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Tips for Writing Effective Office Emails


Writing with Clear and Precise Subject:

Since most people get a lot of emails, writing with a subject that is clear and precise will help people sort and triage them fast.

Writing Help Emails:

Your help email should almost always read as follows:

Hello all,

I am working on work item ####. I am trying to accomplish XYZ using ABC. I am unable to do this because of Problem A. I have attached the engine log/screenshot and the snippet of the error is as follows:

<snippet of the error with error line highlighted in yellow and text in red. Font: courier new and one size smaller than your email text>

I looked up our internal website and documentation at LocationA but could not find any reference to the error I am seeing.

My work environment is up-to-date. (This includes your operating system, build, tool versions) and so and so programs were open when I tried this.

What am I missing? Could you please point me to a workaround or a contact who can help? Any information that would help me proceed would be useful.

Please let me know if you need anything from me. Just FYI (this means for your information) this is blocking tasks Task A (Give links to the tasks. Include this if applicable)

Thanks in advance!

<your signature>

Needless to say, try all those things before you send out this email. Especially, big corporates are very particular about how you approach them for help.

Writing Help Reply Email:

Just ask them if they missed any step above. Walk them through the steps. Of all else fails, go to their desk or remote in their machine.

Once you have the solution, reply all with it and explain how you saved the day 🙂

Writing Pushback Email: 

Present precise information and facts. Make sure you have enough data in your email to show that your concern is justified/reasonable.


Author: Nazneen Malik


Nazneen is a software engineer based in the Greater Seattle area since 2010. She is originally from Mumbai. She did her B.E. in Computer Engineering and then worked as a Software Developer in Mumbai for 2 years.  After that she moved to Utah to do her Masters in Computer Science in 2008. She is  passionate about her career and serving the community. For fun she likes to read, hike, salsa dance and travel!


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