Understanding the Email Writing Format – Tips & Samples
The usual pattern of texting each other that people are comfortable with is quite different from the pre-planned and professional communication at the workplace. For work-related things, nobody wants to engage in a back and forth texting pattern. They prefer to keep the exchange to a minimum. Emails allow that to happen because they have to be clear, precise and to the point.
Emails can be for various purposes. And the content of an email will vary accordingly. Casual emails are allowed to be exchanged in any order. However, formal communications are supposed to follow a proper email writing format.
A formal email writing format comprises of the following components:
The subject line is the most important component of any email. This is because the subject line of the email is what the recipient will read first. For this reason, a subject line should be short and to the point. But at the same time, it should be able to explain the purpose of the email well. This is essential because if the subject line is not correct or accurate, your email stands a risk of not being opened on time, or at all.
An important tip to remember is to add markers in the subject line. For example, Urgent, Important, etc.
It is a given that every email is meant for a specific person. So, to start your email formally, use a Salutation. Salutations help build the structure of the email. Address the recipient appropriately as per the relationship you have with them. For people who you are unfamiliar with, you can address them with "To whom it may concern" or "Dear sir/ma'am" In the case of senior officials, address them with their last name, "Dear Mr. Khan".
In contrast, for co-workers, a simple Hi followed by their name will work. Always remember to use a salutation. Never use nicknames.
The body of an email is the main part of your message. It should be elaborate but not too long. It should explain what the concern/query/request is in a comprehensive but at the same time it should not lose the focus point behind the email. The opening paragraph should immediately set the tone of the email. Consequently, it should state the reason behind the email in a general way. If you are a stranger to the recipient, do not forget to introduce yourself first.
Once the tone is set and the reason is stated, in the following sentences elaborate on the reason as specifically as you can. Moreover, the closing statement should support the overall structure of your email. Like, if your email is to answer a query, you can close it by saying "Hope I have been able to clear your doubt". Or if you are sending a query/request in the email, you can close by saying "Looking forward to hearing from you soon".
A signature is attached at the end of your email right after the closing statement. It is important to end the email on a good note. Here are a few tips to remember when signing off from the email:
- Use simple phrases which are not too casual, but convey respect. For example, "Warm Regards" or "Sincerely".
- Make sure to put your contact information with your name, like your phone number or work address.
- If you are writing to a senior authority, remember to use your full name.
- Some people even use templates to make their signatures more attractive. The template usually contains their name, designation, company name as well as contact information. Just remember to not make your template flashy.
- Also, if you are sending the email on behalf of a colleague, remember to mention it clearly. And remember to provide their contact information.
Subject: Extension of Project Report deadline
Dear Mr./Ms. [Last name of the recipient]
I am writing to you regarding the submission of the [Project Name] report. It is due on [date] and I request you to provide me an extension for the same. My brother has been in an accident and I am leaving for my hometown tonight. I will be back by the end of the week and therefore, I am afraid I will not be able to finish the report until then.
Kindly grant me an extension till [date] for the submission. I promise to deliver the report by then.
Subject: Inquiry about Conference Center Timing
This email is to enquire about the timing of the conference center at [location]. Our company, [company name], is hosting an important corporate event and is interested in booking the conference center on [date of the event]. I checked your website but could not find the required information there.
If you could share the details about the availability of the conference center at the earliest, we can prepare an itinerary and revert back to you with a schedule to initiate the booking procedure.
Looking forward to an early response.
Subject: Welcoming a new member of the team
Dear team members,
I am happy to announce that [Team name] has been joined by a new member, [Name of the person]. He will be joining us as an intern for the upcoming six months. He is a student of Economics in [University Name] and is really excited to be a part of our team.
I request you all to join me in welcoming [Name of the person] to our team. I hope you all will be open to helping him with any queries he might face.
[Name & Designation]
[Name & Designation]
Subject: Complaint against Gender Discrimination in the office.
Dear Mr./Ms. [Last name of the recipient],
This email is to report an instance of discrimination on the basis of gender I had to face in the office the other day. I was expected to be in a meeting regarding [Project name] with [employee name, department]. I was surprised to find out I have been dropped out of the project at the very last minute with no prior information being shared with me. Later, in a conversation with [name of the offender], I was told that I was left out of the project because they did not think as a woman I would win the client and "it is best left to us charming men" who know how to work.
I have worked relentlessly at [Company name] for [employment duration] years and I am deeply upset for being treated this way. I brought this up privately with [Name of the offender] but failed to receive a decent reply, let alone an apology. So I am filing an official complaint and expecting to come to a speedy solution about the same.
Hopeful this matter will be dealt with at the earliest.
About the Author
Washija Kazim is a content developer at Receptix. She’s an avid reader and has a keen interest to develop content that adds value to users. Washija has been writing on topics of education, job search, career advice and related areas for the last 3 years.