Friday, April 13, 2012

Learn to write e-mail style

Computer monitors are harder on the eyes than pen is on paper, so make your message easy on both the eye and the mind. To communicate more effectively, take the strain off your reader's brain by adopting a concise writing style for the body of your message that suits this speedy form of communication. Grab the attention of the person you are writing, with a meaningful phrase in the subject line. Either there or in the first paragraph, immediately identify your purpose for writing. Keep your reader's attention by being short and specific. Necessary background information can come after the main idea. If you supervise staff, insist that they follow the same style.

For visual ease, use short sentences and bullet points; leave space between paragraphs; and do not type in upper case--not only is it difficult to read, but in "Netiquette," all caps means you are screaming. When you have to write a long, complicated message, suggest in the first paragraph that the recipient print out a hard copy since it may be easier to read a long document on paper than on a computer monitor.

Before sending, re-read your message, checking for mistakes as well as for clarity. Would you grasp the idea on first reading if you received the message? If not, fix it. And always save a copy of your sent e-mail messages in an appropriate file.

Frings, Christopher S.

Source Citation
Frings, Christopher S. "Learn to write e-mail style." Medical Laboratory Observer May 2007: 38. General OneFile. Web. 13 Apr. 2012.
Document URL

Gale Document Number: GALE|A164587368

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