Writing emails is an essential part of modern day life, whether it’s in relation to work or personal. However, often people write their emails in a hurry or increasingly on mobile devices where they are more prone to making mistakes. Our quick top tips to proofreading your emails will highlight some of the key issues to look out for.

Getting the recipient’s name right

Often when we are replying to someone new we read the email quickly and assume we remember the person’s name. However, that is not always the case, often the same name can have multiple spellings and it is important to take a moment and double check this. Getting this wrong can create the impression that you don’t have good attention to detail or that you do not care enough about the person or the matter to devote the time. This can be significant if it is an important work related matter, so take the time to always double check name spellings before replying.

Double check your tone

Often when writing emails it is easy to misjudge the tone of the email. Sometime it is necessary to be formal and sometimes a formal email may appear too cold or even rude. Therefore, it is important to think for a moment who you are sending the email to and what is the purpose. For example, if it is in relation to work or business and this is the first few times you have exchanged emails starting with ‘Dear’ and using a formal tone would work best. However, after you have built a rapport and a working relationship it is perfectly acceptable to relax the tone and be in the middle between casual and formal.

Don’t forget to attach

A common mistake when sending emails is to forget to attach certain documents. Many email clients will show a reminder if you have used the word ‘attach’ in an email, as this is such a common issue. However, this is not always the case so you need to always double check before you press ‘send’ that you have attached the document and the correct one for that matter!

Check for clarity and wordiness

It is important that your email is clear and gets across what you intend to. This can be a particular issue in a business context if it appears as if you are suggesting something that may not be included in your service. So make sure that your email is concise and clear. Never use too many words to describe something that can be described simply, as this again can create confusion and can lead to misunderstanding.

Try to keep your sentences simple and direct. Often emails written at a basic reading level have better response rates. Whereas, long, complex sentences with big words can make your text more challenging to read for a busy person who may be rushing through their emails.

In this context consider George Orwell’s five rules of writing:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figures of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

Finally, proofread your emails

In this article we have covered many of the most common issues that people face when writing emails. However, along with checking for such issues, it is also important in the end to proofread your email thoroughly. This will ensure that you create a positive impression as well as allowing you to double check that you have not made any significant errors in the tone for example.

Our proofreading service

At Express Proofreading we offer a professional proofreading service for students, academics, individuals and businesses. We are able to ensure that your written content is not only free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors but we also check syntax and sentence structure, as well as tone. So if you would like help with ensuring that you send flawless emails every time, simply upload your text in a MS Word file using the Instant Quote feature on our site.