or activity I am talking about. If it is about FFL I will put [FFL] and then my normal subject line. If it is about French class, I will put [French] then my normal subject line. This makes life so much easier when I am searching through my sent mail weeks later.

2) Shorten your paragraphs. No one likes reading bulky paragraphs of emails. Frankly, few people have the time. If you want your email to actually be read, digested, and responded to, shorten your paragraphs. You can still get in the same amount of information, if necessary, but having shorter lines of text rather than huge blocks of text will ensure that the recipients of your email aren’t scared off at first glance, and ultimately read and respond to your email in a timely manner. When you send huge blocks of paragraph text in an email, people who might be preoccupied at the time simply open it, close it, intend to respond, and then completely forget about it.  Make your email look less threatening on first glance, and you’ll be more likely to get a response.

 3) Do without the excessive exclamation points. While concise subject lines and shorter text blocks make your email more enjoyable and easier to read for other people, excising the constant use of exclamation points from your email vocabulary makes your emails seem more professional. The exclamation mark is supposed to denote strong feelings or loud voice. Is that really the punctuation you want all over your email exchanges with a potential boss? A boss I had encouraged the girls in the office to cut back on exclamation points in their emails. Unless you are expressing strong feelings, which you probably shouldn’t in an email, or shouting, stick with the simple period. There is a reason it is the most used punctuation mark.

Whether you send emails once a day, ten times a day, or a hundred time a day, there is no denying that email permeates our life as students and young professionals. Learning to send better emails plays a major role in not only making life easier, but making ourselves seem more professional through technological communication.

Happy Emailing!

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member