II. Short Writing #2: The Ethos of Email

Email is a standard method for informal professional, academic and personal communication. While it lacks the formality of a business letter, an email still needs to adhere to basic etiquette--that is, if you want to come across as credible, and have your email be an effective communication tool. In rhetorical lingo, this is part of ethos, or the face you present to your reader. It's worth noting that emails to your professors should also adhere to the basic etiquette discussed below.  And, perhaps it's also worth remembering that anyone can forward just about any email to anyone else.  So crafting an effective,  civil, well-composed, grammatically and factually accurate email is all the more important.

  1. Watch this Prezi on ethos;
  2. Read Lannon, Ch. 16, "Email..." and Nine Keys to Email Etiquette
  3. Send me an email using the OnCourse Messages tool. Your email should follow the format on p. 357 and p. 361 of Lannon, including:
    • Appropriate subject line;
    • Greeting;
    • A single paragraph with complete sentences; and
    • A "signature block" at the end
      1. Your email should discuss three things you've learned about ethos and/or emails from the assigned readings and how you'll apply them. Be specific and include an APA in-text citation.

Format and Length:
Use the model format shown in the reading. Aim for about 100 words, using complete sentences. More is fine, if you wish, but remember: don't pad your email with unnecessary words.  A longer email is not necessarily a more effective email!

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