Email is a main form of written communication in the workplace. Short emails are often used to give instructions, request favors, or to report on actions taken. Your professionalism, credibility, and competence can be judged from how you communicate through memos and emails. Therefore, it is very important to understand the basic etiquette and processes of them. The following activities will give you a better idea of the functions of emails and memos, and the proper methods for using them.


Common Expressions

Beginning an email message / Referring to previous correspondence

  1. Thanks for your message.
  2. Thanks for your call this morning. I’d like to provide further information re…
  3. As mentioned / discussed (in our telephone conversation yesterday/in our last message), …
  4. Following / Following on / Following up on your suggestion / our meeting this morning, let me add that…

Giving information

  1. Please note that…
  2. Please be informed that…
  3. I'm pleased to let you know that…

Referring to attachments

  1. Please refer to the attached…
  2. I attach … here for your reference.

Making requests

  1. Please…
  2. Could you please…?
  3. I'd be grateful if you could…

Offering suggestions

  1. You may like to…
  2. Perhaps you can…
  3. It would be better if you…

Showing thanks and appreciation

  1. Thanks very much for…
  2. Many thanks for…

Closing an email

  1. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
  2. I'll follow up on this and get back to you soon.

Making your writing clear and concise

  • Use a clear subject line.
  • Cut out unnecessary words / Use the active voice if possible.
  • Use parallel structure.
  • Consider using numbered or bullet points instead of continuous text if possible.
  • Use punctuation for effect.

Using Parallel Structure

Parallel verb phrases

  • The Children’s Theatre offers a yearly activity agenda: It has science exhibits, offers plays, and provides interactive technology experiences.
  • The company president asked for an audit, notified employees to update accounts, and called an accountant to schedule the audit.

Parallel clauses

Each department had a role in planning: marketing estimated the size of the market, human resources projected personnel needs, and marketing prepared recruitment materials.

Parallel noun phrases

Managing costs, planning new products, and implementing plans are critical business functions.

Thanking the recipient for his/her last previous message or favor is important and common etiquette as it shows politeness and appreciation.
After thanking the recipient, you can transition from the previous conversation to new important matters that they need to know by using "I'd like to provide further information regarding…".
Use this expression to bring up a previous conversation that you want to touch upon with the recipient.
Again, this is a useful transition from previous conversations to a current one with new information.
This is an expression that is used to let the reader know that he or she should pay attention to a following detail or information.
Using "pleased to let you know" usually means that you are bringing good or desirable news to the recipient.
These phrases will direct the reader to your attached documents in the email that contains further information.
These three phrases are very important when making requests as they show courteousness and gratefulness (especially the third one).
These expressions are used to politely invite the recipient to contribute in an alternative method if you deem their original contributions unhelpful.
Again, thanking the recipient for any favors, messages, or future help is common courtesy and helps maintain a good relationship between the sender and recipient.
Use this expression to close an email if you want to hear back from the recipient in the form of feedback or further information (depending on what you requested), while simultaneously thanking him or her.
This assures the recipient that you are going to analyse the information given to you and will give them a reply in the near future.