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Email Writing

Drafting a Long Email: A Useful Tool

Posted Apr 16, 2012, by Roy Speed

If all you write is one- or two-sentence emails -- you never have to write an email that's complex or lengthy -- skip this blog. But if you or your staff occasionally have to draft longer messages, running to several paragraphs, the eLearning nugget below may be for you.


Long emails can be confusing and difficult to read, not to mention painful and time-consuming to write. The eLearning module offered below introduces the Headline Outline, which is at once:

  • A thinking/planning tool. It accelerates the writing and reduces the effort required to produce a complex message.
  • A writing device. It enhances the clarity and impact of the email, often with dramatic improvement in the reading experience.

Tip to managers: Share this eLearning module with your staff.

Duration of this nugget: 3 minutes


Our Email Writing blog is about getting your head screwed on straight about what it means to write effectively. It's also about getting more mileage out of email — using our time efficiently.

For issues related to email performance across organizations and business units, please see our blog on Email Leadership.



I'm eager to hear about your challenges with workplace email. I won't reveal anything shared in confidence without your express permission. Email me about any of the following topics:

  • the stakes — how costly email can be, what the stakes are in your job or in your company;
  • best practices — smart approaches, cool techniques;
  • academy-award-winning emails — messages you think embody effective communication (and it's okay if they were written by someone else);
  • email annoyances — things people do in email that bug you, and why.


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