Billions of people write, send, and receive emails every day. The total number of email users in the world is over 4 billion, and it is expected to exceed 4.6 billion by 2025. Students are no exception. They write numerous emails on a daily basis.

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Tips for Students

Many of these emails can have a bearing on their academic and professional future. The recipients of their emails often judge the merits of any attached or related materials or documents by the looks and quality of the cover email. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to make sure your email looks professional, tidy, and informative to help you achieve your goals. Here are some tips on how you can pull it off.

–       Audience matters

As in any other communication or outreach-related exercise, you must never lose sight of your target audience. Who is it you are addressing with your email? Is it one person or a group of people? Are they your fellow students, your tutor, or someone you don’t know? The style, format, and content of your email are and have to be informed by your audience and its requirements. Only then do you increase the chances of your success.

–       Subject line

Think of a punchy and practical subject line. It should encapsulate the essence of your email. More importantly, it should clearly show the type of action you might ask the recipient to take. For instance, if you want someone to clear your document, you should clearly state so. It always helps to insert the deadline for the requested action in the subject line as well. This helps keep the deadline on the addressee’s radar all the time.

–       Background

Some emails need a lot of background information to put your message in context. But you should avoid the mistakes lots of people make. Don’t insert lengthy paragraphs with the background information upfront. You might lose your readers by the time they are through with the first long paragraph.

Instead, summarize the background into a couple of sentences and use the summary to explain the rationale behind your message. Add the lengthy version further down in your message, noting where the recipient can find it.

The above does not mean that you should ignore the importance of background information. It plays a critical role in developing your essays and college papers. If you are unsure about how to use background information in your writing, use free essays samples online to identify reliable and trustworthy online writing services. Professional writers will help structure your papers in accordance with the top academic standards and applicable college requirements.

–       Be professional when due

If you are writing a formal email, never take the liberty of becoming too familiar with the recipient. Address the recipients formally (e.g., ‘Dear’ follower by name). If the addressee does not know you, introduce yourself formally and specify the reason for contacting the person concerned. If you have been referred by someone else, don’t forget to mention it.

Don’t use colloquialisms, slang, or jokes in your email. It never hurts to be professional with your writing style and content. You can’t make a mistake by strictly abiding by formal writing standards.

–       Clarity

The clarity of your message is your trump card. Read your message a few times to make sure it is written in a clear and unequivocal manner. Avoid redundancies and repetitions. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. What are the questions the reader could have when reading your email? Are there any sentences that look confusing? Does it need clarification of some points?

Think about how you can preempt the above questions by adding the missing piece without making the message cumbersome to read. Remember that if you can’t say and express things clearly, you don’t understand them yourself. How can you expect the reader to get them then?!

Keep honing your writing skills to communicate in an effective and compelling manner. There are lots of online resources available, so you might not need to hire a tutor or pay for services. You can do a lot through self-education.

–       Free of spelling and grammatical errors

When you are done with your email, read it, re-read it, and read it once again. The goal is to eliminate any spelling or grammatical errors and typos. You can ruin your message with a flurry of inadvertent setbacks. There are lots of online tools you can use to help you with the effort. Just make sure you have a way of producing an impeccable, error-free message.

–       Using acronyms

Be careful when using acronyms. Make sure you spell them out the first time they are used in the message. If you intend to use it only once, it does not make sense to use an abbreviated version. Just spell it out and forget about the acronym. You should also make sure the recipient is familiar with the organization or concept you are referring to. Add an explanatory sentence to avoid confusion.

–       Attachments

Make sure to send all the relevant attachments. Be wary of the acceptable file size. Some files might be too big to go through the recipients’ firewalls and security systems. Images and videos take up a lot of space, so you can just insert appropriate links to avoid sending the actual content over email. You might as well consider splitting the attachments into several messages if you absolutely have to send them by email.

Final Thoughts

Students use email on a regular basis. They use it for both professional and personal purposes. It is important to keep the target audience when picking the right style, length, and content. Choosing a snappy and practical subject line matters. So does the choice of your writing style.

In any case, your style should be professional and friendly. You must also do all it takes to ensure the clarity of your message.

Make sure you read the message several times to avoid unnecessary repetition, redundancies, and non-sequiturs. If you want the recipient to take action, make it clear in your message as well as in the subject line.


Joanne Elliot is a professional writer with a proven track record in computer science, writing services, and student coaching. Lots of college students have benefited from her sharp observations, critical findings, and practice advice.

Joanne’s articles and blogs have gained popularity among students and tutors in equal measure.

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