Conversational Email

One reader, Bruce, wrote in to ask: I find it curious that the written word now includes expressions clearly intended for verbal exchange. I’m referring to many of the suggestions you provided for email. In an attempt to be accurate and possibly too literal, I have tended to opt out of those uses. Specifically, when … Read more

Useful Stock Phrases for Your Business Emails

When I wrote a post on email etiquette, one reader, Juan, left a comment to ask for some advice (I’ve changed his punctuation a bit for clarity’s sake): I just discovered your page and I love it. Please teach me before we sign off the mail with “warm regards” etc ,we also always using some … Read more

Email Etiquette

If you work in an office, you probably write emails every day – to colleagues, to your boss, to clients. Even if you’re still at college, you’ll need to email your lecturers once in a while (maybe to plead for an essay extension, or to ask for help) – and many employers now expect resumes … Read more

Should Web Editors Correct Customers’ Grammar?

One of our readers who works as a Web Content Editor raises an interesting question concerning the handling of customer comments on a product web site: Should comments posted by customers be edited for glaring errors of spelling and grammar? Consider, for example, the following customer recommendation for an imaginary product: I recomend the Ajax … Read more

How to Send Tactful Emails from a Technical Support Desk

I work in technical support, which has given me many opportunities to develop the skill of phrasing things carefully. If you’re in an IT department or technology company, you doubtlessly have to deal with emails from irate people who’ve just spent hours struggling with a piece of unhelpful software. These users often have a preconception … Read more

Pay Attention to the Email Subject

The subject line is the most important part of your email. It’s perhaps the source your readers use most to decide whether your message is spam or not. The other is the sender line, your own name and email address. If you’re writing to a friend who recognizes your email address immediately (and are you … Read more

Avoiding Stereotypes in Writing

It is easy to fall into the trap of using language that can be construed as racist or sexist. Here are a few tips to stay away from this type of writing. Avoid sexist language. When you know your audience varies, stay away from words that are gender specific. Use “their” instead of “his” or … Read more

The Fact-packed Email Subject

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For important email messages, try to see how much content you can get into your subject line. I don’t mean you should try to see how long a subject line you can write – 60 or 80 characters should be the maximum. No, but sometimes you want to get your message across through the subject line alone, so the recipient can get the urgent news even before reading the whole message.

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Clichés Don’t Belong in Professional Writing

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Some of the common cliché phrases that we find ourselves using every day do not belong in professional writing. This has become abundantly clear to me as it has become more commonplace for me to work with international clients.

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What’s In It for Me? Not a Job, That’s For Sure!

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I spend a great deal of time helping students write resumes designed to help them get entry-level jobs related to the career training program that they are enrolled in. One of the most challenging parts of resume writing is creating an objective.

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Careful with Technical Terms

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One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your writing must be appropriate for your audience. You have to use terminology that makes sense to your readers.

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