The art of writing professional e-mails | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 01, 2019

The art of writing professional e-mails

Emails aren't as informal as chats, or as formal as applications. Tread carefully along the lines to avoid red flags that can give off the wrong tone.

Address carefully

The opening line of your email lays down the premise of your email. The founder of a reputed music production company, Saim Ahmed* said, “It is better to study how your supervisors communicate over mails. Speaking in context of Bangladesh, either go with sir/madam if super formal, or Mr X or Ms Y."

Keep it concise

Nobody likes to read unnecessarily long sentences or words. Convoluted, lengthy expressions are annoying and unprofessional. So help save your workmate's time (and your own) by making sure your emails are smart and to the point.

Know how to CC/BCC properly

This cannot be emphasized enough, as the CC and BCC tools are tricky and frequently misused. Use the former to keep someone in the conversation loop, and the latter to add someone to an email conversation without the others knowing. Saim said, “When you mass e-mail, you don't have to put 200 email addresses on the 'To' section, unless specified otherwise. Put everyone on BCC and then send yourself the mail. That way if people reply, it will only reach you and not every last person on earth."

Adjust your tone

Saim said, “Some offices have specific decorum for how they communicate with external bodies versus how they communicate internally. Know which tone you should follow."

Steer clear of buzzwords

The goal is to make your stance clear and get the message across. Thus, try to avoid acronyms and internet-lingos.

Keep punctuation in check

Punctuations have the potential to alter the entire meaning of your sentence, so there's no scope of treating them lightly. Besides, coming off as someone who knows his/her grammar definitely helps.

*Name changed for privacy


Eshanee is a junior at IBA, University of Dhaka. She watches travel videos and saves whatever money she has left after eating junk food for travelling. Send her good vibes at

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