Email Composition

Emails are often written in an informal style, and are generally brief.

The text of an email is entered in the main body of the message. The most important tip for writing an email message is brevity (see netiquette — be brief). People typically get so many emails in a day that a long email often doesn’t get read until later — sometimes much, much later, if at all.

Remember that you can copy text from a document or another email and paste it into a new email, so you don’t have to retype text. Many email programs will also let you paste pictures and documents directly into your message.

Email is more informal than paper mail because it is used with more frequency and immediacy. Unless it is a personal letter, email usually gets right to the point without a lengthy introduction. Many people don’t include a “Dear Sir” clause, and often do not include a signoff, letting the “To:” and “From:” fields speak for themselves. Signatures can also include a standard signoff.

Make sure that you have turned off any word wrap options that cut lines into standard lengths by inserting carriage returns, since these are unnecessary and cause formatting problems with most modern email programs. You can avoid having the formatting of your email get messed up by putting your email in Text Standard Format.