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This interactive course covers the different types of professional emails and the methods in which to construct them, as well as professional formatting and language conventions.

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Transcript

How to Write a Professional Email

Start

And what's the best greeting? I want to be professional, but not stuffy...

Do I indent the paragaphs? And how do I break the bad news to the marketing staff?

I'm so lost...What do I do?!?!?!?

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Hey there, I'm Devin! It's a normal work day. I'm here taking care of business.

Oh yes, I still need to send that email to the marketing department!

Let's see here... Am I supposed to capitalize the subject line or no?

Don't fret!

This interactive course is the solution for anyone looking for guidance on how to construct a professional email.

​This course defines 'professional email' as any type of email that would be sent in the workplace, whether the drafter be a CEO, supervisor, HR personnel, entry-level employee, or potential employee.

Covered in this course are the different types of emails and the methods in which to approach them, plus formatting and professional language conventions.

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1

2

3

4

5

Professional Email Types

Direct and Indirect Methods

Professional Language

Formatting

Email Structure

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COURSE CONTENT

Objectives

1

2

3

4

Identify the 3 types of emails.

Identify proper uses for direct and indirect methods.

Identify proper formatting conventions in emails.

Identify professional language conventions in emails.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

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Informative

Request & Reply

Confirmation

Click on each picture below to learn about the different types of emails in professional email writing.

Professional Email Types

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INFORMATIVE An informative email is a an email that is relaying information to the recipient. The information can cover a myriad of things:

  • Announcing a promotion, event, or news
    • engagement
    • new baby
    • a birthday
  • Information about a policy change
  • Delivering a resignation notice

REQUEST-AND-REPLY A request-and-reply email is an email that is requesting something of the recipient. The request can cover a myriad of things:

  • Requesting a service
  • Asking a question or questions that need answered
  • Requesting information
    • about a job description
    • about a product
    • feedback

CONFIRMATION A confirmation email is a an email that is confirming something. This can cover a myriad of things:

  • Confirming a sale for a product or service
  • Confirming a reservation and its details
  • Confirming general information
    • hiring information
    • personal information

Direct & Indirect Methods

Click on each image below to learn about the direct and indirect methods of professional email writing.

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Direct

Indirect

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Definition Using the direct method, the email sender will construct the email in a way that gets directly 'to the point'. Purpose The direct method of email-writing is used in cases such as the following:

  • The recipient is already 'in-the-know' in relation to the email's content.
  • The email contains content that will be viewed as 'neutral' or 'positive'.
  • The information in the email will be well-received.
Structure
  1. Main point/request (news or request)
  2. Background or context (reason, details, information)
  3. Closing (clarification, action, or friendly remark)
Examples
  • Making a simple request (positive or neutral)
  • Giving directions, instructions, or orders
  • Requesting an action (positive or neutral)

Definition Using the indirect method, the email sender will construct the email in a way that 'builds up' to the point. Purpose The indirect method of email-writing is used in cases such as the following:

  • The recipient is not already 'in-the-know' in relation to the email's content.
  • The email contains content that will be viewed as 'negative'.
  • The information in the email will not be well-received.
Structure
  1. Background or context (buffer and reason)
  2. Main point/request (bad news or neutral news)
  3. Closing (redirect)
Examples
  • Employment or promotion rejection
  • Notice of a beloved event being cancelled
  • Notice of pay cuts or cancelled bonuses
  • A product or service is not available

Formatting

Click on each blue square below to learn professional email formatting conventions for each email component.

Subject Line

Greeting

Bold, Underline, Italics

Lists

Body Paragraphs

Sign-offs

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Professional Language

Click on each blue square below to learn professional email language conventions for each email component.

Subject Line

Greeting

Body Paragraphs

Sign-offs

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Professional Language - Subject Line TITLE CASE EXAMPLES

  • Request for Further Information
  • Interest in Supervisor Position
  • Promotion Announcement
  • Resignation Letter
  • Sales Meeting Details
SENTENCE CASE EXAMPLES
  • Additional information is needed for your file
  • Congratulations on your promotion!
  • Falling short of reaching your sales goals? Please read

Professional Language - Greeting TITLE CASE EXAMPLES

  • Good morning/afternoon, evening,
  • Dr./Mr./Ms./Mrs. Name,
  • Greetings,
SENTENCE CASE EXAMPLES
  • To whom it may concern,
  • I hope this email finds you well,
  • Allow me to introduce myself,

Professional Language - Body Paragraphs GENERAL TIPS In professional writing, use full, complete sentences, properly spelling all words. Do not use text speak, slang, or contractions. TEXT SPEAK EXAMPLESSLANG EXAMPLESCONTRACTION EXAMPLES

  • ur = your
  • b4 = before
  • u r = you are
  • i c = I see
  • nmd = nevermind
  • 2n8 = tonight
  • lowkey and highkey
  • lit
  • gonna and wanna
  • shoulda, coulda, and woulda
  • I feel ya
  • ghosting
  • can't = cannot
  • won't = will not
  • shouldn't = should not
  • shouldn't've = should not have
  • ain't = am not, is not
  • wasn't = was not
FIRST SENTENCE EXAMPLES
  • My name is _____, and I am emailing to inform you of _____.
  • Allow me to introduce myself; my name is _____, and I am emailing to _____.
  • I hope you are doing well. / I hope this email finds you well.
  • I am reaching out because/due to _____.
  • I would like to check in regarding _____.
  • As discussed during our phone call, _____.
  • It has come to my knowledge _____.
  • Can you provide me with an update on _____?
  • Following our last meeting, _____. / Per our last meeting, _____.
  • It is great to hear from you.
  • Thank you for your quick response.
  • Thank you for reaching out.
  • It is with great excitement that I announce _____.
  • Please join me in congratulating _____ on his/her/their promotion to _____.
LAST SENTENCE EXAMPLES
  • Thank you for your time/consideration.
  • Thank you once again for your assistance in this matter.
  • Thank you for understanding.
  • Thank you for your continued support.
  • I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
  • Your cooperation in this matter is much appreciated.
  • Please do not hesitate to reach out.
  • Please respond with any questions or concerns.
  • If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
  • Please respond with further information at your earliest convenience.
  • We hope that we may continue to rely on your loyalty/assistance/cooperation.
  • Your immediate attention to this matter is much appreciated.
  • Please advise.
bulletbull bullet
  • bulle bullet

Professional Language - Sign-off EXAMPLES

  • Best regards,
  • Warm regards,
  • Respectfully,
  • Thank you,
  • With gratitude,
  • Awaiting your response,
  • Thank you for your consideration,
  • Thank you in advance,
  • With much appreciation,
  • Cordially,
  • bullet

Email Structure

Click on each information icon below to view each email structure by type and method, along with an example of each.

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Informative

Request & Reply

Confirmation

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DIRECT

INDIRECT

Putting it all together!

Direct Informative Email STRUCTURE

  • Subject
    • Short, concise
    • Meaningful, informative
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Greeting
    • Short, concise
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Opening Paragraph
    • Comparable to an Introduction Paragraph
    • First, state the point/main piece of inoformation/topic
    • Then provide background information
  • Middle Paragraphs
    • Comparable to body paragraphs
    • Provide any necessary details to support your main purpose
    • Use quantitative data where possible
  • Closing Paragraph
    • Comparable to a closing paragraph
    • Final details, remarks, reminders
  • Sign-off
    • Short, concise
    • Capitalize first word, comma
EXAMPLE

Direct Request and Reply Email STRUCTURE

  • Subject
    • Short, concise
    • Meaningful, informative
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Greeting
    • Short, concise
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Opening Paragraph
    • Comparable to an Introduction Paragraph
    • First, state your request
    • Then, provide background information
  • Middle Paragraphs
    • Comparable to body paragraphs
    • Support your request with facts, details, examples
    • Use quantitative data
  • Closing Paragraph
    • Comparable to a closing paragraph
    • Final details, remarks, reminders
  • Sign-off
    • Short, concise
    • Capitalize first word, comma
EXAMPLE

Direct Confirmation Email STRUCTURE

  • Subject
    • Short, concise
    • Meaningful, informative
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Greeting
    • Short, concise
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Opening Paragraph
    • Comparable to an Introduction Paragraph
    • State the purpose
    • Express gratitude
  • Middle Paragraphs
    • Comparable to body paragraphs
    • Provide necessary information
    • Detail reminders
  • Closing Paragraph
    • Final details
    • Reminders and instructions
  • Sign-off
    • Short, concise
    • Capitalize first word, comma
EXAMPLE

Indirect Informative Email STRUCTURE

  • Subject
    • Short, concise
    • Meaningful, informative
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Greeting
    • Short, concise
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Opening Paragraph
    • Comparable to an Introduction Paragraph
    • First, provide background information
    • End with the point/main piece of information/topic
  • Middle Paragraphs
    • Comparable to body paragraphs
    • Provide any necessary details to support your main purpose
    • Use quantitative data where possible
  • Closing Paragraph
    • Comparable to a closing paragraph
    • Final details, remarks, reminders
  • Sign-off
    • Short, concise
    • Capitalize first word, comma
EXAMPLE

Indirect Request and Reply Email STRUCTURE

  • Subject
    • Short, concise
    • Meaningful, informative
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Greeting
    • Short, concise
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Opening Paragraph
    • Comparable to an Introduction Paragraph
    • First, provide background information
    • End with your request
  • Middle Paragraphs
    • Comparable to body paragraphs
    • Support your request with facts, details, examples
    • Use quantitative data
  • Closing Paragraph
    • Comparable to a closing paragraph
    • Final details, remarks, reminders
  • Sign-off
    • Short, concise
    • Capitalize first word, comma
EXAMPLE

Indirect Confirmation Email STRUCTURE

  • Subject
    • Short, concise
    • Meaningful, informative
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Greeting
    • Short, concise
    • Title or Sentence Case as appropriate
  • Opening Paragraph
    • Comparable to an Introduction Paragraph
    • Express gratitude
    • State the purpose
  • Middle Paragraphs
    • Comparable to body paragraphs
    • Provide necessary information
    • Detail reminders
  • Closing Paragraph
    • Final details
    • Reminders and instructions
  • Sign-off
    • Short, concise
    • Capitalize first word, comma
EXAMPLE *An indirect confirmation email would be rare to use.

No, THANKS

YES, SURE

Quiz Time

Don't worry, you can skip right over it if you don't want to take it!

How would you feel about a little quiz to test your knowledge?

Question 1

Build up to the bad announcement by detailing background information and the reasoning for the freeze.

Which of the following would be appropriate email structure for announcing a company-wide pay freeze?

Rip off the bandaid by announcing the bad news directly, then be sure to give good news of some sort.

a

b

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CORRECT! The indirect method of email structure is appropriate here as the email's contents are 'negative'. It is necessary to build up to the point with background information if the email will be poorly received.

NOT QUITE

Question 2

Build up to the details by giving background information and the reasoning for the new policy.

Which of the following would be appropriate email structure for detailing a new 'positive' company policy?

Simply make the announcement and then explain the details concerning the new policy.

a

b

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NOT QUITE

CORRECT! The direct method of email structure is appropriate here as the email's contents are 'positive'. It is not necessary to build up to the point if the email will be well-received or neutrally received.

Question 3

To Whom It May Concern,

A hopeful employee emails a company. Which of the following greetings is formatted correctly?

To whom it may concern,

a

b

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NOT QUITE

CORRECT! It is not necessary to capitalize every word in the greeting. Only the first word and proper nouns should be capitalized.

Question 4

Yes

Should body paragraphs in a professional email be indented?

No

a

b

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NOT QUITE

CORRECT! Do not indent body paragraphs in a professional email.

Question 5

If you are very familiar with the recipient.

When is it okay to use text speak and slang in a professional email?

They should never be used in a professional email.

a

b

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NOT QUITE

CORRECT! Always use professional language in professional emails.

Done! How did you do?

Do you feel confident in your ability to draft professional emails? Remember to following the methodology, formatting, and language guides in this course, and you will do great!

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Thank you for your participation!

THE END

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