Self-Assessment – Your Email Writing Skills

Analyze the statement below and evaluate your performance as an email/business writer, selecting the options that match your level of expertise. Try and be totally honest.

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  1. I begin writing only when I know exactly what is I want to communicate. I gather and organize my information and thoughts before I start writing an email.

  2. In a very important email, I give my email text to somebody else to evaluate it critically before sending it.

  3. I read what I have written quietly out loud.

  4. I give a lot of thought to the subject message line and pick an appropriate subject message that matches the purpose of the email. I make my purpose totally clear to the reader by writing it in the first paragraph.

  5. I use common international language that is suited to the person I am writing.

  6. I limit the attachments that I include to essential documents. I avoid sending extra documents and forwarding many emails.

  7. I consider my reader’s level of knowledge of the subject I am writing about.

  8. I clearly indicate in the email the actions I recommend my reader should take and by when.

  9. I avoid the use of aggressive language, slang, acronyms, and unnecessary buzzwords.

  10. I try not to “shout” at the reader by avoiding strong colors (e.g. red, orange, etc.), several exclamation points, using all capital letters in words.

  11. I always read my emails afterwards at least once to check for errors and understanding before sending it.

  12. I make my emails clear, specific, simplified and concise for the reader to understand.

  13. My emails are no more than 1-2 computer screens long. I avoid writing multiple topics in the same email and send different emails.

  14. I concentrate on making my email text visually attractive and well formatted.

  15. When I reply to people, I always let them know I have read their communication to me by commenting on what they wrote even if it is just, I got it.

  16. I read messages on the day I receive them and reply within less than 24 hours.

  17. When I write emails, I consider carefully who should be in the “to column”, “cc column” and not email all everyone.

  18. I avoid redundant words/phrases, pet words and filler words.

  19. I quote examples or data to back up the relevance of a given point of view.

  20. My writing is neutral, positive and specific.

  21. I use the spell check whenever I am unsure about the spelling of a word and think about the correct word choice.

  22. My writing is always grammatically correct with the right punctuation.

  23. I am conscious of writing with active voice rather than passive voice.

  24. My writing conveys ideas in a simple manner, leaving little room for ambiguity by the reader and I anticipate the reaction of the reader.

  25. Complicated paragraphs are broken up into key points, which are bulleted or numbers.

  26. My email opens with the appropriate salutation Dear/Hi and the recipient’s correctly spelled name followed by a comma.

  27. I start and end my email with empathetic greetings and wishes such as: Hope you and your family are doing well. Wish you a great day! Look forward to hearing from you

  28. My email closes with an auto signature that includes an appropriate salutation, my name and designation, company, and contact details

  29. I use appropriate abbreviations and terms and avoid informal or casual words and slang when writing emails.

  30. If I am upset, I don’t send the email immediately. I wait for some time and review and revise it later.

  31. I put myself in the reader’s shoes and think about how I would feel receiving this email

  32. If I get no response, I escalate the email in an appropriate, timely manner as per protocol.

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