Email Formality


Be aware of Ethical issues of privacy and confidentiality. Ask Yourself, Is the mail sensitive?

For Example,

When working in an exam sector, it may be unacceptable to just place a result in the email. Or if discussing a confidential topic such as someone’s performance, it may be better face to face. Make sure to Assess before making a judgement call.

If you are unsure whether to share or not to share, ask your supervisor or manager…there is no such thing as a silly question.

If there was, it would be safer to ask one than to potentially lose your job for breach of information.


Be clear of the main point and purpose of the message and make sure to convey that.

Be straight to the point and clear to avoid confusion.

Remove information that is not relevant to the user.

Ask yourself, does the reader need to read all this?

If not, shorten it.


Who is this email for?

To - Make sure you send it to the correct person.

Especially when dealing with top notch information, you would not like it to go to the wrong person.

Do other people need to be involved in the email?

Is it okay if they see each other’s email address?

CC - You can copy various people in the email. They can see each other’s email address.

Will it be a breach of privacy to include other people’s email address?

BCC - You can copy various people in the email, but their email handles will be hidden from each other, this can provide privacy to people especially when sending emails to a lot of people who are not interested in sharing their email around.


Subject - This gets people’s attention.

Don’t beat around the bush. Here you summarise what the email is about and even helps people find the email at a later stage.

For Example –

Project Meeting 09/10/2018

Once you have selected a subject you can start the email.

It is very important to greet/welcome the person you will be emailing.

You can greet them by writing

Dear (person’s name) or (sir/madam)

For less formal, you can start with

Hello/ Hi


In emails, you can embed attachments (these can be word documents, excel sheet, images, videos etc)

Once you have added an attachment, it is important to reference it so that the email reader can know what you are talking about.

For Example,

Please see the attached document on the meeting for your reference.


Read Over

Read over again - Re-read your email again to make sure, the grammar and punctuation and spelling is good as some autocorrections do not pick up on things like to, too, two

Many people write their emails initially on Grammarly or Word to pick up grammar and punctuation before copying and pasting it into an email.

Feel free to do which works for you. Just remember that those softwares are not 100% accurate

Emailing Ending

Once you have written the body of the email you cannot just send it. Especially when using an inbox that various people have access to. You must make sure to end it well.

You can close the email with endings such as:

  • Sincerely

  • Kind Regards

  • Best Regards.

  • Many Thanks

For less formal email closing, you can endings such as

  • Best Wishes

  • Warm regards

You assess the email and who you are sending it to and make a call as to which endings to use.

Top Tips

  • In instances where you do not know who you are speaking to, use the term Sir/Madam, and use their names especially in instances where you are uncertain of Gender. As you need to be gender neutral.

  • Using very long sentences does not mean that your email is more formal. Sometimes short sentences to the point are clearer.

  • Using Abbreviations should not be used in a formal setting. For Example, things like IMO (In My Opinion) should be avoided.

  • Only use ACRONYMS if the understand. Or the first time you use the Acronyms in that email, (put it in brackets).

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