Many people find it difficult to write clear e-mails. Here are 3 tips:
- Decide why you are writing the e-mail
What is the purpose of your e-mail? What do you want to see as an outcome? Do you want to give an update? Do you want to a reply to a clarification? Do you want the recipient to complete a form and send it to you?
After you have written the e-mail, step back and imagine that you are the recipient. Is the message clear? Often, we are not good at critically evaluating our own writing. You may want a colleague to give you a second opinion.
2. Be concise
Many of the e-mails I have read contain extremely long sentences. I have come across a sentence which is 30 words long. (True story!) When there are too many thoughts in a sentence, the main message of the sentence gets diluted. And the chances of grammatical errors increases as the sentence gets longer and longer.
Full-stops do not bite. Use them more often. Try to limit your sentences to 10 words. It will be better for you and for your reader.
3. Use simple language
In India, some people are fascinated by big words. If you fall into this category, here is my advice: use big words carefully. Do not use big words for the sake of using them. One, if you do not properly understand their meaning, you may be using them inappropriately. Two, the purpose of communication is to be understood. If the reader does not understand you, it may create some confusion.
Simplicity is effective.