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Quick Tips to Write a Great Email & Essay in English  

Writing a great essay and a perfect email can be a challenge, especially in a foreign language. You have to think about many things such as the tone, formality, and organization. Not to mention check over all those little errors you may have made.

In this article, you will learn some tips to write a great essay and email to use in your day-to-day life or in any of your English exams.

Writing a Great Email

Adapted from https://learningenglishwithoxford.com/2021/03/18/write-perfect-email-english/

1. Think about who you’re writing to

Maybe it’s a friend, someone you don’t know well, or a complete stranger.

Knowing your target audience will help you decide if you need to use a formal, neutral, or informal register.

As a general rule, only write an informal email when you know the reader well, such as a friend or classmate.

Formal emails are much more appropriate in a business setting. You might send a formal email to a public official, customer service, or a company you’re working with.

If you’re unsure, it’s always better to write a formal or neutral email.

2. Think about why you’re writing

Thinking about the purpose of your email can also help decide on the correct level of formality. If you’re planning a day out with friends, keep it friendly and lighthearted.

If you’re requesting information from a company, you should sound professional and polite.

Keep in mind that the reasons for writing should be reflected in the tone.

3. Keep it organized

English works well with short, simple sentences. It’s also a good idea to break your email into paragraphs. And if it’s really complex, don’t be afraid to use bullet points.

The six-step structure of a great email

A good email always follows the following six-step structure:

1. Subject line

Keep it meaningful and concise so people don’t hit the delete button before they’ve even opened it. Think about one clear sentence that conveys the main idea of your email.

Some good examples include:

  • Introducing our new school magazine.
  • End-of-year assessment!
  • Meeting arranged for Tuesday.
  • Proposal for TESOL Conference.

2. Greeting

Greetings are important in any email. Some people believe the word ‘Dear’ should only be used in a handwritten letter. However, it is perfectly acceptable to use it in an email as well. Especially if your email is very formal, like for a job application or an email of complaint. When you write to a friend you can use “Hi” or “Hello”

We normally use a comma after the opening phrase, and then begin a new line after the person we’re writing to. Take a look at these different ways to begin your email:

3. Opening

Often after the greeting we write an opening line. This is normally a polite gesture to establish a good relationship with the reader. It could be to wish someone well, introduce who you are, or state why you’re writing.

Here are some examples:

InformalFormal / Neutral
How are you?I hope you are well.
How are things going in London?This is Tim from ……
I am writing to tell you …

4. Main body

If your email is a quick internal email to a colleague it should be quite brief.

However, if you’re writing for an exam, the acronym RED is recommended; (Reasons, Examples, Details) to help bulk out your answers.

The main body of your email should also have a clear and specific purpose. This could be anything from suggesting a birthday present for a friend or giving feedback on an event you attended.

Here’s some useful language you could use:

InformalFormal / Neutral
Giving newsGuess what!I’m pleased to tell you that…
Requesting informationCan you tell me…?I’m writing to ask you about…
ThankingThanks for your help!Many thanks for your help.
Showing excitementBrilliant! I can’t wait!I was so happy to receive your news …
SuggestingWhy don’t we …?Have you considered … ?
Giving adviceHave you considered …?My suggestion would be to …
ApologizingSorry!Please accept my apologies.

5. Closing

Before signing off at the end of your email, it’s a good idea to finish with a closing statement. In a formal email, this might be requesting some form of action. In an informal email, it might be just to send some good wishes.

InformalFormal / Neutral
I can’t wait to see you!Hope to hear from you soon.
I look forward to meeting you.
Thank you in advance.

6. Signing-off

Saying goodbye is the last thing you do at the end of an email, so you want to get it right. It should reflect your professionalism, and mimic how close you are to the recipient.

Again, you must use a comma after the closing phrase and capitalize the first letter.

These are some of the most common ways to end an email.

InformalFormal / Neutral
Take care!All the best,
Cheers,Best wishes,
Lots of love,Kind regards,

4. Proofread

Once you’ve written your email, it’s time to check it and make sure it really is perfect. Give it a quick review, and look for any typos, spelling, or grammatical errors.

This is especially important if English is not your first language.

Last but not least: Practise. Any kind of writing skill comes with trying and trying again.

Writing a Great Essay

  • Leave a space in the first line only and at the beginning of each paragraph.
  • Write short sentences to avoid mistakes.
  • Write correct sentences in terms of sentence order and tense.
  • Write the subject in the present simple tense if it is a general topic and the simple past tense if it is a story or a journey.
  • Use interrogative words (Wh) to help in deducing ideas and writing quick sentences.
  • Write ideas on the side, and when an idea comes to you, write it down immediately.
  • Use punctuation marks well; capital letters, the stop sign, commas, question marks, and exclamation marks.
  • Start the topic with a main sentence indicating that you will write on a specific topic.
  • The opening has a positive effect on the reader, so try not to make mistakes.
  • If you are not sure about writing a certain word, search for another because spelling errors have a bad effect.
  • Be careful not to use incorrect tenses because they have the same bad impression.
  • Use the active voice and avoid the unknown for ease of the sentence.

You can use the following links and phrases to give more ideas:

  • We all agree that ……..
  • First of all, I believe that ………
  • On the other hand, ………
  • On the contrary, …….
  • Hence, …….
  • Moreover, ……..
  • Above all ………….. / Important still, ………..
  • In summary, ……
  • We should do our best to realize ……
  • We look forward to a better future.
  • We are indebted much to modern inventions.
  • …………plays an important role in our life.
  • Finally, we have to admit that ………
  • To sum up, one can say that ……
  • For the prosperity of our country, we must…….
  • We must stand hand in hand against…….
  • The government has taken practical steps …..
  • Illiteracy leads to unemployment and crime …

You can use the following links and phrases to give more ideas:

  • To sum up, (To summarize,) (In brief,) (In short,) ……….
  • Last but not least, ………..
  • Finally, we can say that ……..
  • From what I have mentioned in the above lines, it’s obvious that …………

Simple Guide To Writing A Basic Essay – Part 1

Simple Guide To Writing A Basic Essay – Part 2

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