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The main text in an email is called the body of the email. It comes after the introduction and is where the writer makes their main point.
The body is one of the most important parts of an email because it is where the writer explains why they are writing to the recipient. Learning to craft a clear, succinct body text is critical to developing strong communication skills.
After greeting the sender, the writer should push "Enter" two times to put space between the greeting and the body of the email. The body of an email will vary depending on what the exact context is but generally adheres to the following format:
In the introductory line, the writer should open with a polite greeting to the recipient. Sometimes, the sender might introduce themselves if they do not have a relationship with the recipient. For example, a student might open an email to a professor with the following introduction:
Subject: Request for help with history essay
Dear Professor Smith,
I hope this email finds you well. My name is John Smith, and I am a student in your Intro to European History class.
Here the writer addresses the professor with a polite salutation and greets the professor with the first line. This expresses respect for the recipient. Then the writer introduces himself to make sure the professor understands who he is.
The introductory line of an email sets the tone and shapes the recipient’s impression of the sender. Writers should use friendly, respectful language in the introductory line.
After introducing themselves and the topic of the email, the sender should explain what the email's main point. For instance, common topics include: asking the recipient a question, providing the recipient with information, or expressing thanks. This section is also where the writer should provide any important specific information. For instance, if they are inviting the recipient to an event, they should include details such as the time and place.
The writer from the previous example could transition to the main details of his email like so:
Thank you so much for your feedback on my French Revolution essay. I am writing to you because I am still a bit confused about how to craft a strong thesis statement. I was wondering if I could set up an online meeting with you to discuss this.
Writers should always use short, succinct language in the body of an email. The more straightforward the writing is, the more likely the reader is to read and understand the entire email.
When a writer expects a response from an email, they should explain what they expect at the end of the body text. For instance, if a writer is inviting a recipient to an event, they should explain how to RVSP at the end of the body.
The student writing to his professor about setting up a meeting might include details like this:
I am available Monday and Thursday anytime. Please let me know if either of those days works for you. Thank you!
If attaching an attachment, writers should tell the recipient what is attached and why. This ensures the recipient does not overlook the attachment.
Sometimes writers also include visuals in their emails to help illustrate a point to the recipients. For instance, if a person wants a recipient’s feedback on a new design for a company logo, they would include the images of the logo after introducing the topic at the start of the body text.
Writers can also copy and paste a PDF into the body of an email. When viewing the PDF, they should click "Edit" and then "Copy File." Then they should go to the body of their email and paste the file by clicking "Control" and "V" or right-clicking and selecting "Paste."
Writers should choose the tone of the body text based on their relationship with their recipient. For instance, if a student is writing to a professor, they should use a formal academic tone. However, if a student is writing to a close friend in their class, they could use a casual tone. Regardless of the level of formality, writers should always use polite, clear language in the body of an email.
The body of an email should not be long. People often do not have much time to read emails and quickly look through several at once. Writers should strive to use short language that gets straight to the point.
Email systems also cannot process emails that are too long. For instance, most email systems only process 524,000 characters in the body of an email. The standard limit for attached files is also about 20 megabytes (MB).
Keeping emails short will also allow for less time that the recipient needs (in most cases) to process the information and respond quickly.
The body of an email will look different depending on whether it is formal or informal.
The following example demonstrates how a student might write a formal email to a professor.
Dear Professor Smith,
I hope this email finds you well. My name is John Smith, and I am a student in your Intro to European History class. Thank you so much for your feedback on my French Revolution essay. I am writing to you because I am still a bit confused about how to craft a strong thesis statement. I was wondering if I could set up an online meeting with you to discuss this. I am available Monday and Thursday anytime. Please let me know if either of those days works for you. Thank you!
If a person is writing an email to a friend or a family member, they can use a more informal tone. This is what the email above would look like if it were sent to a friend:
Long time, no see! I'm really struggling with that essay for history class. Do you understand what kind of argument we have to make? Also, if you have second period free next Tuesday and want to meet to talk about it, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
Writing an email to apply for a job is a critical writing skill for all job-seekers. Often, job recruiters will ask applicants to send an email with a resume. To do this, the writer will have to write a message in the body of the email.
The body of an email with an attached resume does not have to be long. It should introduce the sender and the position they are applying for. It should also use polite language to show that the applicant is a respectful candidate. For instance, the following example demonstrates how a person might write an email when sending a resume.
Dear Hiring Manager,
I hope this email finds you well. My name is Jane Richards. I am writing in response to the opening for a receptionist at KJF bank. Please find my resume and reference letters attached. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at J.Richards@Email.com or +1 123-456-7890.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Writers should specify the name of the job recruiter in the email greeting. If the recruiter's name is not directly stated, applicants should still try to do some research and find out to whom they can address the application. If there is still no name, writing "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Department Team" is still acceptable.
Often, writers will need to include links in the body of an email. To do this, the writer can go to the "Insert" tab and then click "Link." Sometimes this button will say "Hyperlink" or have the icon below. Then the writer can copy and paste the link into the box.
Writers can also embed a video or image by clicking the "Insert" tab and then the image button.
When sending a resume writers should write their name and the position they are applying for. They should also thank the recruiter.
To embed a video in an email body writers should click insert and then video.
To start the body of a formal email writers should introduce themselves if necessary and then state the main point of their email.
When sending an attachment writers should mention what they are attaching and why.
To paste a pdf in the body of an email click "Edit" and then "Copy File." Then go to the body of their email and paste the file by clicking "Control" and "V" or right-clicking and selecting "Paste."
What is the main text of an email called?
True or False. Writers should write long, complicated emails.
False. The body of an email should be succinct and straightforward.
Where should writers add images in the body of an email?
After the main details
True or False. Writers always have to introduce themselves before the body of one email.
False. Writers only have to introduce themselves if they do not know the recipient.
What button do writers click on to add a link to the body of an email?
Jake is applying for a job by attaching a resume in an email. What is missing from the body of his email?
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Jake Roberts. Attached you can find my resume. Feel free to contact me anytime at J.Roberts@Email.com or +1 123-456-7890
The position he is applying too.
What is the average size limit for the body of an email?
A student wants to ask a professor a question about her last lecture. Where should she add this question?
The introduction of the email
How many spaces should a writer put between the greeting of an email and the start of the body text?
Katie is emailing her boss to set up a meeting. What is missing from the body of this email?
I hope you are doing well. I would like to set up a meeting to discuss the growth from the last quarter.
Details about when to have the meeting.
Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.
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