Writing Clear, Effective E-mail
Skills Training 



Sample Lesson

You may view a sample lesson of this course by clicking on "Know what is and isn't appropriate" in the list of lessons to the left.  

Introduction to This Training

Corporations are awash in e-mail messages. The sheer number of messages means that e-mails must be written more clearly, concisely, and carefully than other business writing. Otherwise, they'll be ignored, skimmed, or misunderstood. The more corporations rely on e-mail as a primary source of communication, the more critical the need for everyone to write clear, effective e-mails.

However, e-mails came into being as a grass-roots phenomenon with no standards and no oversight group. Oversight groups such as business writing instructors, English teachers, and literate, educated business people have standards for reports and letters that everyone knows, follows, and expects others to follow. E-mail sprang up without such standards and seems to celebrate the attitude that anything goes--no English teachers invited to this party.

As a result, e-mails are generally badly written. Frustration and miscommunication resulting from poor e-mails abound. That must change. Organizations need effective communication to survive and thrive. Everyone needs to know how to write clear e-mails that have the impact they want to have.

The Purpose of This Course

This course will teach you how to write e-mail messages confident that they will be understood. Whether you're writing to your supervisor, the company president, or a customer, you will have the skills necessary to get your message across and obtain the results you want.

The course teaches a structure you can use as a template for your e-mails. Blueprint makers (draftspersons) develop blueprints anyone can understand because the blueprint makers use simple, consistent symbols and templates. They don't have to rethink the way they'll create a blueprint every time they start a new one. They can concentrate on the blueprint content, knowing the format is set.

In the same way, you shouldn't have to rethink the way you'll write every time you write an e-mail. You should be able to put your thoughts into a format any reader will be able to follow and understand. Then you can concentrate on the message. In this course, you will learn such a format.

About the Author

The author is Robert Craig Hogan, Ph.D., director of the Business Writing Center. Dr. Hogan has taught writing for 38 years at two community colleges, three universities, and the Business Writing Center. He has been the manager of communications at a telephone billing service company and owner of a consulting firm writing reports, manuals, documentation, and advertising copy for a wide range of companies. The Business Writing Center is a Web-based school (at businesswriting.com) providing business writing training through online courses and workshops at company sites.

Proceeding through the Training Proceed through the training by clicking on the lesson names in the left column. Continue through the guidelines until you have finished them all. The lessons you have visited will appear in lighter text to let you know what you know where you are in the course.